In Review: Convergence #3

Pass on this. It's average in practically every way.

The cover: Batman is under attack from several of his foes. As he slams them down, others take their place. He seems to be enjoying the fight, as a slight smile is on his lips. Decent image from Ivan Reis, Joe Prado, and Peter Steigerwald, but not a great one. It gets across the point that some of the Dark Knight’s villains will be appearing, and they do, but it’s a pretty crowded cover, and it’s difficult to make out every baddie because of the angle. The colors are really dark, too. This seems rushed. Overall grade: C

The story: Writer Jeff King picks up right where last week’s issue ended: Superman, Green Lantern, Flash, and Yolanda Montez have encountered Deimos who has escaped from Tellos’s prison. He claims to have the knowledge to stop the monster and free his new friends from this insane world. Before they can speak any further, more of drones attack the heroes, with one member of their group being specifically targeted to be removed so that he can no longer help them. This is the smartest move Tellos has made so far. And where is the “mad god”? He’s consulting all the downloads of the fights that he’s instigated. One world, however, refuses to fight, so he decides to see why they “just stand there and talk.” This was an okay installment, but I have no idea why this issue is titled “Time Bomb.” There is no bomb, though time comes in to play with the various characters from various Earths meeting and fighting. I did like the return of two characters to the group, but once reunited they meander to a new location and readers don’t get to see what they do there. This feels like it’s being drawn out. There is a cliffhanger, but I feel no tension because I just know that the hero in danger will easily escape this danger next week. Overall grade: C 

The art: Hot and cold visuals on this issue from penciller Stephen Segovia and inker Jason Paz. When characters are in close-up they look great. However, when drawn at an odd angle, their faces are overly inked, rendering them indistinguishable from anyone else. Case in point, the first page’s view of Deimos. Look at this face–it’s too darkly shaded and the angle makes it look as if he has buck teeth. There are also some really odd angles that create some unintentionally silly poses, such as Superman on Pages 4 and 5; his right hand and leg are ridiculous. The large panel on Page 10 contains too simple an image. It deserves a major redesign or the object should have been further from the reader, because all I’m thinking of is the Legion of Doom’s headquarters. The final page is cheating too much, with the hero being in silhouette and the villain being darkened too much. Now, there are also some good panels. Page 8 is pretty nice, with the reactions of citizens being well done. Page 15 has two really nice images of Deimos, with a particularly strong image of Brainiac. Dick Grayson at the top of Page 17 is really good, and Deimos is spectacular in the last panel on 18. The explosion on 25 is also better than average. There are things that look great and others not so much. Overall grade: C 

The colors: With the exception of one setting that appears toward the end of this issue, the locations are pretty drab: craggy dry ground, tunnels, a castle’s deep interiors, or no background–just empty sky. Because of this, the visuals depend on Aspen’s MLT’s John Starr with Peter Steigerwald to brighten things up. The pair do a good job using colors to remind readers that this book is set in an alien environment. The opening pages use bright greens to bring the sky to life, providing a good contrast to the dry ground and the bright colors of the characters’ costumes. A new location pops up on Page 8 and different shades of purple are used to for the sky to create an otherworldly feel. Deep green is used for Batman’s big fight scene and it’s a good choice. However, due to the darkened characters from Segovia and Paz, it’s impossible to brighten up some scenes, and nothing Starr and Steigerwald could do can fix it. Overall grade: B

The letters: Narration and dialogue (the same font), mechanical menaces’ voices, yells, and sounds come from Travis Lanham. I’m not a fan of characters’ yells exceeding their dialogue balloons, because it looks bizarre. An example of this is on 13’s third panel. What purpose does it serve to have the letters be so much bigger? Couldn’t the dialogue balloon have been enlarged? This is an odd choice, as is a yell on Page 3. The second panel’s speech looks too small. If it takes four exclamation points to show he’s yelling, couldn’t that have been accomplished by making the font bigger? Plus, it’s outlined with a circle to show it’s important. The size and overuse of exclamation points make it seem miniscule. Lanham has done so much better than this on other books. Overall grade: C+

The final line: Pass on this. It’s average in practically every way. Overall grade: C

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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