The fourth week of “Convergence” tie-ins promised to bring us some crazy, off-beat, different settings and characters. Along those lines we have “Convergence: Crime Syndicate” #1, which pits the old Earth-3 Crime Syndicate against the JLA from “DC One Million.” This sort of matchup sounds like a lot of fun, but there’s a real lack of energy in this comic from Brian Buccellato, Phil Winslade and Lovern Kindzierski.
Unfortunately, the greatest problem with the book is that Winslade and Kindzierski’s visuals are not the right choice for this setup. I like both creators’ work elsewhere a great deal; Winslade draws a fine-lined character that’s extremely expressive, and Kindzierski’s colors always shift to match the artist he’s working with. What I don’t think Winslade draws well, though, is an action comic. His characters end up looking stiff and flat throughout the comic, so attempts to break into a facility to save a teammate feel like they’re moving in slow motion and hugely posed. The moment where the Crime Syndicate rushes forward at the Rogue Hunters with weapons blazing should have been dramatic and exciting; instead, it feels more like a series of action figures set up on the edge of someone’s desk. Kindzierski’s colors don’t help matters; while they match Winslade’s art, it’s a series of very subdued, dialed-down hues. This is a comic that could have used some brighter, flashier colors to try and make everything stand out; instead, Winslade’s art just slips further into the proverbial background.
Buccellato’s script has some nice ideas, like taking the evil Crime Syndicate and showing us how the dome’s depowering ability would have resulted in a very different Earth-3. Similarly, the “DC One Million” world being overrun by the 853rd century’s version of Lex Luthor once the powers went away is amusing, although it’s a little harder to believe. It does suffer a bit by falling into the same familiar “Convergence” structure (although the “Battleground” splash feels a little too on the nose and obvious even for “Convergence” tie-ins), and there’s not quite enough out of the ordinary to stand out. With a different artist, I think Buccellato’s script would have felt a little more exciting.
“Convergence: Crime Syndicate” #1 is ultimately frustrating, because it’s put together by three talented creators. In the end, though, it’s a reminder that not everyone is right for every project. I’d love to have a different comic with Winslade and Kindzierski collaborating, where the script is more suited to this look and style. In the end, though, this is just a mishmash of creators and genres that don’t fit together.