Most of the Convergence crossovers have been following a similar format, but the Seven Soldiers Of Victory aren’t you average super-team, and so don’t get the average Convergence storyline… Your Major Spoilers review of Convergence: World’s Finest #1 awaits!
Previously in Convergence: World’s Finest: Though the Justice Society Of America came first, the Severn Soldiers Of Victory made their debut in the winter of ’41 as a team, working together to stop the evil machinations of ‘The Hand’s Five Fingers’ as a unit. Though six of their members were regular old two-fisted mystery men, they made a mark, getting revived in the 1970s thanks to a time-travel snafu, and lasting through to the modern age. (Vigilante’s turn in ‘Justice League Unlimited’ was memorable, and the team even got a tribute episode.) On the world of Earth-2, they kept up their heroics into the 1980s, when their entire city was snatched away by Brainiac. This is a tale of (barely) Pre-Crisis Earth-2.
THE WONDERFUL WORLD OF SCRIBBLY
Most Convergence books take place immediately before or immediately after the abduction of their cities, and generally feature Telos’ announcement that their cities must fight to survive in the first few pages of the book. This story is different, kicking off in 1940, as a young Scribbly Jibbet (himself a 1940s DC/All-American Comics star, drawn by the always amazing Sheldon Mayer as a semi-autobiographical humor strip) witnesses the dawn of the heroic age. By 1985, the heroes are established in Metropolis, with a new generation joining them in the field, when the dawn of the Crisis On Infinite Earths changes everything. Green Arrow and Speedy are killed during the events of the Crisis, and Metropolis is spirited away before things go completely awry. We then get to see Scribbly’s impressions of the year under the dome, including the death of a Soldier (Stripesy, due to a completely mundane case of pneumonia) and the Shining Knight turning into a wizened old man without the magics that made him super. When the dome comes down, Scribbly and The Shining Knight actually have a conversation with Telos, who tells the nigh-immortal Knight that, while Telos respects his longevity, even he will have to fight. “That’s when I knew I was going to die,” reports Scribbly as the issue ends…
A WHOLE NEW PERSPECTIVE ON THE CONVERGENCE
This is a weird issue for a lot of reasons, some having to do with the take on the premise, some related to the odd assemblage of characters, but I’ll be damned if the change doesn’t feel incredibly refreshing. Paul Levitz gives us a relatable character in Scribbly, and his perspective on life under the dome is unlike any of the other crossover issues I’ve read, focusing on the people as well as the heroes. By the time this issue ends, half our heroes are dead, while the non-super Scribbly is directly in the line of fire. I don’t even know which of the adversaries Sir Justin will be facing next issue, but this story is successful enough that I don’t mind at all. From an art perspective, it’s also a hit, with a mostly realistic down-to-earth style (Vigilante in particular looks quite good under Jim Fern’s pen) and a cameo by Seven Soldiers’ creator Mort Weisinger as well. The weakness of the issue comes in that, once again, we see the events that kickoff the Convergence happen slightly different, with Telos immediately stopping to talk to The Shining Knight, despite the fact that we’ve seen this happen THIRTY TIMES already, leading one to wonder if time works the same way under the various domes. (That answer? It had better not, or else the whole premise falls apart.)
THE BOTTOM LINE: A VERY HUMAN TALE
In short, this is a good’n, with a story that avoids the pitfalls of showing us the same thing yet again, instead grounding us with Scribbly and some history of the heroes we’re gonna spend twenty-plus pages with, especially useful given their vintage. Convergence: World’s Finest #1 does some different stuff, with excellent art and some of my favorite DC heroes in play, earning a better-than-average 3.5 out of 5 stars overall, even with the tragic deaths of Oliver Queen and Roy Harper…