Writer: Donny Cates
Art: Geoff Shaw, Dee Cunniffe & John J. Hill
As far as crossovers go, I’m usually not that excited. Mostly see them as a cash grab in order to appease the fans of (normally) both characters. We used to get a lot more of those, of course. Nowadays we get in-universe crossovers, meaning, not really a crossover that will catch our eye. However, when I heard about the plot for Image Comics’ Crossover, then I got excited. The origin of the crossover event (I’m going to be using that word a lot, I’m sorry) is an integral part of the plot and we mostly get non-famous characters, which makes the comic rely on actual storytelling. That being said, let’s go over issue four, shall we?
This issue opens where the last one left off, with our main cast of characters meeting the leader of the Paybacks, in the back of their van. We mostly get an update on how the heroes understand how the dome works. They figured out that the longer one of the super-powered characters spends outside of it, the less powerful they become. The most important to learn from that, now, is that the wizard how put the dome up, cannot take it down anymore, so the heroes move on to look for a way to pierce the dome in order to get in. Meanwhile, Ryan’s father has noted his son’s absence and from that has become more motivated to progress whatever he has planned.
Donny Cates has had several successful hits in the industry in the last years. This one is, in this reviewer’s opinion, his most promising work. The characters are well-conducted and consistent with what they believe or want to do. The intrigues and twists in the story are presented at the perfect pace giving the reader that short yet sweet time of speculation between a page and the next. With all that, the whole story is narrated by, from what I take, the writer himself. Being that confirmed or not, it is undeniable Cates is having a blast writing this comic and with the funny pokes at other professionals in the comic industry and the opportunity to write many different famous characters, I can see why.
Geoff Shaw is responsible for shaping the characters in this comic. As far as the lines go, I noticed a slight difference between the characters from inside the dome and the ones from our world. The latter apparently has stronger and more defined contours while the former feels more volatile, in a way, with thinner and more subtle lines around them. Other than that there’s not much more to say, except of course that Shaw’s work is amazing. The very first page of this issue is a demonstration of how to do facial expressions in comics with two extreme reactions in the corners and Ellie’s reaction being a mix in the center of the page. Gorgeous work, really. His action scene involving Madman is nothing to scoff at either. A double-page with replicated images in order to portray the hero’s quick moves and abilities. As the narrator puts it themselves: “so damn cool”.
The coloring is up to Dee Cunniffe, easily one of my favorite colorists in the industry. It’d been a while since I’d read something with his work. Refreshing, to say the least. The variation of the colors is not really on a wide spectrum in this particular issue, but I do love to see the difference in technique between the dome characters and the ‘real’ ones. The Ben-Day dots are probably a relief and an exciting exploration for the colorist on how to best pair both coloring approaches without making it look pasted over. I liked the different varying coloring, especially for backgrounds. When we’re in the Paybacks’ van we have flat colors with very discreet lighting. While in our world the background is full of strongly defined shadows. Helps the reader to situate themselves as well as provides a feast for the eyes.
John J. Hill’s lettering is pretty standard. I’d say the letterer mostly shines with a lot of excitement and sounds going on in the scene which isn’t the case for this chapter. However, in the little of this, we get to see, Hill’s work gets the job done and contributes beautifully to the storytelling. The highlights of this issue being the disposition and varying types of dialogue bubbles.
Whew! A lot to go over. Crossover not only has a stunning plot that is worthy of any comic book reader’s attention but also a precise and coordinated composition of many talents in order to best portray the colliding of two different realities. The goal is to immerse the reader into this event and how it would truly affect normal, everyday people. Every new issue will be a new recommendation from me for this series because of the bold proposition delivered with awesome execution.
Whew! A lot to go over. Crossover not only has a stunning plot that is worthy of any comic book reader's attention but also a precise and coordinated composition of many talents in order to best portray the colliding of two different realities. The goal is to immerse the reader into this event and how it would truly affect normal, everyday people. Every new issue will be a new recommendation from me for this series because of the bold proposition delivered with awesome execution.