“Convergence: Infinity Inc.” #1 is an often pretty, occasionally perplexing issue that makes great use of the Dome but somewhat anticlimactic use of the conflict that comes after. Jerry Ordway and Ben Caldwell succeed in updating this team for 2015 (well, 1985), and both the artwork and atmosphere feel appropriately fresh for a young superhero team. The emotional layers are established swiftly and believably and, while the ending isn’t as exhilarating as it could be, the rest of the issue is strong enough to survive it. This is a fine return for “Infinity Inc.”
From the heavy-handed opening performance of “The Tempest” onward, Ordway does a great job establishing the status quo under the Dome. Some other “Convergence” titles have felt too much like a rehashing of that universe’s greatest hits, but Ordway lets the reader feel the tension and conflicts in the present. Rather than writing a story in which the Dome has caused problems, Ordway gives us one where the Dome has brought already existing problems closer to the surface. The young heroes in this issue aren’t necessarily that similar to their predecessors, but they at least read like natural progressions. For instance, it’s no surprise that Brainwave Jr. copes terribly, Star-Spangled Kid continues to crave recognition and Lyta has no trouble finding new work in law enforcement.
However, the battle with Atlanta (Hex timeline) escalates very rapidly. As with any issue, this is partly a matter of tradeoffs. Ordway spends more time on the emotional buildup, so he has fewer pages for the battle. Ultimately, I think it will have been the better choice, but there’s no denying that Infinity, Inc.’s ship gets taken out with shocking speed. I had to flip back to make sure I’d read correctly.
As far as artwork, Caldwell’s sharper, more angular characters mesh with Veronica Galdini’s colors to create a lovely, minimalist atmosphere. This book looks modern and light. However, Caldwell’s style is a marked departure from Ordway’s own, so readers who were hoping for a nostalgic call back to the Infinitors’ past incarnations might not love this new look. Even for fans of his aesthetic, Caldwell does make a few missteps; occasionally, faces get very out-of-whack, particularly Star Spangled Kid’s, and — if hair color weren’t there to differentiate them — some of the characters would have been quite difficult to tell apart. Still, it’s overall a stylish, sprightly book.
Galdini’s colors are vivid and lively. Her background work is particularly impressive, from the tense red of the living room to the ominous, futuristic blue of the dome. Caldwell’s simple linework leaves her plenty of room to establish the tone and feel of the book, and she takes on the task with aplomb. This world feels youthful and just a touch retro.
“Convergence: Infinity Inc.” is a well-executed book, but I’ll admit I’m curious about its audience. It doesn’t recreate a familiar look and feel, so it isn’t necessarily aimed at nostalgia readers and, while it establishes an appealing new look for the team, they aren’t likely to appear in an ongoing any time soon. Check it out if you’ve missed these characters, but be prepared for a few changes.