Friday, September 29, 2017

Crosswind #4 Review

Cross My Heart

Written by: Gail Simone
Art by: Cat Staggs
Cover Price: $3.99
Release Date: September 27, 2017
Publisher: Image
Review by: Andrew McAvoy

Let's just lay it on the line. Gail Simone knows how to write a mighty fine comic book. Within a few pages of this issue you know you are in safe hands. It is the second Simone book I've read this week (she is currently writing Conan/Wonder Woman for Dark Horse/DC) and she knows how to pace a book, catch dialogue and just tell an interesting story. If only there more like her. 

The Crosswind title is a gem. If the concept was a newspaper headline it would read "Chicago hitman and downtrodden Seattle housewife in body-swap shock!" Which essentially sums it up. Or you can describe it like Simone who has referred to it as, "like Disney only with a hot lead and cheap sex". 

This issue underpins the great characterization that went before it. The book opens with Mr Randolph humming along to "Dancing Cheek to Cheek" and telling his assistant Dano an anecdote about Fred and Ginger. Within the space of 4 pages though, after getting some unwelcome news, Randolph isn't telling any anecdotes, instead he's stabbing Dano to death with a pair of garden shears. Despite the small amount of pages used the speed of the transition is completely natural from point A to point B due to the way the dialogue clips along. There is a pure economy of plot progression in this book. 

We soon segue over to the main characters in the story Juniper Elanore Blue and Cason Ray Bennet, who are inhabiting each others bodies. They are still coming to terms with it, and this issue has as its focus the experience of dealing with the predicament of navigating each others romantic lives. Its a source of light relief in a book which is otherwise quite dark in tone. The issue continues the book's exploration of gender identity in an interesting way. The reader draws the conclusions and considers things from distinct perspectives. It's my type of scene; an exploration of complex identity issues without the writer deciding to spell everything out in awkward cliches. The reader can navigate the issues from the predicament of the characters. 

The one drawback for me in the issue is the art. It is undoubtedly fine work and does compliment the story(Simone headhunted Cat Staggs for Illustrator duties on the title). For me though, and this comes down to personal taste, it is a little too dark and muddy. Others will love the style, but it just doesn't click with me and I think the vibrancy of the storytelling in this issue could have been enhanced with a bit more brightness to the palette. As someone who gives equal weighting to art and writing, this tends to act to the detriment of my scoring.

Bits and Pieces:

Still all in all, a great book and I look forward to the next issue as this is a title that has me intrigued.


1 comment:

  1. i agree jim, gail simone is one of the talented female writers there is. I hope she could have written the main wonder woman book after rucka. Although i think the wonder woman book is in good hands again since james robinson is writing it. I hear he's good?