The first full week of DC's Convergence event is here, and even though the first tie-in issues for it started last week, this is the point where the event starts being interesting. And if your breaking point with DC Comics was when it rebooted for the New 52 and left your favorite character behind, you definitely want to be paying attention.
There's only one thing that keeps comics fans coming back for more after decades of reboots, retcons, and artist changeovers and that is the characters. This first full week of Convergence reveals the real meat of the two-month cosmic crossover: a host of short, character-focused stories featuring fan-favorite heroes, many of which were overlooked or significantly changed in DC's controversial reboot.
While a lot of the appeal of Convergence is the return of old characters, don't be afraid to pick up something that looks interesting if you're a new reader. Each of these titles is only two issues long, quite short for a modern superhero comic story. On top of that, every May issue will include a complete eight-page story preview for one of DC's brand-new series premiering in June, many of which are specifically designed for folks new to comics.
Last week, we outlined the bones of Convergence, but this week, we're just going to talk about the titles. Over the course of the month, DC will be walking us backward in continuity. All of the books starting this week are based on versions of characters that appeared in the "Pre-Flashpoint DCU," or the state of DC continuity just before the New 52 reboot. Next week is based in Zero Hour, a 1994 attempt by DC to consolidate and simplify a number of parallel timelines. Zero Hour was in many ways a sequel to Crisis on Infinite Earths, the original reboot of all reboots. That 1986 storyline is where the rest of the month's characters were pulled from. Or, put simply, this week is the '00s of DC, next week is the '90s, and the rest of the month is the glorious '80s.
How interested you are in each week may depend entirely on how old you are and when you started reading comics. And if you're just starting to get into the medium, you'll have even less of an idea of what might be a fun ride, and there are definitely some fun rides in this batch of issues. Let's go through them.
Convergence Batgirl #1
Writer: Alisa Kwitney
Artist: Rick Leonardi
After a year living under the confinement of the dome, Stephanie Brown isn't sure she wants to be Batgirl again. But when she's attacked by Catman and Gorilla Grodd from the world of Flashpoint, she's forced to put on the cape and cowl to fight alongside Red Robin and Cassandra Cain!
Barbara Gordon may be Batgirl in the New 52, but that editorial move erased the existence of Cassandra Cain and Stephanie Brown, the two young women who had already succeeded her in the suit. While Stephanie has reappeared in the New 52 in her identity as the Spoiler, this will be Cassandra's first appearance in the main continuity of DC Comics since 2011. Also: Tim Drake as Red Robin and everybody fighting a super-intelligent gorilla.
Convergence Nightwing Oracle #1
Writer: Gail Simone
Artist: Jan Duursema
Just as they've finally been reunited, the romance between Dick Grayson and Barbara Gordon is sentenced to execution by Flashpoint Hawkman and Hawkwoman!
Nightwing Oracle is one of the titles that elicited the most fan response when announced. Barbara Gordon's evolution into the information broker known as Oracle, and the long-running romantic interest between her and Dick Grayson, are being revisited by Gail Simone. Simone's run on Birds of Prey, starring Oracle, is considered definitive work on the character and in bringing rounded female characters to superhero comics, and the writer's involvement in the New 52's Batgirl, which erased much if not all of the history of Oracle, was the only reason many fans stuck around for the book. Simone back on an Oracle story is a big deal for a lot of readers.
Convergence Question #1
Writer: Greg Rucka
Artist: Cully Hamner
Two-Face is fighting another world's Harvey Dent, and it's up to Renee Montoya as The Question to help him beat the odds.
Greg Rucka wasn't just one of the major architects of DC's Batman books in the early '00s and a major contributor to titles as formative for the company as 52, he's also the writer responsible for creating DC Comics' highest-profile lesbian superheroes, Batwoman and Renee Montoya's the Question. It was a big disappointment to many fans to see Rucka and DC break ties in the early '10s, presumably for good. That disappointment was compounded when it appeared that the history of Renee Montoya, a character he'd shepherded from a Gotham City police detective to a globe-trotting scourge of international drug smugglers, had been erased from the New 52. Now, Renee is back (and confirmed to finally be appearing in Detective Comics after Convergence), and Rucka is back to write a new story with her.
Convergence Superman #1
Writer: Dan Jurgens
Artist: Lee Weeks
A powerless Superman is called upon to protect Gotham City.
One of the most mourned losses in the New 52 were the stable, married relationships of some of its most famous characters, most notably, Superman and Lois Lane. After the reboot, Lois was quickly given a jerk boyfriend, and soon enough Superman and Wonder Woman were starring in a book that was entirely about their romantic relationship. If you're a die-hard Lois and Clark fan, Convergence Superman, a story about the birth of their child, is for you.
Convergence Atom #1
Writer: Tom Peyer
Artist: Steve Yeowell
There's a mysterious voice in Ray Palmer's head! Does that mean The Atom is going mad? To find out what's really going on, he'll have to go down a road that will pit him against the ever deadly Deathstroke!
While all the other heroes under the domes have lost their powers, Ray Palmer (the original Atom) seems to have gained a strange new one to go with the voice that only he can hear. And you can bet dollars to doughnuts that that voice has something to do with the promised return of Ryan Choi, another man to have been the Atom, and a beloved member of the small community of Asian superheroes who don't have martial arts-based powers not seen in DC Comics since the New 52.
Convergence Harley Quinn #1
Writer: Steve Pugh
Artist: Phil Winslade
Life for Harley Quinn has become downright normal over the last year. Will she be ready to go nuts when Catwoman and Poison Ivy draft her to fight - Captain Carrot?!
Okay, so in 1982, Superman was investigating some harmful rays coming out of Pluto and wound up smashing into an alternate dimension where everyone was an anthropomorphic animal living in a punilliy named city like "Follywood, Califurnia." While there, he teamed up with a bunch of animal-people who had just gotten superpowers, and by the time he left to come back to our universe he had inspired them to form their own superhero team, the Zoo Crew, led by an anthropomorphic rabbit named Captain Carrot.
And now that rabbit is apparently fighting Harley Quinn, the Joker's girlfriend.
Captain Carrot notwithstanding, these six titles include the more hotly anticipated character returns of Convergence, but are by no means the only ones hitting this week. Convergence Speed Force #1 promises the return of Wally West to the costume of the Flash, as well as numerous other members of the Flash Family. Convergence Titans #1 will feature classically beloved versions of Starfire, and former Green Arrow and Wonder Woman sidekicks Roy Harper and Donna Troy, all characters who had controversial re-introductions in the New 52. Convergence Justice League will be the first post-New 52 appearances of heroines Jade and Jesse Quick, and Damien Wayne will return in Convergence Batman & Robin #1, in something of a prelude to his upcoming resurrection and return in his own starring title.