Convergence #3. Jeff King- Writer, Stephen Segovia- Pencils, Jason Paz- Inks, Aspen MLT’S John Starr with Peter Steigerwald- Colors.
It would be very easy to dismiss this issue because of all the references to DC Universe history. However, the creative team does a great job in making the story understandable and engaging on a personal level using the familiar “ Batman and Robin” dynamic in the form of Earth 2’s Thomas Wayne and Dick Grayson. Moreover, the focus on the New 52 Earth 2 characters reminds us that this story is firmly rooted in the current iteration of the DC Universe despite the nostalgia that is driving the 2-issue mini-series that are part of the Convergence event. And this issue also features the first major death which echoes the sacrifices of Supergirl and the Flash in Crisis on Infinite Earths.
Picking up from last issue, Flash, GL, Yolanda Montez and Superman protect Deimos from further attack as he promises entrance to the power that Telos (misspelled once in the book as Tellos) fears. It should be no surprise that Deimos leads them to Skartaris. However, Deimos insinuates that Travis Morgan, the Warlord is the villain. Meanwhile, the recently returned Batman and Dick Grayson have remained behind to cover their friends’ backs from a threat that has followed them from Gotham City. The newest Dynamic Duo have to face a contingent of pre-Flashpoint Gotham rogues- Dr. Hurt, the Flamingo, Zsasz, Professor Pyg, and the Joker.
This encounter ends with…the first meaningful death in Convergence. While this is occurring, Telos is having a struggle of his own- uncooperative cities. In this case, it is the pre-Crisis Kandor, the first city collected by Brainiac. The Kandorians won’t fight, despite the fact that they are assured a victory in their pairing. Telos strikes and kills Nightwing of Kandor, and Dan DiDio finally gets to kill Nightwing. It comes as no surprise then that the Earth 2 Dick Grayson, also known as Nightwing in some timelines, is about to be dispatched by Telos on the final page.
The relationship between Thomas and Dick is the real emotional draw in this issue. While They are not a conventional Batman and Robin, the reader’s knowledge of this iconic relationship is utilized by Jeff King to help the reader through the Multiversal references that may be unfamiliar to the newer reader. Utilizing the New 52 Earth 2 characters really set this series apart from the traditional event. The whole event is driven by characters that are not part of the main DC Earth continuity.
As a fan of the Multiverse it is difficult to find fault in this issue. Even the cameos of Per Degaton and Monarch are welcome. This may be an issue for the newer reader, but within the context of the story and the exposition these appearances are readily understandable. It also suggests the other timelines involved- pre-Crisis Earth-Two and Zero Hour.
The continued focus on character makes this story enjoyable and accessible to all readers. The meaningful death is in line with the character development in the issue. King is building towards something, and it is enjoyable. The nostalgic components are a bonus.