Convergence is happening and Pre-Crisis Earth-Two is on the clock. Can the aging Justice Society of America muster enough strength to fight it out against the forces of Qward? Find out in Convergence: Justice Society of America #1.
CONVERGENCE: JUSTICE SOCIETY OF AMERICA #1
Writer: Dan Abnett
Pencils: Tom Derenick
Inks: Trevor Scott
Colors: Monica Kubina
Letters: Dave Sharpe
Cover: Dan Panosian
Editor: Marie Javins
Publisher: DC Comics
“THIS SITUATION IS TEMPORARY. HAVE YOU EVER KNOWN A CRISIS THAT WASN’T?”
It’s Convergence, so once again the protagonists found in the pages of Convergence: Justice Society of America #1 find themselves trapped beneath a mysterious dome. In Metropolis, the heroes of Earth 2 (the Earth 2 of the Pre-Crisis variety) have been de-powered. This is especially debilitating for the older members of the Justice Society. Without their powers, age has caught up with Hawkman, Green Lantern, The Flash and Doctor Fate, rendering them old, arthritic men with little to offer to a city in crisis.
Dan Abnett uses the conceit of Convergence to craft an interesting issue about what superheroes do when time has passed them by. It’s a plot hook rarely seen in superhero comics from the Big 2 and provides some decent reading until the inevitable announcement of the Telos Tournament of Towns. Curiously, Abnett gives away the big reveal on the first page for seemingly no reason, which is that these heroes will indeed regain their youth and their powers. I guess DC didn’t want a second issue wherein Qwardian Weaponers shoot lasers at the Justice Seniors, but for my money, that would’ve been an entertaining read. In any event, that structural problem robs the issue of its stakes, but we know how every first issue of these Convergence books ends by now anyhow. While the plotting is weak, Abnett’s dialogue saves the story. Jay Garrick’s monologue to a coma-stricken Doctor Fate is a sensitive portrayal of what growing old can do to a person. Abnett’s introduction of an old Justice Society in a city that’s largely post-superhero is something I’d like to read in an actual series.
MAKE IT COUNT
Most of the issue is focused on four old white men going about their business in hospitals and on rooftops, so there isn’t much room for Tom Derenick and Trevor Scott to show off. The art is competent if unspectacular, although it can be hard to tell one old man from another. A retro, Darwyn Cooke-stylization may have been a more interesting take for this project. As it is, Derenick and Scott’s modern house style is clear in what it is depicting, if a little busy with the cross-hatching for my tastes.
BOTTOM LINE: IF YOU LIKE OLD PEOPLE, THIS ONE’S FOR YOU
Few of the Convergence titles have justified their existence beyond being an exercise in nostalgia or continuity indulgence. Dan Abnett is successful with Convergence: Justice Society of America #1 because he takes an interesting angle. I am guessing that the second issue will mostly be a fight scene before Convergence resolves itself, which is a shame. Again, I would read a miniseries or several issue arc about these characters working their way through old age if Abnett chose to write it. The bottom line is that this is a perfectly entertaining entry in a publishing line that still feels mostly inconsequential.