There are times when it makes you wonder if people were throwing darts at names on a wall when it comes to the “Convergence” tie-ins. Take, for example, “Convergence: World’s Finest Comics” #1. The old Seven Soldiers of Victory team up with Scribbly Jibbet — comic creator Sheldon Mayer’s semi-autobiographical character — to eventually fight evil sounds about as strange as you can get. Sadly, though, Paul Levitz, Jim Fern, Joe Rubenstein and Shannon Wheeler take this concept and play it straight.
If “Convergence: World’s Finest” #1 had focused more on what it’s like to be a cartoonist in a superhero world, or even what it was like during a year of being trapped under the dome, I think this comic could have worked. (Think the “Convergence” version of “Marvels” for lack of a better analogy.) Instead, though, Levitz’s story plays lip service to Scribbly’s profession; after a few introductory pages that feel like they’re going down that path, it ends up being much more average and blends in with all of the other “Convergence” comics. There’s nothing new or different here; instead, it’s just a litany of woes. By way of example, the hero Stripsey dies of pneumonia while they’re trapped under the dome — but rather than focus on that and explain what it’s like to go through such an event, it’s relegated to a single panel on a nine-panel grid page. Similarly, the main character teamed up with Scribbly is Sir Justin but, aside from remarking on how the dome has aged the character into an old man, there’s not much done with him. It could have just as easily been any other character; this is very generic writing.
Fern and Rubenstein’s art is competent but nothing noteworthy. Some instances seem look good, like when Scribbly and Justin first enter the dome but, in other instances, Scribbly’s face just looks a little off and not quite normal. The frustrating thing is that, in a few panels, we get to see Scribbly’s art as drawn by Shannon Wheeler, but they’re very few and far between. Maybe the second issue will use Wheeler a bit more but, once again, this feels like a huge opportunity lost somewhere between concept and execution. Wheeler’s a talented cartoonist and we barely get half a dozen panels of his work here.
Finally, there’s a strange disconnect between “Convergence: World’s Finest Comics” #1 and how the other books show us the sequence of events where the domes come down. Here, Telos actually scoops up Sir Justin and Scribbly in his massive hands and places them elsewhere. This feels like a slight glitch, which someone in editorial should have caught because of the huge difference in how this plays out. In the end, the idea behind “Convergence: World’s Finest Comics” #1 and the execution is sorely lacking. Maybe the conclusion will play more into the idea behind the comic but, for the moment, this is a big disappointment.