Convergence: Justice League International #1 Review


Convergence: Justice League International #1 (of 2)
Written by Ron Marz
Art by Mike Manley
Colored by Sotocolor
Published by DC Comics

Being the age I am, I have very fond memories of the Keith Giffen/J.M. DeMatteis/Kevin Maguire version of the Justice League, or as it was known then, the JLI. It was one of the first DC comics I read regularly after being blown away by Crisis on Infinite Earths, and I still own the majority of the issues for that title. There was something about the book that I always loved, be it the humor or the art or just the fact that Justice League International was always so much fun.

In the years since, other creative teams have left their own mark on the Justice League with varying degrees of success, but none I’ve fallen in love with like the Justice League International.

So you would think that, with the title making a brief comeback as part of DC’s Convergence event, I would be a very happy guy. Sure, it’s not Giffen/DeMatteis/Maguire, but Ron Marz and Mike Manley are two pretty talented individuals. So I went in thinking that while it might not be as good as I remember, at the very least, Convergence: Justice League International #1 should be a fun read.

Oh, how I wish that were so.

I understand that these Convergence miniseries aren’t meant to be all that deep or character driven; they’re mostly a way to give fans team-ups and fights they’ve always wanted to see. But to be perfectly blunt about it, Convergence: Justice League International #1 is a depressing, poorly done comic book that simply treads on the memories inspired by the JLI name, and nothing more.

Marz essentially wrote a script that reads like a bad piece of fan fiction gone terribly wrong. We get a fight, bad quips by Ted Kord/Blue Beetle, a moment of introspection including the requisite “poor us we’re trapped under a dome” speech and then the setup for the JLI’s fight with the characters from Kingdom Come.

That’s it.

Nowhere is there any ounce of what made these characters so much fun to read in the original JLI stories to be found. In fact, that may be the worst part of all: the book is criminally unfunny. And not just unfunny, but actually a bit on the dismal side, which I could live with if the book didn’t have Justice League International in the title.

Then there is the art by Manley which overall looks stiff, uninspired, and in places just very, very bad. His two-page spread depicting the cast of Kingdom Come is just so off the mark that I find it incredible an editor didn’t look at it and say, “Um, could you give this another try, Mike?” Sure, there are panels here and there that show just how talented Manley is and reminded me of the great art he produced during the epic Batman: Knightfall storyline. But for the most part, it’s just pretty awful across the board.

The Bottom Line: Convergence: Justice League International #1 is the kind of book that will make you wish your local comic shop had a return policy. It’s that bad. Avoid it at all costs, and if you absolutely have to read it, either wait for the trade or see if you can get it from the quarter bins in a few months, because that’s exactly where it’s headed.

Next: More Convergence: Our Convergence #2 review

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