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CROSSOVER #3 Review

Marc reviews issue #3 of Image Comics CROSSOVER by Donny Cates calling it an “ambitious story with dynamic art.”

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Crossover #3 (Image Comics)

Published by Image Comics, Crossover #3 is written by Donny Cates with artwork and a cover art form Geoff Shaw, Dee Cunniffe and John J. Hill.

Crossover #3 is available in print and on digital now where all good comics are sold. Grab your digital copy from Comixology now!

Synopsis

Monsters and robots falling from the sky! Mysterious (and familiar??) superheroes joining our intrepid gang on their journey to event ground zero! CROSSOVER continues with the series’ most explosive and shocking issue to date! Don’t miss this one, folks.

If you do, it just might drive you…mad.

Review

I would like to preface this review with a brief note. I have been a Wednesday Warrior for many years now, but now COVID has put a stop to that, like it has for many things. I struggled to get any new weekly books from late November to early January, and as my passion for comics dwindled. Then a package arrived a few days ago full of stories and art from a vast cast of creators and artists and I fell straight back in love. I have missed comics and writing about them. I am sure there will be setbacks with shipping delays etc. but I am so happy to be back reading the things I love most. Now, lets get to it!

This is a strange one (more on Strange later……). Usually I start my reviews with what the book is about, where it started and where it’s going. It is hard to do that with Crossover as I have no idea where it is going! We are following the story of Ellie “Ellipses” as she and her former manager and comic bookstore owner Otto try to get a young girl Ava back to her parents inside a dome which is containing all the superheroes who have crossed over into the real world…yep. Oh an Ava has shown that she has super powers too, and has a different texture to her skin that makes her stand out from everyone in the “real world”.

At its core, this book is a love letter to comics as a medium and as a culture, and it shows that Donny Cates and Geoff Shaw have poured everything in to making this book. Cates does an excellent job of weaving different plots of the overarching story – from the main rescue mission to the star-crossed lovers. There is a vicious villain who Cate’s does well to make the reader despise, and Otto is great comic relief (pun intended) as well as a meta commentary on geek culture. Ellie is very likeable, and Cates ensures we never forget that this is her story by leaving ellipses in almost every page with dialogue.

Geoff Shaw seamlessly mixes art styles from different periods in comic history, and combined with Dee Cuniffe’s colouring techniques, creates a wonderful mash up of a world. It is a great example of how pencils, inking and colouring can work to really flesh out a world. Shaw shows he is capable at drawing giant squids, mech-armoured giants, and golden age superheroes! I love that the colouring and texturing play a huge role in the story telling of this book, adding tension at times and surprising at others.

This book is a huge meta commentary on comics, with previous issues having comic based easter eggs and name drops. This issue takes it that much further with references to Watchmen, and we are introduced to a new cast of heroes who some will definitely recognise. Dr Strange plays a vital role in this issue, as do The Paybacks – a team of indy superheroes created of Donny Cates and Geoff Shaw, but the bi surprise is saved for last as we are introduced to the dynamic Madman, a Mike Allred creation. The narration is vital in moving the story forward, but also in providing the commentary on comic book culture as it references story telling methods while telling the story itself! It sometimes feels as though I am reading a comic book inside a comic book…if that makes any sense. I love how many ways this book can go, and all the surprises they throw the readers way. I sometimes wonder how they even got away with being able to publish this! The possibilities are endless which is what makes the book this book intriguing and fun!

Verdict

8/10 Crossover is a solid and ambitious story with dynamic art to back it up. Cates is writing the hell out of this book which could end up being his magnum opus. There are still mysteries to be unpacked with more to be thrown into the mix and I cannot wait!


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