“Convergence: Superman: Man of Steel” #1 is a great example of how to line up a creative team from an older series for its brief resurgence, even if not all of the original members are available. Co-creator Louise Simonson is back to write this two-part story starring Steel and, while Jon Bogdanove isn’t on board as well, it feels like DC Comics found the next best thing. Namely, her “Power Pack” co-creator June Brigman provides the pencils, and her “X-Factor” artist and husband Walter Simonson draws the cover. With all of these creators working together again, it’s a nice trip down memory lane.
Simonson takes full advantage of “Convergence: Superman: Man of Steel” #1 to dredge up some characters we haven’t seen in a while. Set in pre-“Zero Hour” Metropolis, it’s a nice surprise to see old “Superman” supporting characters like Professor Hamilton and Bibbo pop in alongside characters such as Natasha and Jemahl, who are expected in a book starring Steel. The end result is some little oddities, like injecting a cat with particles from the dome (“At least the transfusion didn’t kill her” is one of the most blase responses I’ve read in a while to something that could have turned out awful) or watching Natasha and Jem help Bibbo out minutes before all hell breaks loose when the dome comes down.
Having the “Gen 13” kids be the foes to appear in “Convergence: Superman: Man of Steel” is an interesting tactic on Simonson’s part; with Natasha and Jem being around the same age, it’s a match-up that has some of them on the same page a bit more than if a character like Deathblow had wandered in. The appearance of a third party unfortunately keeps things from progressing too much but, at the same time, it also provides a proper mutual threat that could very well keep the two sides collaborating instead of perpetually clocking one another. If so, that would be a pleasant switch in the world of “Convergence.”
Brigman and Roy Richardson do a pretty good job of staying in the same wheelhouse as Bogdanove and Dennis Janke. The art still has that overall blocky style, but Brigman and Richardson keep it from getting too exaggerated. Bogdanove’s run on “Superman: The Man of Steel” sometimes looked a little distended in spots, and Brigman and Richardson rein that aspect of the art in. It’s nice to also see this style work for the “Gen 13” kids; while it didn’t hurt that Gary Frank had a long run on that title, it’s nice to see such a clean style mesh with these particular characters. John Rauch is definitely taking a tip from the pre-“Zero Hour” time period and keeps the colors from going too crazy; they’re attractive and have gradients, but he keeps the effects to a minimum. The end result is a book that visually feels like it could have been published right as “Zero Hour” kicked off in the ’90s.
“Convergence: Superman: Man of Steel” #1 is a pleasant first issue, in no small part because of how Simonson and Brigman bring back good memories of these characters. At the same time, there’s also no doubting that the book needs to pick up the pace just a tad bit more. Hopefully, the conclusion next month will wrap things up at a good clip; in the end, it’s not bad, but it could also be a little less nostalgic and a little more exciting. It’s a good start and, now that the setup is over, I want things to kick into high gear. Hopefully, that’s what’s just around the corner.