In Review: Convergence Blue Beetle #2

A terrific read for Charlton heroes and the characters of the 30th century.

The covers: The Main cover by Bret Blevins is outstanding with the Question, Blue Beetle, and Captain Atom standing atop the Bug with the Legionnaires’ images reflected in the building behind them. Beetle looks awesome, the coloring is fantastic and I like the coloring effect used on the smoke that’s spiraling up. An excellent job. The Variant cover is designed by Chip Kidd and features art by George Perez and Dick Giordano showing the Beetle with mouth wide open, probably happy that the darkness of the Convergence is leaving him and Hub City. Overall grades: Both A

The story: The first page of “Legion of Doom!” by Scott Lobdell brilliantly sums up what the premise of Telos’ decree is and that they don’t know if they can stop their adversaries, considering that there aren’t a lot of super-powers between the three of them. Flying above them are twenty-four Legionnaires. Unsurprisingly, the Legionnaires don’t want to rush into battle, instead they only want to defend Metropolis of the 30th century. Sadly, and unsurprisingly, Beetle says, “It’s officially on!” and electrifies the hull of the Bug so he can put the super powered kids off guard and he and his companions can hop inside his ship and make a quick getaway. The dialogue between the teens is great, having me wishing that Lobdell were writing a Legion of Super-Heroes title. He’s able to give each character a bit of personality and have them demonstrate their ability, which is quite a feat considering that they’re the “antagonists” of this book. The banter between Beetle, Captain Atom, and the Question is also very good. I particularly like how the heroes are able to come to a conclusion where there is a loser and a winner, fulfilling Telos’ demands for a battle. I was sorry to see this end because it was fun and had a good deal of action. I’d love to see Lobdell return to these characters. Overall grade: A 

The art: The art on this book is also very well done. Steve Ditko is the artist most associated with the Hub City heroes and I think of Chris Sprouse when I think of the Legionnaires. Yishan Li does an excellent line straddling both of those artists’ styles, yet creating her own look with these characters. When Beetle and the boys go into the Bug the Question’s entrance looks similar to Ditko’s posing, as does the Beetle when he saves someone on 8. The Legionnaires on Page 10 look like something Sprouse would have drawn with the characters’ poses and the exceptionally well detailed city. The two characters entering the Bug on Page 16 look ripped out of one of Sprouse’s issues. Li moves her point of view around a lot, which makes the environment of Hub City seem very real, especially when Captain Atom decides he’s going to take the teens on by himself. My favorite page is 20 with the heroes’ reactions to what’s just occurred. Li is able to give each character some great emotion without needing dialogue from Lobdell to communicate what they’re feeling. And looking at Blue Beetle’s smile is one of the most enjoyable visuals I’ve seen in any Convergence crossover. Really well done. Overall grade: A

The colors: Terrific work by Dave McCaig, with the green, sick sky a constant reminder that the characters are not on earth. The strong, simple colors of the Hub City characters and the brown and gray city were a slick contrast to the gaudy many colored costumes on the heroes from Metropolis of the 30th century. I like how the interior of the Bug was colored as blue as the Beetle’s costume, and how it provided a great background for others aboard the ship. The sounds are also strongly colored, with some even outlined in color to make them stand out against an already heavily colored panel, such as at the bottom of Page 17. I’d be happy with McCaig’s work on any book. Overall grade: A

The letters: Dialogue, narration, low muttered commentary, opening title and credits, sounds, screams, scene settings, and yells were provided by Saida Temofonte. She does a great job on this book, with Blue’s sarcastic comments being impossible not to hear correctly because of the way she’s written them. The sounds during Captain Atom’s battle with the Legionnaires are really top notch, with the little particles she places dancing around select noises being particularly slick. Overall grade: A+

The final line: A terrific read for Charlton heroes and the characters of the 30th century. This is one worth tracking down. 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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