Writer Brian Buccellato crafts an exciting, thrilling tale involving the Crime Syndicate of Earth-Three and the Justice Legion Alpha of the 853rd Century from the DC One Million storyline. The two teams chosen for this particular Convergence tie-in piqued my interest and Buccellato does a heck of a job bringing the story to life.

The Crime Syndicate

The Crime Syndicate have been affected by the presence of the dome over their city. Powerless, they continued to make a living for themselves in the life of crime. However, their actions claimed the life of philanthropist Bruno Mannheim. For those of you not too familiar with that name, Mannheim is a notorious gangster/lover of crime in Metropolis. Here on Earth-Three, however, he was a virtuous member of society. His death has led to Superwoman being placed behind bars, awaiting her sentence on death row. The rest of the Syndicate, under the leadership of Owlman are attempting a rescue mission to save their fellow partner in crime. Most of the team seem weary about the plan though, seeing as none of them have any powers.

This opening was very interesting to say the least. Seeing the effects the events of Convergence are causing from a the perspective of villains gives a bigger scope of the danger that is facing the Multiverse as a whole. I mean, it’s already been assumed, but this issue brings it front and center by having the reader see it from the point of view of a team most would not root for. Superwoman’s diary entry offers insight into the Crime Syndicates way of thinking. Her realization that her and the rest of her team were the “backwards ones”, while the Justice League were the true versions. Or Owlman’s determination to save Superwoman, no matter how high the odds were stacked against them. These were well-crafted moments in storytelling that connected me to the characters. Was I actually sympathizing for the Crime Syndicate? Damn you, Buccellato!

Faces that only a mother could love....or hate? Not sure how parenting works on Earth-Three
Faces that only a mother could love….or hate? Not sure how parenting works on Earth-Three

Justice Legion Alpha

Juxtaposed to the Syndicate’s story is that of the 853rd Century’s Justice Legion Alpha. Futuristic counterparts of the heroes we know and love, these heroes are on the brink of extinction. In their world, a descendant of Luthor has taken over and is this close to destroying the last bit of resistance to his total world dominance. Batman is furious to be hiding with the Legion while the Luthorians run rampant, claiming lives of heroes and wreaking havoc on the city. Other members agree with Bats, but Superman maintains their hero stance that they will not become murderers. The Legion’s meeting is cut short though as the Luthorians make their way into their stronghold.

I think these characters are really cool. I’m a Morrison groupie so I pretty much like most of his work. The neat thing about these characters (or any of the analogues) is seeing the compare and contrast to their original counterparts. Despite it being the future and a totally different person than Bruce Wayne, Batman is still Batman. And that totally rocks!

When it comes to the art in these books, i usually prefer the more detailed pencils. It’s just asthetically pleasing to me. In this case, I really enjoyed Phil Winslade’s pencils. I’m not saying his art wasn’t detailed, not at all. The pencils had more a retro gritty look to them that fit the story perfectly. The creative team nailed both the original look of the Crime Syndicate and the futuristic feel of the Justice Legion Alpha. I really have to commend the creative team of having one of the most consistent art in these Convergence books.

Feel free to jump into the fight Batman and Owlman
Feel free to jump into the fight Batman and Owlman

Recommended if:

  • You’re a fan of the Crime Syndicate
  • You’re keeping up with Convergence 
  • You’re a fan of Morrison’s DC One Million
  • You just want to read a good story
These brief summaries really are a treat
These brief summaries really are a treat

Overall:

No need for spoiler tags or going into much detail about what occurred in this issue. Even if you’re not hip to everything that’s going on in Convergence this is just a great issue. Sort of like the New Teen Titans issue I reviewed, Convergence is kind of an afterthought in the story. It’s going on, but the cast all have these other situations that take precedence for most of the issue. It works well here. Brian Buccellato writes the story well so that the transitions between the teams is seamless. Not only can you compare these teams to the originals, but also against each other. Can’t wait for the the second issue of this series. I was blown away.

SCORE: 9 / 10