In Review: Convergence Superboy and the Legion of Super-Heroes #2

If I were DC, I would be embarrassed by this being published.

The covers: Against the backdrop of Metropolis of the 30th century, the Legion and Superboy look down at the Atomic Knights who’ve arrived on their giant Dalmatians. Are the dogs slobbering or emitting mist? The Knights’ armor looks non-functional and the legionnaires look too posed. This image by Pia Guerra is not working. The Variant cover is designed by Chip Kidd, featuring art by one of my favorite artists and inkers, Ernie Colon and Larry Mahlstedt. It’s a close-up of Saturn Girl who’s looking relieved that the yellow blob of Convergence is leaving her life. I love both of these artists, so this was the cover I bought. Overall grades: Main D- and Variant A

The story: A two page flashback opens in the city of Durvale, just after the dome has fallen away. One Atomic Knight, Gardner, is not happy about “the voice”–Telos–demanding they battle a group of superheroes to see whose city will survive, but he’s willing to do what it takes to ensure survival for his people. Two of his men arrive with something from an abandoned CDC lab and he feels it will make a difference in the fight. He and his men mount their oversized Dalmatians (yes, you read that right–Dalmatians) and begin to ride to Metropolis. The scene then shifts to Smallville in Kansas, “A thousand years ago, give or take.” Preteen Clark is watching his father kill a chicken. The animal is in a lot of pain and it’s the easiest way to put it out of it’s misery. His father says just before lowering the hatchet, “You might be super, Clark. But you’re still a boy. You don’t have to make these decisions yet.” He kills the bird. “Enjoy this time. Enjoy being a boy.” The scene then transitions to the present, Metropolis of the 30th century, where five Atomic Knights are in the street, with Gardner saying, “Surrender. Or as much as I hate to do it–I’ll destroy your shiny city.” Part Two of “Down in the Bunker” by Stuart Moore is painful to get through. The Atomic Knights are a known set of characters created in the 1960s and brought back by Cary Bates in the 1970s, but are they worthy Legion foes? I just couldn’t get into the groove. Perhaps if this were an older version of the team, set before the appearance of a surprise legionnaire, but this close to the Great Darkness saga, I’m not buying the Knights’ power. I was also surprised that the rest of the Knights were going along with Gardner’s CDC weapon. It seemed out of character for them. I did enjoy the banter between Brainy and Bryndon, but I wasn’t buying any of the romance between the two characters in the end. Overall grade: D+

The art: The new art team of Peter Gross doing layouts and Mark Farmer doing finishes is not helping things. I admit to thinking this book would be a thousand times better if the art were better. There’s nothing futuristic in this version of the Legion. From the first page it’s apparent that there will be issues with the illustrations. The first panel is a suggestion of a city, rather than one that is decimated that would set a better tone. The third panel is having body issues with Gardner, and he’s in silhouette. Things get worse in the fourth panel when Gardner’s face is three smudges for eyes and a nose, with a slit for a mouth. Look at how tiny Gardner’s arms are in the third panel when he puts his helmet on. What the heck is going on? The Superboy flashback works much better because the focus is on young Clark. It reminds me of Tim Sale’s work. However, Page 4 has this book crashing and burning. The city features nothing, save the Interlac on buildings, that state the future. And look at Superboy’s face in the first panel. This is painful. Every page has something groan worthy. Overall grade: D-

The colors: What’s John Rauch to do when this is the work he’s sent to color? He does his best, providing bright moments when he can in Metropolis, though the color scheme screams cliché 1980’s album covers. His best work is on the one page set in Smallville. That looks great. But the rest of the book is done through a grey filter, sucking any life this story had out of it. Overall grade: C-

The letters: Scene setting, dialogue, whispers, opening title and credits, yells, and sounds are generated by Pat Brosseau. All look good, but they’d be better if they were in a different book. Overall grade: B-

The final line: If I were DC, I would be embarrassed by this being published. A D-level team fighting the Legion with the worst art I think I’ve ever seen on this team. I would rather the Legion disappear for a year or two than have them appear in books like this. Overall grade: D+

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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