REVIEW: ‘Crossover,’ Issue #8

Reading Time: 3 minutes

Crossover #8

Crossover #8 is published by Image Comics, written by Donny Cates, illustrated by Geoff Shaw, colored by Dee Cunniffe, and lettered and designed by John J. Hill. Part one of “Meanwhile..” picks up where Crossover #6 left off, as Ryan comes to grips with the fact that Ellie is a fictional character. Meanwhile, the government continues to investigate a rash of murders where the victims are comic book writers…and they have a hunch that the Comic Creator Killer may be one of the fictional characters who entered the real world.

The issue opens with a recap of the first story arc, “Kids Love Chains” – a rather literal one, as the pages from the first six issues are laid out in a rather impressive spread. This is not only a great way to get readers caught up on what’s happened so far in the series, but it’s also very creative. Most of the time, recap pages in comics will usually have a paragraph or two that summarizes the events of the series, but Crossover is a comic that often deviates from the norm. The only drawback is that the pages are quite small; you’d have to whip out a magnifying glass to see the events that transpired. (Alternatively, volume one of Crossover is currently on sale.)

The experimental style doesn’t stop there, as we are introduced to the mysterious being who serves as the narrator of the series. The Narrator often sketches out his visions of the future on paper, which feels like a meta-commentary on the creation of comics. Shaw employs a looser art style for these sketches, making them feel like a rough draft of actual comic book pages. And Cates’ depiction of the Narrator sounds just like the writer himself, laying out plans for what could have been until outside factors led to the story being changed—he even apologizes for the “whole Chip Zdarsky thing.” Even Hill’s lettering is presented on captions that appear to be scraps of paper and fit quite well with the “rough sketch” appearance of Shaw’s artwork.

The rest of the issue is dedicated to the revelation that Ellie is actually a fictional character and her taking Ryan to task for his actions. I appreciate that the creators are willing to call out Ryan’s actions here; he says he’s not a bad person, but he still threw the Molotov cocktail that burned down the comic store Ellie worked at, and he was still willing to shoot Ava while they were in the dome. His relationship with his father is tragic, yes, but he has to be the one willing to change. And the ending of this issue may have given him the chance to do that.

I appreciate that this issue has been a slower-paced affair so far. After the four-color craziness that took place in Crossover #6, the audience could use a bit of a breather before delving into the next big storyline. That doesn’t mean this issue is light on the action; a brief sequence finds Ellie wielding Valofax, the God of Blades, against a surprising pair of fictional characters. The image of Ellie holding Valofax is utterly awesome, with Cunniffe’s colors giving the divine blade a pulsating light that cuts through the darkness of the hotel room where the fight takes place.

Crossover #8 launches the new story arc “Meanwhile,” shifting genres while expanding upon the series’ metafictional elements. The book is now shifting from a quest storyline to a murder mystery, and I hope that the creators continue to experiment with the form and genre—it’s what makes this comic so exciting!

Crossover #8 is available now wherever comics are sold.


Crossover #8
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TL;DR

Crossover #8 launches the new story arc “Meanwhile,” shifting genres while expanding upon the series’ metafictional elements. The book is now shifting from a quest storyline to a murder mystery, and I hope that the creators continue to experiment with the form and genre—it’s what makes this comic so exciting!