REVIEW: ‘Crossover,’ Issue #1

Reading Time: 3 minutes

Crossover #1 is written by Donny Cates, illustrated by Geoff Shaw, colored by Dee Cunniffe, and lettered and designed by John J. Hill. It is published by Image Comics. In 2017, a massive event involving every comic book character ever made spills into Denver, Colorado, killing thousands. In the present day, superheroes and comic books have gained a stigma while comic book store clerk Ellipses “Ellie” Howell encounters one of the comic characters.

During the Comic-Con@Home panel for Crossover, the creative team described it as “Avengers: Endgame meets Cloverfield” and the book lives up to that comparison. A massive superhero brawl has a deadly effect on the real world, and it affects everything. Religious debates spring up, as people believe the characters that spilled into the real world are an affront to God. Comics and cosplay are considered to be taboo, and there is only one comic shop left in the world. It’s a dizzying picture of a world where fiction is no longer a concept, yet it’s one of the most intriguing concepts I’ve ever been drawn into.

This is due to Cates’ excellent scripting. Cates brings the same epic scale he utilized in Venom and Thor, opening up the issue with a massive apocalyptic battle. But his script also has an intimate scope, especially when it comes to the characters. We get to know Ellie, her cantankerous boss Otto, and Ryan, the son of a preacher. Ellie stands defiant, wearing a mask and gloves as a sort of armor. And while it’s only hinted at, Ryan is suffering from an abusive relationship with his father. The best stories have characters you get invested in, and Crossover #1 is no exception.

Bringing Cates’ script to life are Shaw, Cunniffe, and Hill. The artists previously worked with Cates on Image’s God Country, and they return to deliver a visually stunning book. Shaw alternates between the small and the large, drawing a clash of comic book characters on one page and Ellie walking through the streets of Utah on the next. His characters also stand out, especially Ellie with her domino mask and gloves and long yellow trenchcoat.

Cunniffe’s colors make this book stand out in all the best ways. The opening image features a black and white opening, which is slowly taken over by a blast of color when the “Crossover” happens. Also, Cunniffe has a unique way of separating real-life characters from comic characters; the comic characters have several red dots within their skin, in homage to their origins. It’s a really cool way to show two different worlds.

Perhaps the biggest surprise comes at the end of the issue, where the appearance of a legendary comic book character is hinted at. It’s something that needs to be seen to be believed, and it hints at the sheer scope of the story the creators are attempting. Given how well this first issue went, I definitely trust them to pull it off.

Crossover #1 is one of the best comic books I’ve ever read, serving as a love letter to the comic book medium and its nearly unlimited potential. Cates says that this comic is about hope, and that’s something we need more of.

Crossover #1 is available now, wherever comics are sold.

Crossover #1
5

TL;DR

Crossover #1 is one of the best comic books I’ve ever read, serving as a love letter to the comic book medium and its nearly unlimited potential. Cates says that this comic is about hope, and that’s something we need more of.