Convergence Crime Syndicate #1

A super Convergence read that just needed to be brighter.

The covers: On the Main cover Superwoman is tied to the electric chair as Owlman, Ultraman, Johnny Quick, and Power Ring look on horrified at their companion’s fate. This is good image by Phil Winslade and Brian Buccellato. I like the older look of these characters and having them above a classic metropolis makes this new image look appropriately dated. On the Variant cover, Superwoman looks on in wide wonder as the black cloud of the Convergence swarms upon her. The design of this cover goes to Chip Kidd, though the art is by Gardner Fox & Mike Sekowsky. I really like the older art on these variants, so this was the cover I purchased. Overall grades: Both A+

The story: Brian Buccellato’s story begins with Superwoman giving a quick history of her group and how the dropping of the dome has rendered them all powerless. Sadly, it happened just as she killed a man and today is the day she is being sent to the electric chair. She regrets killing a man and the choices she’s made, wishing she could have been more like the heroes of the Justice League they battled. What she doesn’t know is that her four friends have sneaked onto the island prison, hoping to stop her death, especially Owlman who is in love with her. Meanwhile, in the Metropolis of the 853rd century, the Justice Legion Alpha (comprised of Batman, Wonder Woman, Atom, Flash, Aquaman, Superman, and Batman) wonder if they’ll be able to survive the onslaught of Lincoln Luther and his men, since they’re also powerless. This was my first encounter with the Justice Legion and I liked them; I like their looks and I like their personalities. It was also entertaining to see the Syndicate stopped by a certain group as they tried to save Superwoman. The battle that plays out is good and the final scenes that lead up to both groups fighting was fun. The second half looks to be something to look forward to. Overall grade: A 

The art: Incredibly slick artwork from Phil Winslade. His style brings a classy look to this book, placing it in the past with the Syndicate and in the far future with the Justice Legion. He does some really great work with the settings, such as the double-paged splash panel on Pages 2 and 3 showing Superwoman in jail scribbling down the book’s opening narration. And the wire/bar work on Page 4 is very impressive. It’s a perspective nightmare, but he pulls it off handsomely, grounding the book more solidly in reality. When the story turns to the future city of Metropolis, the second panel on Page 5 is spectacular. Pages 12 and 13 employ a lot of pipes for the background and Winslade puts so many into each panel, it’s impossible not to believe they’re not in a real setting. His characters are just as magnificent, with the stylized looks of the Syndicate fantastic, and the big hair on Superwoman being a treat. I also like the emotion he puts into the characters, such as Owlman, who makes his own choices. Winslade does a terrific job on this book. Overall grade: A+

The colors: This is the only failing of this book: the colors are too pale. I don’t know if this was done by Lovern Kindzierski to give a more dated look to the Crime Syndicate’s story, but all it does is make the book look washed out. Stronger colors would have made this book more intense. Also, if the colors were faded to make it dated, wouldn’t have brightening things up with the Justice Legion been done to show the brightness of the future? This is just too dull, and it hurt the illustrations. Overall grade: B-

The letters: Superwoman’s diary entries, scene settings, dialogue, sounds, Telos’s now-familiar speech, and next issue’s tease are by Rob Leigh. All look fine, but I have to take umbrage with the diary entries: they’re in print, but, based on her time period, Superwoman would be writing in cursive. Trust me, I’m an English teacher, and the loss of cursive has only been in the last ten years. It’s a nit, I know, but that piece of her penmanship took me out of the story momentarily. Overall grade: A-

The final line: A super Convergence read that just needed to be brighter. Recommended. Overall grade: A-

Patrick Hayes was a contributor to the Comic Buyer’s Guide for several years with “It’s Bound to Happen!” and he’s reviewed comics for TrekWeb and TrekCore. He’s taught 8th graders English for 20 years and has taught high school English for five years and counting. He reads everything as often as he can, when not grading papers or looking up Star Trek, Star Wars, or Indiana Jones items online.

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