If you have seen Avengers: Infinity War, you have some understanding of what a comic book event is like. They are massive stories involving all of the biggest superheroes usually fighting to save the world or the universe or whatever. They are action-packed and nowadays they can be especially violent. However, it’s fiction so it is okay for it to be ultra violent without any real themes or myth behind it other than showcasing the coolness of modern myth. But what if these massive events were real and occurred in reality? Welcome to the world of Crossover. Minor spoilers for the first issue of Crossover ahead.
Crossover might be one of the most ambitious creator-owned comics I have ever read. This first issue builds on that basic premise, showcasing a world torn by the apparent realization of superheroes into our ordinary world. Comic books are demonized, believed to be the work of the devil due to a comic-book-style event materializing in the middle of Denver, Colorado. Many religious folk see comic book stores as a haven for the culture that practically worshipped the destruction that occurred from the event known as the Crossover.
When I first saw the cover months ago, the trippy design by Geoff Shaw and Dave Stewart intrigued me, but I figured it would be just another commentary trying to recapture the magic of Watchmen. That was until I saw that Donny Cates would be writing it. While I have not talked about him a whole lot on the site, Donny Cates is one of my favorite writers working in the comic industry today. His first creator-owned endeavor, God Country was an intriguing story about the effect death has on the psyche and I had a feeling Crossover would tackle something similar. Right from the first few pages, I could already tell Cates was pulling from his experience working on Absolute Carnage for Marvel as much of the violent horrors of the Crossover echo the darkness presented in that event. Except in Crossover, that violence is polarizing and led to a massive shift in society as unlike the worlds depicted in DC and Marvel comics, the world in Crossover is not used to the craziness of event comics.
The comic itself follows Ellipses “Elle” Howell, a comic book fan whose life has been drastically changed by the Crossover. She finds safe haven in a small comic book shop built on remembering the world before the Crossover happened. She, like many others, prefers to retain the meaning these stories gave her. Sadly, it seems most people do not feel the same way, with protesters constantly opposing the lifestyle of her and others like her.
The art by Geoff Shaw and colorist Dee Cunniffe is breathtaking. The trippy vibrancy of colors presented in the Crossover is spectacular yet frightening, echoing the splash pages of death from Alan Moore and Dave Gibbon’s Watchmen and fulfilling a similar purpose. I particularly love the comic-grading given to the people that came out of the Crossover. They have this classic 50’s and 60’s style that makes them stand out among the rest of the characters, making them feel just as out of place as they would within our world. The use of color throughout this issue is phenomenal.
Crossover has a unique premise that caught my attention, but it was the characters and world of the comic that captured my enthusiasm. I am excited to see what the creative team has in store for the next issue. The first issue of Crossover is awesome and I highly recommend any comic book fan to check it out.