In Review: Convergence Superboy #2

This is one of the best Convergence crossovers.

The covers: Wow! What an incredible cover by Babs Tarr, with an elder Superman holding the throat of Superboy from behind. The young hero struggles under the vice-like grip, as the senior looks as though his hate is increasing his hold. Great emotion and energy with sensational coloring. I love this! The artwork to this Variant is by Tom Grummett and Doug Hazlewood, designed by Joe Kidd. It’s a terrific picture of the Boy of Steel undergoing something unpleasant. I love that it looks as though Ben-Day dots were used for the colors. Overall grades: Both A+

The story: Last issue was a good cliffhanger, as Superboy encounters an older Superman from another earth, and readers knew it was going to result in a rumble this issue. Writer Fabian Nicieza gleefully gives readers a sweet one page delay of elsewheres, showing Dubbilex in Cadmus Labs watching the Flash and the Red Hood help out people while Kon-el does battle with this “new” Superman. The second part of “The Hero’s Return” goes monumental with the double-paged spread of Pages 2 and 3, with Superboy being smacked by jet that the Man of Steel uses like a baseball bat. The grey haired older hero tells the youngster, “The only path to our mutual survival is by working together! If you accept defeat now, we can work to understand what is happening.” That’s enough to convince Superboy to use his tactile telekinesis to pick up another plane and throw it at the senior. The two heroes go all around the city, destroying a good portion of Metropolis until one person’s accidental involvement stops the fighting, with possibly tragic results. This was a masterstroke to end this fight, which could have gone on until the entire city was razed, but Nicieza finds a hero’s Achilles’ heel, and then twists the story in another direction. I should have been left feeling absolutely distraught by the ending, but I felt triumphant with the last bit of dialogue. This is how heroes should be written. Overall grade: A+ 

The art: Penciller Karl Moline and inker Jose Marzan, Jr. do an outstanding job capturing the feel of Superboy’s look when it was an ongoing title, yet they put enough of their own original spin on the art to make it their own. For example, the magnificent double-paged spread of 2 and 3 has Superboy posed as if he’s in a “lost” issue of his own book from back in the day. However, Moline and Marzan have an angular quality to their work, as shown in Superboy’s hair and jacket, that makes it unique. This is repeated in the faces of the two characters at the bottom of Page 4: the poses are familiar, but the look is new. This is the perfect look for this book. Outstanding panels included the bottom of 7, the first and third on 8, the first panel on 12, all of 16 (I really like the wide-eyed look on one character on that page), all of 18, the bottom of 20, and the top of 22. This art matches the power and vulnerability of the story splendidly. My hat is off to both of these gentlemen. Overall grade: A+ 

The colors: Hi-Fi is the gold standard in comic book coloring, and this books shows why. The first page employs teals to create a subterranean environment for Cadmus, which is lit by faded computer screens of yellow and red. This lures the reader into thinking that this will be a passive book, but the next two pages explode in bright blue, red, and a dirty green for the background. The title of the story is nicely transparent in yellow, outlined in red, to allow readers to see the detail in Moline and Marzan’s work. The red and blue of both superpeople’s costumes is a magnet for the eyes, and even from a distance holds power over every aspect of this book. My favorite bit of coloring is at the bottom of Page 18, which makes the art gorgeously real. Again, a superior job from Hi-Fi. Overall grade: A+

The letters: Scene setting, narration and dialogue (the same font), opening title and credits, sounds, yells, a whisper, and the closing word are crafted by Travis Lanham. This book explodes with power because of his addition of sounds, and I loved every MMOOFF! and TIKT. Overall grade: A+

The final line: This is one of the best Convergence crossovers. It succeeds in capturing the spirit of the original book and moves it successfully into the twenty-first century. 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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