Writer Jeff King on DC Comics' 'Convergence': It's about family
As DC Comics’ massive Convergence event draws ever closer, details are slowly starting to come into focus. Now that we know what the event will look like—a line-wide two-month hiatus where all of DC’s series are replaced by 40 two-part stories tied together by a main nine-part miniseries—as well as what DC’s daring new plans following the event are, it’s time to talk a bit more about the event itself.
Convergence spins out of events from two of DC’s weekly series, The New 52: Future’s End, and Earth 2: World’s End—with a dash of Grant Morrison’s Multiversity thrown in for good measure. Billed as an epic time- and universe-spanning story, Convergence is what happens when the broken fragments of worlds and timelines past are brought together by the villain Braniac “in order to test the heroes, test their timelines, and determine their resilience,” says Convergence writer Jeff King.
“Without spoiling anything, my story begins with the survivors of Earth-2 coming out of World’s End,” says King, “ripped from their familiar surroundings and thrown into an environment that is completely alien, foreign, unexpected—and they’re faced immediately with a major challenge; not only from Brainiac but also the new villain of this piece, Telos.”
In the current DC multiverse, Earth-2 is a world not unlike the main DC Earth (designated Earth-0 following 2011’s New 52 reboot) but under constant assault by the cosmic villain Darkseid—who has managed to kill the Earth-2 versions of Batman, Superman, and Wonder Woman. But other characters that have died in the main timeline—like Batman’s father, Thomas Wayne—are still alive, and not only will they be brushing up against the mainstream DCU cast, but multiple versions of characters like Batman spanning the entire history of DC Comics.
“I’m going to have Thomas Wayne and Bruce Wayne to meet for the first time; generations of Batmen, fathers and sons,” says King, “but also in the [Convergence miniseries] around mine, are some of the most epic, cosmic stories that have ever been told in the DC Universe.”
It’s an idea that’s always been integral to the DC Universe, and one of the strongest differentiators between the publisher and its chief competitor, Marvel: legacy. DC heroes are more often than not about upholding a mantle that’s passed on from hero to hero—the Green Lantern Corps, the family of characters that form around Batman and Superman, all the people who have taken on the role of The Flash—the heroes of the DC Universe are bigger than the people who wear their masks. But they’re also part of a family, which is something that resonates strongly with King.
“I always look for family, somewhere,” says King. A” father-son story, a father-daughter story, relationships between parents and children. Every one of us on some level connect to those stories, because we are a parent or a child … ultimately, it’s a story of survival, and good triumphing over evil in the compassionate sense, rather than the jingoistic one.”
Then, there’s this sneak peek King offered from Convergence #0, a two page spread by artist Ethan Van Sciver depicting all the various deaths of Superman throughout DC history.
“The piece of artwork—it’s emblematic of the entire series,” says King. “It’s literally a history of the deaths of Superman. It ties into Superman: Doomed, it ties into Action Comics #35, so you can see that the seeds for Convergence were planted a long time ago.”
Once Convergence does get underway, King promises things are going to get crazy.
“In Convergence, you’re gonna see Harley Quinn up against Captain Carrot. You’re gonna see Wally West and the kids trying to reunite with Linda—and, oh, Fastback is with them. You’re gonna see two generations of Golden Age and contemporary Flashes, Supermen, Green Lanterns—when are you gonna see all of these characters together except Convergence?”Of course, no matter how wild Convergence sounds, its high-concept sounds an awful lot like what Marvel’s planning to do with Secret Wars—which is something King isn’t too worried about.
“Marvel is just having its first Crisis—the DC Universe is very experienced in them,”says King, laughing—a sly reference to DC’s seminal 1985 story Crisis on Infinite Earths. “And I say that with love and respect.”