The mashup contained within “Convergence: Justice League of America” #1 seems like something that would be created solely on a dare, for it’s hard to imagine that there was a significant demand for it. In this corner, there is the oft-loathed and so-called “Justice League Detroit,” while the all-but-forgotten Tangent Comics incarnation of The Secret Six stand across the ring in the battle of the quarter box comics. It’s a challenge that writer Fabian Nicieza seems up to facing, though, while artist ChrisCross makes all of these unmemorable characters look more worthy; even the breakdancing hero Vibe, replete with his Miami Vice sunglasses and parachute pants, now carries a certain kind of retro chic.
Speaking of retro, ChrisCross takes a rather bold approach on the splash page and makes readers think for a moment that a smooching Ralph and Sue Dibny are actually starring in a classic romance comic. The artists’ take on this part of the story is kind of refreshing; the innocent and lovey-dovey interaction between the couple is the kind that normally isn’t seen in superhero comics, certainly not in event-driven stories like “Convergence.” ChrisCross has a knack for making this kind of quiet time seem sincere and natural. Colorist Snakebite gets to stretch his palette later on with plenty of vibrancy when the Secret Six finally make their appearance.
Nicieza takes a different approach as well in respect to the other tie-in issues, and it’s a welcome change in this third week of “Convergence” as the gimmick may already be wearing thin. Telos’ omniscient announcement is only mentioned here, rather than repeated or paraphrased yet again, and Nicieza gets it out of the way early in the issue. The subsequent removal of Telos’ imprisoning dome and the return of the heroes’ powers before the story really give readers something much closer to an actual JLA story, rather than the usual observations of how the depowered heroes have been making their way over the past year. Nicieza doesn’t give them much to do, but even batting practice is more fun to watch than sitting on the bench.
Despite the change of pace and impressive illustration, though, it’s all still lipstick on a gorilla. Nicieza can dance around the contrived centerpiece of “Convergence” for a time, but he can’t avoid bumping into it eventually. He largely dodges the reasons why the Detroit-based JLA is even in Gotham, for instance, and ignores entirely why its own resident superhero is nowhere to be seen. Questionable logic peppers the story, such as why Martian Manhunter was trapped under the dome as a human, rather than his native Martian form. Likewise, a Gotham whose populace turns all bright and altruistic while in distress is a warm and happy thought, sure, but it’s one that bounces around in readers’ heads in disbelief.
“Convergence: Justice League of America” #1 isn’t the worst of the tie-ins published so far, but that’s not saying much.