In Review: Convergence Supergirl: Matrix #1

This completely caught me by surprise. It's funny, beautiful, and upbeat.

The covers: Howard Porter and Hi-Fi, the dynamic visual team of Justice League 3000 provide the imagery for the Main cover. It features the bearded, younger Lex Luthor showing off some piece of tech he’s created for Supergirl look-alike, Matrix, who hovers just behind him. I love how Porter was able to create a clear picture of both characters, and their environment which is covered in technology. Hi-Fi expertly colors this image with fantastic brights for the emanations coming out of the technology and the computer screens surrounding them. An excellent cover. The Variant cover is designed by Chip Kidd and features art by June Brigman and Jackson Guice. I get such a wonderful feeling of nostalgia seeing the old fashioned color dots used in art. I had to get the Variant. Overall grades: Both A+

The story: I was going to give this book a try regardless of who was writing it and was floored to see it penned by favorite writer/artist Keith Giffen. I knew from the splash page’s text that this was going to be full of strong humor from the never subtle Giffen. “Who the Hell is Lord Volt?!” begins on “The planet Telos. Somwhere to the left of reality. Metropolis.” Under the dome of this famous city, life goes on, but for Lex Luthor it drags on. An attractive blonde woman sits by him to make conversation and he’s very smarmy and dismissive of her. She is Matrix, a protoplasmic mix he created that has become sentient and models itself off the likeness of Supergirl. His Debbie Downer attitude leaves once Telos’s all-call to every domed city goes out. She picks him up and they go to his lab. He gives her a device to help her track down the technology that brought their city to the planet. This produces a great exchange with Matrix saying, “Then you do care.” “What?” he responds. “About rescuing Metropolis from whatever–” she says, but is interrupted by his comment, “Metropolis!? Who said anything about Metropolis!?” Ah, same old Lex. As she makes her way across the city she encounters Lady Quark and Lord Volt, who are there to fight for the survival of their city against the champion of Metropolis. Naturally they see Matrix, but the pair can’t stop arguing long enough to go after her. This is the highlight of the book. The bickering between the two is painfully funny and will teach young readers to really consider whom they marry. The highlight of the book is the appearance of a classic 1980’s DC character on the last page. Having this character written by Giffen is like food from the gods. Take my money, Mr. Giffen. Take it all now. Overall grade: A+

The art: The visuals on this book are extraordinary. Timothy Green II contributes the pencils and Joseph Silver the inks, and if DC is wise they’ll set them up any book they want. Their details on their settings are spectacular. Take a look at the city behind the characters–it’s perfect. Their precision in creating this metropolis (capitalize that if you want, it works uncapitalized) is amazing. Look at Pages 2, 8, 10 – 22. The two pages in Lex’s lab also look great. A swirling mess of wires and machines that look like something out of a modern mad scientist’s space. Any publisher would kill to have artists that can produce settings like this. And their characters are also terrific. I love the hair on the characters; it’s always swirling about. Matrix’s swirls about her like the best of any Anime, on Lord Volt it makes him look like an untamed lion, Lex looks like a stylized demon with it forming horns above his forehead. It’s like art nouveau–absolutely beautiful. I also love how they make the characters emote. Matrix looks like a little lost lamb until she realizes it’s time to fight, and then she leaps in confidently. The anger steaming out of Quark and Volt is hilariously strong. I’ve passed couples on the streets that looked like this as their arguments were publicly aired. And that final page–Wow! It’s like Christmas come early. Green and Silver are the new dynamic duo. Overall grade: A+

The colors: Hi-Fi makes this book gloriously bright. Nothing is hidden in the shadows in this book, everything is on glorious display, and it’s beautiful. I love the lime green border around the opening splash page that highlights the yellows and reds in the characters. The opening pages in the park are perfection in greens, reds, and yellows. I love the blending throughout on characters’ faces, and the use of white to highlight their perfectly reflected skin. The background sky is a dream in powder blue, which serves as the perfect backdrop for the feuding super couple. A job like this shows why Hi-Fi is the gold standard company for comic book coloring. Overall grade: A+

The letters: This is the first time I think I’ve encountered Corey Breen’s work, and like Green and Silver, he’s a talent to watch. Look at the wide range of fonts and sizes he’s using on the opening splash page: dramatic, comedic, and classic. After this page he provides scene setting, dialogue, Telos’s speak, sounds, and next issue’s tease. His sounds are great, again using a variety of fonts and sizes, and also going transparent so they don’t interfere with the book’s visuals. Breen is awesome. Overall grade: A+ 

The final line: This completely caught me by surprise. It’s funny, beautiful, and upbeat. When does a comic ever go there, and does so successfully? Highest possible recommendation. 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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