In Review: Convergence Superboy #1

More consistent art would have improved this book, but it's still very enjoyable.

The covers: Cocky Kon has his back to the reader, his thumb gesturing to his leather jacket emblazoned with a Superman S, but with the text “Don’t Mess With The” above it. Terrific cover by Babs Tarr, who’s responsible for the incredible artwork on the wildly popular Batgirl comic book. I love the look on Kon’s face and the coloring is also impressive, using the dome’s white surface slickly. Simple and perfect. The Variant cover is designed by Chip Kidd, with artwork by Tom Grummett and Doug Hazlewood, featuring a classic image of Superboy being enveloped in the destructive pink oblivion running across all Convergence Variant covers. I love these retro images being obliterated by pink, so I picked this up. Overall grades: Main A and Variant A+

The story: This is a terrific way to begin the book: Kon strapped to a table screaming in pain as something is being done to him. He looks as though he’s being tortured. What’s actually occurring I’ll leave for you to learn, but rest assured that writer Fabian Nicieza is doing super work on this super book. The action that’s being done to Superboy is under the watchful eyes of Dubbilex, but the Boy of Steel isn’t happy with what the horned man or Serling Roquette have to say. He’s feeling lost in Metropolis with the dome encompassing it. He walks the streets without purpose and arrives at the worst possible location, on Page 8, to be feeling this way. Niceiza gives readers a steady stream of emotional gut punches to the reader to make them know exactly how Kon feels, and I was down in the dumps with him. He encounters an elderly couple at this iconic setting and it’s like salt in a wound. Thankfully, Telos’s proclamation across the captured cities goes out and something occurs that’s absolutely triumphant on Pages 10 and 11. My heart leapt on these pages. The hero then goes across the city and encounters two foes, one of whom is a fairly recent addition to the DC Universe. This conflict isn’t as emotionally involving as the opening half was, but it’s still fun. The best is yet to come however, as someone appears on the final page to tease a major battle in the concluding issue. Overall grade: A

The art: Decent work by Karl Moline on pencils and Jose Marzan, Jr. on inks. The visuals are very similar to the look on Superboy’s book back in the 1990s. There’s a nice partial double-paged spread on Pages 2 and 3 that contains a setting very familiar to fans of this boy’s book. However, Kon’s face isn’t consistent. The top of Page 4 has the title character looking as I remember him, but two panels later he has an entirely different face that had me wondering if he was turning into the Hulk. This slight inconsistency returns on 19–Check out the bottom two panels: his face is really elastic in the first. Dubbilex looks sensational, just as I remember him. I love that character and Moline and Marzan do a great job with him. They also do a really good job with the settings, such as that iconic stop on Page 9. The angle they chose for that first panel was perfect, because it puts readers exactly in Kon’s position. The pair of villains that Superboy battles is mixed, because one is never seen clearly. I know that that is part of that character’s abilities, but a decent establishment shot was needed. The final page is too quick a transition for Kon, who goes completely 180 at this individual’s reveal. Again, decent work, but uneven at times. Overall grade: B

The colors: Excellent work by Hi-Fi throughout. It’s such a joy to read a superhero book that’s set in the daylight, and the colors exude warmth off the page and onto the reader. Hi-Fi manipulates readers into feeling the emotions of Kon by using a cool teal for the underground opening sequences. Only the bright colors on Superboy’s outfit suggest life. Once outside, the character distances himself even further by putting on dark clothes. A bright red outline and a yellow interior (on Page 10) highlight his realization that better things are about to occur, and the next two pages go bright with color to illustrate his emotional change. This is a textbook example of how colors can add incredible depth to a story. Overall grade: A+

The letters: Travis Lanham provides the opening story title and credits, scene setting, narration, Telos’s shout out, an emotional outburst, some sounds during the fight, and the teaser for next issue. Lanham does a super job on all. Overall grade: A

The final line: More consistent art would have improved this book, but it’s still very enjoyable. 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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