Convergence #4

Jeff King, Stephen Segovia and seven inkers converge on "Convergence" #4, as do most of the characters featured in the series thus far, as the event reaches its midpoint. The surviving heroes of Earth 2 remain the dominant players, although King reintroduces a forgotten Bronze Age hero and finally gives predominant villain Telos a bit of depth. More is revealed about Deimos, as well, and King saves a bit of a surprise for the largely absent Brainiac until the very end. This manufactured and somewhat aimless event seems to find some footing, although it remains somewhat emotionless and still doesn't give readers any real reason to be here.

King falls into the trap that this series has set for itself; there's a certain cool factor to a storyline that pits different versions of the DC Comics multiverse's characters against one another, sure, but this size and breadth of such a story also cheapens the characters on an individual level. King throws in lines of dialogue like "The bond between [Dick Grayson] and Bruce Wayne echoes in every reality" and "Another world falls," which only plays into this sweeping and detached macro-level of storytelling. The crippling of "a" Dick Grayson doesn't carry the emotional impact that it should, nor does the death of yet another entire planet that's acknowledged with nothing more than a single panel containing three words. While there's some depth finally being added to the plot, there is little more emotional involvement than watching a friend blast endless spaceships on an old videogame.

The city at the center of Telos' world telegraphs the identity of the newly-returned hero, as does an overt mention of the character's name before his actual appearance. Still, it's a welcome if unceremonious return, for -- despite the namedrop long before his eventual appearance -- said appearance shows the character largely obscured by the foes he's fighting. It's akin to spider crawling onto the lens of an IMAX projector right at a crucial and anticipated moment.

Overall, though, Segovia is pretty competent with the art duties, and the team of inkers delivers a surprisingly consistent look to the story. It's a little murky in spots, but Segovia and the rest of the artists make good use of the larger panels to capture the various fight scenes, filling each panel with detail and avoiding any sense of decompression or padding. There are some inconsistencies elsewhere, though; the number of horns on each side of Deimos' head sometimes alternates between two and three, and colorists John Starr and Peter Steigerwald get a little sloppy with Val-Zod's chest emblem in a few panels.

"Convergence" #4, while still sharing some of the overall series' weaknesses, is nonetheless a noticeable improvement over past issues, enough to give pause to those deciding whether or not to stay with the series. While not a tremendous issue on an absolute scale, it still bodes well for the remainder of the series' run.

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