With Deimos joining the Earth 2 refugees in the previous issue, it should come as no surprise to readers familiar with the DC Universe that Skartaris also appears in Jeff King and Stephen Segovia’s “Convergence” #3, a comic which investigates the world of Telos a bit more and teases out things yet to come.
King makes it clear early on that the stakes are high in “Convergence” as Telos visits the city of Kandor. Refusing to fight in Telos’ battles, the citizens of Kandor stand united behind their champions, Nightwing and Flamebird, in a non-violent protest. Telos appears, reiterates his demands and that protest goes from non-violent to conveniently super-violent on command, with guns being drawn in defense and discharged rapidly. Here is where the bodies begin to drop and, in true event comics fashion, more than a couple casualties accumulate before the end of this issue.
The “Earth 2” refugees — Alan Scott, Jay Garrick, Yolanda Montez, Thomas (Batman) Wayne, Dick Grayson and Val-Zod — serve as the focus of “Convergence” #3, joining forces with Deimos on a quest to find a means to defeat their captor, Telos. King gives the characters plenty to worry about, from investing their blind trust in a complete stranger to Thomas Wayne running out of Miraclo to Alan Scott not being able to utilize his powers. Taking a note from superhero sagas of yesteryear, King divides the team, putting Batman and Grayson against pursuers from one of the many Gotham Cities. King makes that fight brutal, upping the ante by piling on the baddies, but the villains feel like more bluster than true threat, as Grayson and Batman don’t provide readers with enough interest to latch onto. The most interesting scene in “Convergence” #3 doesn’t involve any of the aforementioned characters but rather a denizen of Skartaris and a few unexpected cameos. Undoubtedly, that scene seeds future developments for this story, but it underscores a lack of energy in the heroes’ trudging journey.
Stephen Segovia’s art is serviceable and solid, but Telos’ setting lacks a firm foundation for the artist to build upon. Skartaris’ appearance is dynamic and bold in comparison, giving Segovia a chance to flex the art a bit. Additionally, the surprise scene serves up a nice mix of visual variation, with some characters that stretch back through DC’s storied history. Segovia also seizes several opportunities to serve up gorgeous portraits of the participants of “Convergence,” dropping out shadows to absorb color from the environments shaded by colorists John Starr and Peter Steigerwald. Some pages are more impressive than others, where Segovia either delivers snappy portraits or clean storytelling. For the most part, Lanham does a fine job tagging characters, but the dialogue gets murky with too many characters, some odd angles and some shorter tails on a few word balloons that don’t flow smoothly due to some more challenging page compositions.
Midway through “Convergence” #3, I found myself comparing the plot of this to the “Super Powers” miniseries from the 1980s. Why else would Telos, with the powers of a god, be reduced to laying hands on characters? Four issues into the adventure, not a whole lot has happened outside of the deaths in this issue. Shock deaths are not something I buy comics for, and events need to have some emotional draw. Right now, the prime “Convergence” title doesn’t offer the emotional investment to make the shock deaths anything more than a bloody gimmick.