WonderCon 2015: DC’s Convergence comes into focus

April 05, 2015 | 6:00 a.m.

DC Comics’ Jeff King did double duty at Anaheim’s WonderCon. The writer of the comic company’s major crossover series “Convergence” also served as the moderator of the comic convention’s panel designed to hype the comics and hopefully answer a few questions about the upcoming special event.

It may not have completely succeeded in the latter, but with some of the interesting pairings and crowd-pleasing images, it certainly did OK with the former.

Convergence is a major cross-title event. (DC Comics)

“Convergence” is a major DC Comics event.  Above, the cover of the first issue. (DC Comics)

Like its rival Marvel’s Secret Wars event, the people speaking about the comic book super series could not reveal too much about what was about to go down. However, an all-star panel consisting of Len Wein, Scott Lobdell, Dan Jurgens, Marc Andreyko and colorist Peter Steigerwald did show images from the titles that they’d be working on, and all talked a bit about how their characters would fit into the “Convergence” universe.

First, King did go over a rudimentary explanation of “Convergence,” the premise being that there was really only one evil Brainiac, and that all of the others we’ve seen have been something like acolytes. Got that? Each of these acolytes have been watching over different versions of supposedly dying realities, or different versions of Metropolis. These include alternate popular storylines like “Kingdom Come” and “Superman: Red Son.”

But now, this ultimate version of Brainiac has gone missing, and the domes covering these different versions of reality — the ones keeping the heroes inside powerless — are all shattered, letting realities bleed into other realities.

“For years it’s been the realm of fan fiction. Superman from ‘Kingdom Come’ vs. the Crime Syndicate. Wonder Woman vs. Vampire Joker,” said Lobdell.

King talked about a double-page spread that will spotlight Superman’s death over and over again that is featured in “Convergence” #0.  Jurgens, for his part, mentioned that some might not know that there are three double-page spreads in the book, and they all actually form one image.

Also, Andreyko happily relayed that the comic “Red Hood and the Outlaws” will continue post-“Convergence.”

One of the cover images shown on screen — many of which had already been unveiled — was a meeting between Bruce Wayne’s Batman and Thomas Wayne’s Batman.  It was brought up that through 75 years of DC continuity, with different timelines and story lines throughout, the differing Batman origin stories have never collided.

There were plenty of “Convergence” quick hits. Booster Gold? There will be two of him, and Skeets is back. Shazam? He gets a moment to shine. Superman and Lois Lane? Lois is pregnant in the “Flashpoint” universe, and a conflicted Thomas Wayne might help with the birth. And the team of “Batman and Outsiders” will resurface. For those who read the book, this is a continuation.

Wein, a legend beloved for his work with Wolverine and Swamp Thing — a fact that earned the admiration of Lobdell — will return to Swamp Thing after years of being away. He announced that his creature of the green will battle Vampire Batman, but that it will be a tougher battle than many might think since Wein “spent most of his time during the story keeping Batman alive.” He also enjoyed the familiarity of the character.

“It was like coming home again. I would’ve thought I was going to evolve and come back to it with a different take on the character. But I did it and reverted back into old habits,” said Wein.

Lobdell, who is also taking on a “Convergence: Blue Beetle” title, let the audience know that it would not be the popular Jaime Reyes version of the Beetle that would be the subject of his book. He also stated that “Blue Beetle might be the closest thing DC has to Spider-Man in terms of being fun and wiry and not taking himself too seriously.”

There were lots of cool images and comparisons that once may have just been comic book shop speculation, but as with yesterday’s Batman panel, there were still lingering questions as to why such a shake-up was being done.

“This is like a love letter to the fans. You may have noticed Marc’s enthusiasm over his title, and we wanted that,” said King.

Lobdell added: “And you have to know that there’s not one false note in any of these books.”

— Jevon Phllips | @storiz@LATHeroComplex


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