WC15: DC Comics' "Convergence" Panel with King, Jurgens and More

"Convergence" arrived at WonderCon on Saturday, with a panel discussion of the DC Comics event series that will once again shake the foundation of the DC Universe. In a special preview video, co-publisher Dan DiDio recalled memories of reading previous events like "Crisis on Infinite Earths" and "Zero Hour." In "Convergence," he continued, Brainiac steals cities from various DC Earths, placing them in domes that rob the heroes of their powers. His reasoning for the scheme will shatter the universe and nothing will be the same. DiDio also promised "a fight between Harley Quinn and Captain Carrot."

Following the video, the event's lead writer, Jeff King, said the just-released "Convergence" #0 was "setting the table" for the series. Besides the main series, the story will spill over into 40 two-issue tie-in series featuring the return of previous versions of characters written by the likes of Dan Jurgens, Marc Andreyko, Len Wein, Scott Lobdell -- all in attendance -- and more.

Jurgens noted the three double-page spreads in "Convergence #0" by Ethan Van Scriver make one scene. King joked that readers should by extra copies to tear apart and construct the scene.

Going back to the overall premise, Jurgens added, "One of the things we wanted to do is that there has only been one Brainiac and the others are acolytes of the one true Brainiac."

According to King, "Future's End" and "Earth 2: World's End" factor heavily into "Convergence" #1. Lobdell said he loves writing the Jay Garrick Flash.

King revealed that the classic Jay Garrick and the modern Earth 2 Jay Garrick will eventually meet. He called the meeting part of "the fun of it." While shattering the universe, "Convergence" gave the different creative teams the opportunity for strange, unlikely and amazing meetings.

"Imagine if Kingdom Come Superman had to fight the Crime Syndicate," Lobdell added, liking it to dream match-ups discussed on Internet message boards.

King said he was excited to write a meeting between Bruce Wayne and Thomas Wayne in Convergence #2. "Bruce Wayne and Thomas Wayne have never met excepted when they went to the movies to see Zorro," Wein added.

King suggested fans may want to pick up "Future End: Booster Gold" #1 to see how it ties into "Convergence."

"It's always fun to come back to Booster," said Jurgens. "There are two Boosters in the issue. The one we've seen throughout time and the one we introduced in the New 52." Rip Hunter and the New 52 Skeets will appear in the first issue while the second will include the Legion of Superheroes.

Next week will see the release of "Convergence: Superman" #1, which will tell the story of the pre-New 52 Superman and Lois anticipating the arrival of their first child. "We find a little bit about what they've been up to," Jurgens said, emphasizing this is the same Superman and Lois that were married in the late 90s following Superman's death in the classic "Death of Superman" storyline. "It will take their relationship to the next level," he said. Issue #2 will see them meeting the Thomas Wayne Batman from "Flashpoint."

"What we're doing with the monthly stories is giving you a chance to go back to favorite characters and timelines and see how they might've evolved," said King. "And when we get to the end of 'Convergence,' reveal what will be available to us as storytellers."

With the reveal of a slide showing panels from "Convergence: Swamp Thing" #1, Wein called his original run with the character "fun" and the "Convergence" story like "coming home."

"I fell into patterns I was very comfortable with and this is the Swamp Thing I know," he continued. Wein also called artist Kelly Jones the perfect replacement for original Swamp Thing artist Bernie Wrightson, saying he attempted to get Jones on a Swamp Thing book 30 years ago.

Given the "Red Rain" Batman to work with, Wein found it felt like a part of his original run.

Lobdell admitted he was excited to get his hands on "Convergence: Blue Beetle" and the Charlton characters. "I wanted to do the Charlton heroes and told Dan DiDio to keep me in mind for them," he said. "That night, I got a Charlton heroes t-shirt printed up and made it look worn. When I met with Dan, he said, 'Oh, you really do like Blue Beetle.'"

King complemented Lobdell on his DiDio impression.

Lobdell explained that he loves Beetle's sense of humor, even in the face of life under the dome. The second issue will feature the members of the Legion of Superheroes "not wasted by Dan (Jurgens) in his book."

Andreyko said he was happy to take on Batman, the Outsiders and O.M.A.C. in "Convergence: Batman and the Outsiders." To him, the book is like "the ultimate fan fiction moment" getting a hold of a book he read as a child. He was particularly excited to write a de-powered Metamorpho and the conflict that happens when his powers come back. He hoped the book felt like a continuation of the original run of the title.

King pointed out the two-issue tie-in series can be read on their own, but become part of a greater tapestry in the whole "Convergence" storyline.

"It's a love letter to the fans," added Jurgens.

"There's not a false note in these books," continued Andreyko. "If I wasn't working on these books, I'd be buying them all."

Asked about his favorite moment coloring the book thus far, colorist Peter Steigerwald said, "It's all a bit of a blur," but that he enjoyed getting back into the DC continuity and history. "It's making sure this person looks right up against this other version of him."

During the audience Q&A, the group was asked if motion comics will return, King said its always a possibility.

A reader who came to DC with the New 52 asked what Convergence will do to that continuity following the event. "What we're looking forward to post-Convergence is that any version of any character will be available to us," said King.

Lobdell said the post-Convergence reality will mostly follow on from where the New 52 left off. King said the New 52 brand "will give way to something new." The continuities and characters will mostly continue.

Andreyko added "Convergence" #0 does explain the worlds and timelines the characters come from.

King explained to a younger reader that "Flashpoint" characters will appear throughout the event.

A fan pointed out the lack of Amalgam Comics characters in promotions for "Convergence." King explained that while the shared copyrights with Marvel make the Amalgam characters unavailable, the "Just Imagine..." characters may appear.

Lobdell shared that he misses the time when DC published new "Elseworlds" projects. He also missed the wackier Silver Age team-ups of Batman and Superman. "I'd love for everybody to get back to letting the stories be a tremendous amount of fun," he said, also suggesting the "Convergence" tie-ins tap into that sense of fun.

King added the tie-ins will definitely contained that "Elseworlds" energy.

As the panel came to a close, Andreyko gave a shout-out to editor Marie Jevons, who came on to help out during Convergence, but will be a permanent staff member going forward.

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