Everyone has had days when they don’t feel quite like themselves. Worse, everyone has had days when nobody else seems quite like themselves. It is like the world has fallen under an evil spell, or reality has taken a step to the left while you weren’t looking. The word “alienation” perfectly sums up such days. But the good part of such uncomfortable episodes is their end. When the spell breaks and the sense of strangeness lifts, it is as if the world suddenly snaps back into its proper place. And all those people who momentarily seemed so odd are revealed to be old friends after all.
Convergence #4 is the point in the story where things snap into place and we realize that we really do know and like these people. That impression largely comes from that most relatable of inhabitants of the DC multiverse, Dick Grayson. Here, in his conversations with Telos about the morality of Braniac’s experiments and the meaning of Telos’ actions, Grayson finally seems the character who has at various times been described as the heart of the Bat Family and the DCU. Not only does his impassioned denunciation of the arena seem natural and fitting, but his sympathy and warmth evoke a reaction from Telos, a confession that reveals Telos is a much deeper and more complicated character than we had believed.
Skartaris is a much less well-known element of the DC universe than Dick Grayson. At first glance, it seems rather strange to choose this reality, a 1970s sword-and-sorcery realm obviously modelled after the Pellucidar stories of Edgar Rice Burroughs, as one of the realities imprisoned on Telos, or in this case within Telos. Yet, in the end, this is a story about time. The essence of Braniac’s experiment is to rescue cities from doomed timelines. The actions of Telos consist of pitting these timelines against each other. Skartaris, a land of castles and magic and dinosaurs, encapsulates the idea of malleable time, or collectible eras set in juxtaposition.
The action of this episode centers on the plots of Deimos, the dark wizard who traditionally battles the Warlord for control of Skartaris. Deimos has manipulated the bulk of the Earth 2 survivors, here called the Justice Society for the first time, into helping his bid to seize control of the time masters imprisoned in Skartaris' central castle. The time masters and their powers represent a possibility of a solution, the promise of unraveling the complicated tapestry of imprisonment woven by Braniac. But first, the heroes will have to deal with the latest gambit of Deimos, the summoning of Braniac himself from the place where he has been lost. But for now, it is enough that we have met our old friends once again.