Crosswind #1 Review by Jason Kahler
Story by Gail Simone
Art by Cat Staggs
Letters by Simon Bowland
Since the description provided by Image Comics itself calls Crosswind “Freaky Friday meets Goodfellas,” I don’t feel like it’s too much of a spoiler to tell you that this is the story of what happens when a cold-blooded Chicago hitman swaps bodies with a downtrodden Seattle housewife.
Why and how the switch happens isn’t revealed in this issue. The specifics don’t matter to me, anyhow, because the story is about how the characters will deal with their sudden changes in scenery.
(I rather always like zombie movies, for example, that don’t trouble themselves with how the zombies got there, and focus on dealing with the new zombie reality. But that’s a different post for a different day.)
Issue #1 spends most of its time establishing the characters that do the body swapping. First we meet Cason Ray Bennett. He’s a suit-wearing trigger man for shady dealers in Chicago. He’s ruthless and cold.
Then we meet Juniper Elanore Blue, an emotionally bruised housewife in Seattle trying to navigate pleasing her abusive husband’s business issues, an angsty son, and some really crummy neighbor bro-zillas.
Juniper is the only character worth rooting for, I think, unless Cason ends up being a hitman with a heart of gold.
A little bit of mystical mumbo-jumbo later, and the two characters are sharing the “seeing a face in the mirror I don’t recognize” moment.
There are many directions writer Gail Simone might choose for this to go. Will Juniper learn to stand up for herself? Can Cason abandon a life of crime in favor of a suburban pastoral? Does all this unbottled anxiety result in a bloodbath?
I’m betting on the latter.
The art from Cat Staggs is vibrant and expressive, if maybe just a but too digital for me. I have that criticism a lot, lately, so maybe it’s time I just accept the new normal of digital composition.
This book is a buy. Crosswind uses a familiar trope to tell a different story. It’s got some surly language–and a bloody bathtub body–so it’s definitely not for the timid. Keep it away from the kiddies and enjoy it after they’ve gone to bed.