Writer: Donny Cates
Artists: Geoff Shaw, Dee Cunniffe, & John J. Hill
The much-hyped Image series continues! While Donny Cates is working over at Marvel as the architect of basically everything happening in the cosmic side of Marvel, between the pages of Thor, Venom, and King In Black (all absolutely amazing titles), he’s also over at Image working on Crossover, a series that seeks to ask what would happen if Superheroes crossed over into our world. Issue 2 is here, and I’m happy to report it’s as good an issue as the first.
While the first issue of Crossover sets up the world and characters of this brave new world, this issue sets up the upcoming conflict and the horrific things that are happening throughout the world. Without getting too deep into spoilers, the government is doing awful and sadly quite familiar (if you’ve followed the news cycle for the last four years) things to any refugees crossing over from the breach. Cates writes with such skill that he makes every single page tense and nerve-wracking. He’s aware that anything can happen, and he wants to make sure you know that too.
Cates writes every character amazingly too, especially Ava. Being from the other universe, Ava is absolutely terrified of this new world. She doesn’t know what’s happening, and Cates makes us sympathetic for her. We’ve all been in a scary new place at one point in our life, and for a little girl to have to go through this is horrific. Ellie and Otto continue to try to work out what to do next, while comic book writers are showing up dead (Poor Brian K Vaughn) or going missing (Poor Scott Snyder). I really enjoy spending time with all of these characters, especially since there’s currently no definitive villain. It allows Cates to show the grey morality of real-world situations. Not everything has a maniac behind it, ala Spider-Man or Batman.
Art-wise, Geoff Shaw, Dee Cunniffe, and John J. Hill make every page absolutely beautiful. A special distinction is given to the times that a character from the comic book universe appears with elements from the real world. There’s such a beautiful contrast that they work with, with any comic characters being drawn and coloured in a pulpy style, whereas the characters from the real world are drawn and coloured in a much more realistic and harder style, with even the lines being harder.
All in all, Crossover continues to be one of the most interesting indie comics on the market today, and of the entire year. Cates explores the ramifications of a real-world crossover with a fictional world brilliantly, and Shaw, Cunniffe, and Hill capture the different art styles used to represent those from the comic book world and those from “our” world absolutely beautifully, with the art being amazing throughout. Buy this issue, and keep an eye on this series going forward. The potential here is limitless.
An utterly fantastic continuation of the most promising indie book of the year.