writer: Jeff King / artist: Stephen Segovia / DC Comics
While I can’t say I liked Convergence #4, I can’t say I disliked it either. It just sort of exists, with the plot catching my attention a few sentences at a time, only to lose it with its frenetic scene changes and splash pages. Given the series’ rough start though, Convergence #4 is a step in the right direction by comparison. As the event reaches its halfway point, this one has a faster pace than issues prior.
The story is focused on Telos, a being created by Brianiac who is new to the whole self-realization thing and still follows his creator unwaveringly. He has a conversation with Grayson that is the anchor for this issue, debating the means and goals of what is doing, and essentially serves as a tool to catch up readers who likely slept through the first few Convergence titles. The crux of his message – in short, “only the strong survive” – feels undermined by him using his powers to fix Grayson’s shattered spine, but maybe that’s meant to display his own progress towards becoming a sentient being. It’s a beautiful spring day and I want to enjoy this comic, so yeah, let’s offer that benefit of the doubt. That way, Grayson and Telos’ narration of the book’s events can continue to be my favorite part of an otherwise non-compelling story arc.
Among the guidelines for impactful storytelling, there’s one that always stuck with over the years specifically regarding sequential art: splash pages look great, but sequential art matters more. How many splash pages does it take for a comic to admit it doesn’t have a strong story to offer? In the case of Convergence #4, the answer is “a lot.” About a third of the comic is elaborate layouts that are pretty fancy, but only serve to pad a story that is still rather hollow.
Bottom line: Convergence #4 is the comic book equivalent of watching a bad sports team play a decent game. You’re a little happy that it’s better than your expectations, but all things considered you’re still watching the Milwaukee Bucks. This series has been a pretty weak summer event for DC, but the individual titles are faring a whole lot better so consider checking out a few of those reviews and following your favorite characters there instead. This one might not be worth your money.