Saturday, March 3, 2018

Crosswind Vol. 1 Review

A change is as good as a rest

Written by: Gail Simone
Art by: Cat Staggs
Publisher: Image
Review by: Andrew McAvoy 

Take one slick and ruthless Chicago hitman. Add a smart but downtrodden Seattle housewife. Then throw in an inexplicable event forcing each of them - their bodies, souls, and lives - to be switched. Then sit, back relax and enjoy the ride. Crosswind Volume 1 is officially out this week, and it's well worth picking up.

This was a thoroughly enjoyable read in TPB. Some books suit the format, and this one sees the individual issues (1-6) of Crosswind come together so sweetly. It is bloody, well-paced, funny, quirky and thought-provoking. At an individual issue level I found some of these issues to be a little off, but read here they work perfectly with the flow of the complete story. That is good storytelling, and the bravery to go with a slow single issue in order to deliver a better, more cohesive arc shows why Simone is the best in the business.

Interestingly, the same concept applies to Cat Stagg's art in this book. Over some of the individual issues, I found the style to be a little murky, but viewed here through the whole story it works much better. The style of art is not my favorite, I'm more "leaning towards cartoony" in my tastes. That said I do appreciate the work of Cat Stagg in this book when viewed in its entirety, and it is a book that is appealing to the eye.

The storyline is endlessly fascinating, and triggers thoughts such as "what would it be like to be in someone else's body?", "what would it be like to be in the body of the opposite sex?", "is my personality a product of how I look?", "if I looked different, would I feel differently", as well as abject lessons in perceptions, gender politics, gender identity, and many many more questions. It's more than high concept though. Simone makes you care about the characters, you are invested in the storyline, and it is high octane. You find yourself rooting for both characters as they deal with their body swap predicament, and help each other out along the way.

Bits and Pieces

While the constituent parts were good, and at times very good, this was a story that was perfectly elevated to new heights through the collected edition. This volume 1 contains a really neat and contained story. The exciting news is that more issues are on their way. Count me in.


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