Convergence #5

"Convergence" #5 pushes DC's event miniseries into its second half and, after an underwhelming first four issues (plus prelude/zero issue), it's almost a relief to see something actually happening here. Jeff King's story starts to lurch forward, and Andy Kubert and Sandra Hope bring a welcome visual style to the book.

With Brainiac having been summoned at the end of the previous issue, King uses the opportunity here to give a more thorough origin for Telos, as we learn about his history and the deal that was struck in exchange for becoming one with the planet. After four issues of Telos being little more than a booming voice and a proverbial hand to smack the "Earth 2" heroes around, it's nice to chip away a bit at the utter lack of personality.

That's not to say that the plotting has completely pulled itself together, or that this feels more streamlined or natural. It looks like it's sticking with making characters from "Warlord" a major part of the story, but there's still very little context given for those who have never encountered Travis Morgan, Deimos or the rest of these faces before. With one exception, this main series has little to no connection to the parade of tie-ins, either. Those tie-ins start wrapping up this week but, between those closing issues and the moment that concludes "Convergence" #5, it's become pretty clear that "Convergence" has no real interest in all of the various bottled universes. They're really more than a gimmick to dress up the background at this point, rather than creating some sort of fuller story. Ironically, the one exception to that rule is Deimos' imprisoning and siphoning the powers of the Time Masters, which is referred to once again here in a passing manner but never explained. If there was ever a need for a Marvel-style footnote pointing readers to the appropriate comic, this is it. (And something for which I'm sure retailers would have greatly appreciated, too.)

Looking at the cover of "Convergence" #5, you might find yourself wishing that the entire comic was full of dinosaur after dinosaur, simply so we could see Kubert and Hope draw more of them that look just as good as the one we see there. Fortunately, even without the comic being dinosaurpalooza, there's still a lot to enjoy in the visuals. Kubert's pencils give a strength to these characters; when Superman and Deimos struggle against one another, for example, their physical clash feels genuine. You can see in their postures how they're both bracing themselves and pushing against the others; it feels very alive and natural. When dinosaurs come smashing through a wall, well, let's just say it looks fantastic. Kubert, Hope and Brad Anderson make this book just feel fun; the characters are energetic, exposition scenes have visual hooks and the colors know when to be subdued and when to burst onto the page.

"Convergence" #5 is a real improvement but, at the same time, the series has a long way to go to pull itself completely out of the hole that the first month dug. Hopefully, this will be a real turn-around, with the final three installments continuing to step up the proverbial game. Overall, the main "Convergence" miniseries has been a bit of a letdown but, if you had to pick the best issue to date, look no further than "Convergence" #5.

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