In Review: Convergence New Teen Titans #1

An excellent return to this team's past with all the drama and action one can remember.

The covers: The Main cover highlights the Titans’ lineup that I enjoyed the most: Starfire, Nightwing, Wonder Girl, Changeling, Cyborg, Kole, and Jericho. Granted, the last two weren’t around for too long, but I like seeing them in this picture by Nicola Scott with Annette Kwok. Just looking at the joy on the characters’ faces as they fly forward to meet danger gets me feeling nostalgic. The pose on each is great and the coloring is so bright and upbeat it takes me back to my high school days instantly. Wonder Girl, as illustrated by George Perez, is being consumed by yellow on the Convergence cover Variant, designed by Chip Kidd. I love Perez’s art and I’m liking these variants, so this was the one I purchased. Overall grades: Both A

The story: Under the dome for a year in Gotham City, Wonder Girl dictates a journal entry to her husband Terry, whom she’s been separated from. She states, “…the Titans don’t get together as much as we used to.” She goes on to say that the rest of the team members seem to have paired up and she’s the only one that’s alone. The sense of regret in her voice is strong, and writer Marv Wolfman, who co-created the team, expertly tells a tale of a group that’s falling apart as they try to keep their city together. Dick and Kory, recently married, are having issues because of the rage Starfire is inflicting on criminals; Nightwing believes she’s eventually going to kill someone. Elsewhere, the Doom Patrol from the Tangent Comics line is trying to pierce their own dome covering Central City. It’s at this point that Telos makes his announcement and everyone powers up. Big thumbs up to Wolfman for not letting this go on for too long. The two groups fight, that’s the end result of the Convergence comics, but it’s the drama between the characters that make this a good read. Donna pines for her spouse, Dick worries about Kory, Cyborg is dying, and Kole is frustrated that Jericho isn’t making any moves on her. These are several conflicts, and this is one reason why Wolfman is so beloved as a Titans’ scribe–he’s able to juggle all this dysfunction and have a story, the characters uniting for battle, introducing story from the antagonists’ point of view, and making it all work. I liked seeing this Doom Patrol and thought that their tussle with the Titans was fun. I really appreciated why the battle was stopped and the actions of one character on the final page. It was unexpected and added a good depth to the individual. This was an enjoyable read. Overall grade: A

The art: Nicola Scott, penciller, and Marc Deering, inker, do a good job on this issue. The opening splash focusing on Donna making her newest journal entry has her drawn excellently and the setting behind her is futuristic, but believable. Even the insertion of photographs, which I’m really disliking in comics, was done well. The pair do a really good job on faces in close-up (Gar on 6, Dick on 7, Donna and Kole on 9, etc.) and the layout of the book is also good, milking every ounce of emotion out of their situation, which couldn’t be made plainer on 9. The battle scene is good and it started off well with a traditional team shot of all the members being perfectly spaced from each other as they rush to take on their opponents. Doomsday was the real stand out for the Doom Patrol, as Scott and Deering make him look like he’s seething with anger whenever he shows his teeth. I also like how their art was strong enough to convey thoughts without words, as shown by Kory on Page 17–Wow! The conversation between Donna and Dick was the best visual moment for me. This is not exactly what comics are known for, two characters having a conversation, but even if the words weren’t present on the page Scott and Deering get the emotion across splendidly. The top of Page 22 was a great way to show how the team is splitting further, and the last two panels on the same page were great mirror images. The art is looking good. Overall grade: A

The colors: The characters’ costumes and the eerie green used for the skies of this unknown alien world make this book bright. Jeromy Cox does a good job making everything bold in this book, but he also knows when to go soft, as with the backgrounds on the first page. He’s also adept at putting tone onto skin to give it a realistic appearance. This is most apparent with Starfire, whose costume shows the most cleavage. There’s also a good amount of subtle shading, as with Kole and Donna’s page. Kole’s dress has some really nice blue work throughout. I also like how Cox gave the last two dialogue balloons their own color to set the text off as being very different from dialogue. These two balloons are also much brighter than anything else in their respective panels, making readers focus on them. Overall grade: A

The letters: Scene settings, dialogue, opening title and credits, sounds, Telos talk, and the final two texts on the final page are all courtesy of Carlos M. Mangual. I really like the opening title of this book: it’s a simple idea but it works very nicely for occurs in this issue. I’m not liking the dialogue balloons that are spiked to make the utterances by characters bigger (12) or balloons that have yells/screams that go beyond their borders and are surrounded by a colored border to make them stronger. I want loud articulations to be large, and I don’t care if it covers part of the art. The sound could always be made transparent so the visual underneath the balloon can be seen. By having small yells given balloons this small to contain them weakens their strength and I’d rather there be no sound at all in that panel. If the scream is big, the letters should follow. Overall grade: B

The final line: An excellent return to this team’s past with all the drama and action one can remember. 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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