“Convergence: Detective Comics” #1 was almost assured to be a good looking book, thanks to the artistic team of Denys Cowan, Bill Sienkiewicz, Chris Sotomayor and Felix Serrano. As predicted, it’s a handsome looking comic, but there’s also no denying that it’s Len Wein’s script — which breaks a bit from the typical “Convergence” tie-in formula — that also does its share of the heavy lifting.
Up until now, almost all of the “Convergence” tie-ins have focused on one specific hero or set of heroes from a world, setting them up to fight characters from another dome who are the villains solely by virtue of the fact that the two are pitted against one another. That’s why Wein’s story here is so refreshing. “Convergence: Detective Comics” #1 spends equal time with two different locations — the pre-“Crisis” Earth-2 with the adult Robin and Huntress, and the Superman who landed in Russia from “Superman: Red Son” — and neither side comes across as being the ones to cheer against. It’s a nice take on what could have easily been a familiar setup, which twists the story into something the “Convergence” tie-ins should be: namely, a plot where no one really “wins’ in most of these battles. Even when someone finally does snap and does something bad, the person in question might surprise you just a bit even as it fits in with everything we’ve learned up until now.
Even once you remove the setup, the looks into both worlds are engrossing. In the “Red Son” world, Superman and his political rival Pyotr struggle to keep the citizens of Moscow hopeful and alive, while in Earth-2’s Metropolis, Dick and Helena are most concerned about the legacy of Batman even as they struggle to find themselves truly worthy. Each plot gets just the right amount of space, and the back-and-forth nature keeps the story lively and from getting stale.
It doesn’t hurt to have such amazing art, though, as mentioned earlier. Cowan and Sienkiewicz work so well together; Cowan’s blocky pencils have such expressive faces, which are then further refined with Sienkiewicz’s sharp, squiggly inks. The end result is some amazing portraits — just look at the first page with Pyotr and Superman together and, for a split second, it feels like a series of photographs. Even if Wein’s script hadn’t been good, this book would be worth it for the art alone. The scenes in Moscow in particular stand out because it allows all of the artists to cut loose for the winter scenes. The snow falling down, the heavy coats and hats and the gorgeous blue-white colors make the pages feel genuinely cold; it’s all firing perfectly here.
“Convergence: Detective Comics” #1 is the sort of tie-in that I wish we’d had more of so far. All the creators have clearly taken the time afforded to them to create a beautiful, thoughtful comic that avoids some of the easy traps in favor of something worth revisiting. For a comic that could have easily been creators pinch-hitting, all the individuals here clearly brought their A-game.