“Convergence: Shazam!” #2 is the kind of comic that “Convergence” should have been all about. Jeff Parker, Evan “Doc” Shaner and Jordie Bellaire’s miniseries reveled in the fun of a bygone era, even while making sure that it appeals to a modern crowd. What more could you ask for?
“Convergence: Shazam!” #2 follows the Captain Marvel family as their lives intersect with that of “Gotham by Gaslight,” which is a smart mash up. Both worlds are a little old-fashioned (one figuratively, one literally), but neither one of them feels out of place in a modern comic. That’s in part because Parker focuses on two key elements: fun characters and fun situations. It doesn’t matter that the characters are squeaky clean or down-and-dirty, so long as they’re compelling and you want to cheer them on. Watching the Batman of “Gotham by Gaslight” tangle with Captain Marvel is surprisingly engaging — this Batman, like his modern day counterpart, has his wits about him — and Captain Marvel’s struggle to maintain his superpowered form when hit by lightning makes me wish that Parker was writing an ongoing “Shazam!” comic.
It doesn’t hurt that “Convergence: Shazam!” has two incredibly talented artists on board. Shaner’s art is super clean and crisp but, at the same time, he adds an almost Gary Gianni level of texture to the clouds and wisps of flame, a perfect match for the look of the “Gotham by Gaslight” world. Moments like the reveal of who’s inside the massive suit of armor work because Shaner is able to balance the hugely dangerous with the absurdly small, giving us a perfect sense of scale that ends up remarkably funny. Bellaire’s colors mesh perfectly with Shaner’s art, providing soft but solid hues that result in each panel having its own focused color palette that clicks together and works in harmony. From the grays and blues of the night sky to the reds and oranges of explosions over Fawcett City, everything looks dynamite.
“Convergence: Shazam!” #2 is unapologetically old-school, and it’s a winner from start to finish. Seriously, DC Comics should be hiring Parker and Shaner right now for an all-new “Shazam!” series. This was fun, it had a lot of energy and it captures the reader’s attention from start to finish. “Convergence: Shazam!” takes all the potential of the “Convergence” event and makes it work.