Note: This review was orignally published at InfiniteComix.com
Convergence has been, to put it kindly, a disappointing event. Whereas Final Crisis polarized readers due to its unconventional nature, and Forever Evil can be enjoyed as a guilty pleasure, Convergence has been straight-up bad. The formulaic nature of the tie-ins has not helped matters. If the book is titled “Convergence: _______ #1,” it is guaranteed to follow a similar plot structure which sets up the main conflict for the #2’s released in May. It therefore falls to the creative teams to provide differentiation through their character work. Given the eras that DC has pulled from, there is varying degrees of expectation, perhaps none higher than the bar set for the tie-in starring the beloved New Teen Titans. Wisely, the publisher was able to land the writing talent behind the fan-favorite team, as Marv Wolfman delivers one of the more competently constructed Convergence tie-ins.
Much like 2011’s original graphic novel Games, Wolfman’s return to the Titans is a cause for nostalgic joy. For longtime fans, it is undeniably exciting to read these characters as they used to be. It may be a refreshing, if not strange experience for newer readers to see this cast interact as they do. Donna Troy is not the bloodthirsty warrior from today’s Wonder Woman, but instead a loving, compassionate teammate. Beast Boy, true to his age, makes snap judgments based on the urges of his reproductive anatomy. Jericho, who has been absent from comics for years, returns as the awkward loner he used to be. Nightwing – complete with this disco suit – rides the the emotional spectrum with his now-wife Starfire. Despite the situation they find themselves in, Wolfman gives his cast the charming wit, interpersonal drama, and sense of righteousness that was inherent to the original title.
For certain reasons, Convergence: The New Teen Titans #1 does not see a reunion between Wolfman and his longtime partner, George Perez. However, the book does not suffer visually, as Nicola Scott is more than capable of filling the void. Scott avoids the dense layouts that has become a hallmark of Perez’s, opting instead for a more updated storytelling aesthetic. The results are stunning. Scott, inker Marc Deering, and colorist Jeromy Cox’ artwork is among the best to come out from DC in some time, let alone Convergence. The vibrant color palate pops off the page, adding to the storytelling rather than distracting from it. Scott and Deering give the cast very expressive faces, again fitting given the character’s ages. These characters are not Batman. They wear their emotions on their sleeves rather than suppressing them.
Sadly, Convergence: The New Teen Titans is not without its faults. Though it is no fault of Wolfman’s, readers must once more endure Telos’ tiresome announcement that the domes are coming down and they must fight. Likewise, the edict that this issue read like it is from 1985 is ultimately detrimental. Though the issue is not filled with walls of text, Wolfman includes a lot of unnecessary exposition which might not have been included otherwise.
Convergence: The New Teen Titans is not a perfect book, a given as Convergence is far from a perfect event. However, is a charming, enjoyable last hurrah for one of the most loved teams in the medium’s history. Wolfman’s deft handling of the characters, particularly in the closing pages, makes this issue stand tall over a sea of repetitive sludge.