Where many universes’ heroes have spent a year trapped under Telos’ domes, Superman and Supergirl think they have a better idea. But is a trip to the Phantom Zone, through a gauntlet of the worst criminals Krypton had to offer, any better than imprisonment? Your Major Spoilers review of Convergence: Adventures Of Superman #1 awaits!
CONVERGENCE: ADVENTURES OF SUPERMAN #1
Writer: Marv Wolfman
Penciler: Roberto Viacava
Inker: Andy Owens
Letterer: Rob Leigh
Editor: Marie Javins
Publisher: DC Comics
Cover Price: $3.99
Previously in Convergence: Adventures Of Superman: Rocketed to Earth from the dead planet Krypton, Kal-El ws adopted by a nice couple from Kansas who raised him to be selfless and brave, using his superhuman powers for the betterment of his new world. As Superman, he had many adventures, fought many foes, and even gained a number of friends, including his cousin Kara, who fought alongside him as Supergirl thanks to her father saving their entire home city from the destruction of Krypton. Now, after a year powerless under Telos’ dome, Superman and Supergirl have decided to take action… This is a tale of Pre-Crisis Earth-1.
THESE HEROES GET TO *DO* SOMETHING
The story opens with Lucius Fox (of WayneTech, known to many as “that guy played by Morgan Freeman”) assisting Superman and Supergirl with a special project: Using a special device to tap into Kara’s subconscious memories of her father’s Phantom Zone projector. Wolfman’s script makes the whole thing seem perfectly plausible, without questioning the hows and whys of the Supers being in Gotham or whether they’re building a new Zone projector or somehow repairing the old one. Either way, the cousins El are successfully zoned seconds before Telos’ announcement, and begin the process of trying to get OUT of it, somewhere other than Gotham City. It’s actually a pretty brilliant plot point, as even the entire Secret Six and the gorillas of Earth-AD aren’t gonna be much of a sweat for TWO fully-powered pre-Crisis Kryptonians, and it actually allows our heroes to do something heroic while still depowered, something missing from a lot of the Convergence crossovers. While in the Phantom Zone, they are ambushed by Kryptonian criminals, and separated from one another, leaving Kara to attempt escape while Kal takes a beating.
THE DETERMINATION OF KARA ZOR-EL
Even though the title of the book is Adventures of Superman, this one is a spotlight for pre-Crisis Supergirl, who easily beats down four vicious criminals before encountering a strange gas field. New readers might remember that the Phantom Zone sorta-kinda exists outside time and space, and Supergirl is shown images from her past, but more importantly, her future, allowing her to see her death in the Crisis On Infinite Earths, events still in her future. Coming to terms with her impending mortality, Kara decides instead to fight, racing back to save her cousin from a beatdown in heroic fashion. The villains converge (you should excuse the expression) on our heroes with murderous intent while, back in Gotham, an army of gorillas and tigers enters the seemingly-unprotected city. (The presence of The Flash, The Justice League, The Outsiders, Green Lantern, Wonder Woman, The New Teen Titans and others apparently cannot be confirmed in this issue, but that plot weakness has been in play since the first issue of this crossover.) I really enjoy the art in this issue, especially when Kara is getting the spotlight, but there’s a strange mismatch between the Bronze Age line work and modern computer coloring throughout the issue, which leads to some panels looking oddly overworked even with the strong pencils of Viacava…
THE BOTTOM LINE: THIS ONE’S PRETTY EXCITING
The title of this issue is a strange one for two reasons: First, ‘Adventures Of Superman’ was the title given to the original Superman book AFTER the Crisis, when the new John Byrne Superman #1 launched, while this book takes place before that. More importantly, this is Supergirl’s story. Her memories hold the key to the Phantom Zone, her courage saves her cousin, and most important, her determination to go on even if it means her death reminds me of what made her final run of stories so cool. Convergence: Adventures Of Superman #1 is a solid comic story that overcomes some of the weaknesses that the format/premise of Convergence has imbued in all of the books, with a solid spotlight for classic Supergirl, earning 3 out of 5 stars overall.