What is the purpose of ringing a bell in a soundproof room?  Why go to the trouble of crafting a two-month event that seems sealed away from the greater continuity of the DC Universe?  The effects of Convergence, or the lack thereof, have fueled discussion and speculation in comic shops and on internet sites for months.  DC seems finally to have settled on a model of waves rolling through space and time revealing their significance as they slowly manifest.  The newest arc of Justice League United quite explicitly deals with these reality ripples, while three new books debuting this month, Telos, Superman: Lois and Clark, and Titans Hunt, reveal further fallout from Convergence.

Telos #1 opens with a revelation so important, and made with such little fanfare, that it qualifies as burying a lede of cosmic significance.  Braniac, the villain in Convergence, or at least the force that sets the stage, has gone through many different incarnations since he was first introduced in 1958 as a bald, green-skinned alien scientist with a penchant for shrinking cities and storing them in bottles.  He has been an android, a supercomputer, a swarm of nanocytes, advanced neural software, a sentient computational network, and recently what appeared to be a skull-shaped spacecraft.  Early in the pages of the new comic Telos, Braniac’s former assistant on his archive world of stored cities, invades the skull ship and storms into its inner core, finding the essence of Braniac.

There, in the heart of this damaged craft once capable of traveling the multiverse he finds a bald, green-skinned alien scientist with a penchant for capturing cities.  Braniac is, and was all along, the original villain from the Silver Age, all his other incarnations merely proxies and outliers constructed as his knowledge has grown to god-like levels in his years, possibly subjective eons, of traveling space and time.  Or at least it had grown to such levels.  It seems that when he “re-aligned the infinite Earths timeline” during the Convergence, that is when he set in motion the events that led to the undoing of the Crisis on Infinite Earths, most of his knowledge and power was lost.

Why would that be the case?  Those of us who are not experts in the re-alignment of timelines just have to take his word for it.  Telos, for one, is not at all pleased.  He had agreed, long ago, to serve Braniac in return for his family and race being spared and re-located to a safe planet.  However, the supposed coordinates of that planet have proved false.  Braniac claims this was not a result of his intention to deceive, but of the faults introduced into his memory by the Convergence.  Luckily, as a good scientist, he has downloaded all his data to a backup on his homeworld of Colu.

But, this being comics, things can’t be that simple.  Braniac left an artificial intelligence behind to manage his information, an system descriptively named Computo.  Computo, in the tradition of the Coluan Computer Tyrants of the Silver Age, has seized control of the planet with the help of yet another old friend from that era, the armored villain Validus, who may or may not still be the Darkseid-corrupted offspring of Saturn Girl and Lightning Lad.  If Telos wants to find his people and his family, he merely has to overthrow Computo and recover Braniac’s memory files.

Grade

B

Conclusion

TELOS #1 is a perfectly acceptable sci-fi adventure comic. That isn't to say that it's a fine example of that genre. If there is nothing particularly wrong with it, there is nothing outstanding, either. Even the great revelations about Braniac seem curiously anticlimactic. Still, DC has always been clear that this is a twelve-issue maxi-series meant to explore themes and establish elements of continuity, rather than an indefinite ongoing. And, for that, it will probably suffice.