In Review: Convergence Adventures of Superman #1

One of the better Convergence stories that has me looking forward to the second part.

The covers: The Main cover is by Mikel Janin and it’s a preview of things to come. Both Kryptonians are flying against a beautiful violet sky with pink clouds. You’d think this would not be the most manly of covers, but it works tremendously. Both characters look strong and they look every bit the hero any reader would want them to be. I love the serious demeanor on both their faces and the bright colors look spectacular. This is just perfect. I’ve really become a cliché fanboy in trying to track down the Variant covers designed by Chipp Kidd. This cover features a tight close-up of Superman looking worried by one of his most famous art teams: Curt Swan and Al Williamson. Swan is the Superman artist I grew up with while in elementary school, so I had to get this cover with the Man of Steel looking shocked. Overall grades: Both A+

The story: Big thumbs up on this story from Marv Wolfman. Inside Wayne Tech in Gotham City, Lucius Fox is helping Superman and Supergirl power up their Phantom Zone projector. The hope is that the pair will regain their powers once inside and then be able to get back, out of the dome and help everyone else. I’ve only read about ten of these Convergence comics, but this is the smartest plan by any of the heroes to exit their dome prisons. Naturally it works, however the two Kryptonians know that if they encounter any of the criminals that were sent into the Phantom Zone, they, too, will have their powers. Unfortunately, once in the projector explodes. Making matters worse is Telos’s speech that worlds must fight worlds for survival. It’s at this point that Gotham City’s attackers are shown: apes with rifles from Kamandi’s time.  I am such a fan of that Jack Kirby book, if Wolfman had decided to ignore the two heroes and focus on the shooting simians I would have been ecstatic. However, the story rightly returns to the twosome exploring a way out. Along the way each shares what they think of the other and it made me feel so good. It’s so unexpected to read a comic that doesn’t focus on the doom and gloom of internal and external conflict, and has two characters stating what they admire in the other. Action does begin when the pair are attacked by the villains, but the highpoint comes on Pages 13 – 16. This is an incredibly strong moment for this individual and packs a real emotional wallop. I wish all comics could capture the spirit of this story. Overall grade: A+

The art: Nice art by Roberto Viacava on pencils and Andy Owens on inks. It looks just like a Superman book from the 1980s. The opening scene in Wayne Tech is nicely detailed in that “old” tech of the time. I especially like the helmet that Supergirl put on–that’s the tech from my golden age of comics. Pages 5 – 8 have fantastic flying sequences. This is how I want to see my superheroes fly about. I love how Viacava and Owens go back and forth between close-ups and distant shots of the characters as they speed along. Having them fly with their arms at their sides make the action seem magical. And I absolutely love that Kara flies with her one hand forward–that’s her pose. When the pair are attacked by the many villains banished to the Zone it’s really fun. It’s like there’s a never ending army of these ruffians trying to snuff out the super twosome. I was actually wincing as one of the heroes went down before the evil masses. Pages 13 and 14 are the highpoint for me because this covers all the history of one character that I’m very familiar with, and the latter page being the most devastating. I found myself lost in the character’s emotions on the next pages, which were a perfect match for the text. This is beautifully moving art. The final two pages are a double paged spread of the apes running amuck in the streets. Love the number of apes and the setting is superb. Viacava and Owens can take all of my money now. Overall grade: A

The colors: Sotocolor does some great work on this book, matching the coloring of comics from the time period this story originates from. The first page has the right mix of the dark colors in the background that instantly transported me to the 80s. There’s also a really slick use of lighting to create lens flares for the reader. This occurs primarily in the Phantom Zone with superb yellows. Those flying sequences explode with energy because of the colors. I also really liked the use of yellows for the volcanic steam emissions and how they faded the images, making the events seem distant and eerie. Overall grade: A 

The letters: Rob Leigh has crafted the scene settings, dialogue, opening credits, Telos’s announcement, sounds, narration, and an outstanding closing ape scream. I’m always a fan of letterers that have the narration differentiated from the dialogue, and Leigh smartly does this. That ending simian bellow is great. Overall grade: A

The final line: One of the better Convergence stories that has me looking forward to the second part. 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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