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Madman and The Paybacks Weren’t the Only Surprise, There’s More to Come in Crossover #4

Another exciting key character will make an appearance in Donny Cates, Geoff Shaw, Dee Cunniffe, and John J. Hill’s Crossover #4 on shelves this February from Image Comics.

In keeping with Crossover’s reputation for surprise cameos from beloved comic book icons, the final cover will remain a secret until the day it goes on sale. Eager fans will just have to be sure to pre-order copies of Crossover #4 with their local comics shop and then await for the surprise of who will join Madman and The Paybacks in this upcoming installment of one of the hottest, buzziest series in stores.

In Crossover #4, Ellie, Ryan, Otto and the mysterious Ava delve deeper into the mystery behind THE EVENT on their fateful journey to the dome and the epicenter of the greatest CROSSOVER in comics history!

Crossover #4 will be available at comic book shops on Wednesday, February 24.

  • Crossover #4 Cover A Shaw – Diamond Code DEC200197
  • Crossover #4 Cover B Allred – Diamond Code DEC208835
  • Crossover #4 Cover C Blank – Diamond Code DEC208787
  • Crossover #4 Cover D 10 Copy Incentive Shaw Virgin – Diamond Code DEC208788
  • Crossover #4 Cover E 25 Copy Incentive Shaw Raw – Diamond Code DEC208789
  • Crossover #4 Cover F 50 Copy Incentive Ellipsis Design – Diamond Code DEC208790
  • Crossover #4 Cover G 100 Copy Incentive Allred Raw – Diamond Code DEC208836

Review: Crossover #3

Crossover #3

Crossover has been an interesting series for its first two issues. The “comics come to the real world” has had some of its fun stemming from the “spot the comic character” aspect of it all. The comic itself has teased known comic characters but hasn’t really used them front and center. Crossover #3 changes all of that. Was writer Donny Cates goes meta with one of his co-creations, The Paybacks, coming to the story front and center.

The issue mostly involves various characters coming together as the journey to get to ground zero begins. But, it’s the latter half of the issue where things really stand out.

Cates has a lot of fun bringing in these co-creations (with writer Eliot Rahal) of The Paybacks to the comic. The Paybacks were a much too-short run comic series published by Dark Horse. Crossover #3 has fun with that mentioning the lack of support and its cancelation. The series itself was both a spoof and homage to comic books, a proto-Crossover in some ways.

But Crossover #3 has far more than that up its sleeve. It also introducesa more “classic” comic character to the narrative. It’s an interesting shift for the series. Up to this point, it has played up nostalgia but hasn’t done a deep dive using established comic characters. The move opens up a lot of possibilities of where this all goes and shifts the enjoyment from just fandom to all of the possibilities, especially due to the final reveal.

Geoff Shaw‘s art continues to be amazing. Along with the colors of Dee Cunniffe and lettering by John J. Hill the issue is another feather in everyone’s cap. Shaw also worked on The Paybacks, so to see him return with a slight twist of the style of Crossover makes it even more fun. The Ben-Day dots continue to amaze me and not only is a fantastic delineation from “reality” and the “comic world” but also a but of throwback for me to my early year of comic reading.

Crossover #3 is a fantastic issue that blends different worlds even more and allows Cate and Shaw return to an earlier property of theirs. That inclusion is fun (seriously, go read The Paybacks) but the further reveal really ups the “oh shit” factor of it all. This is a top-notch series that in its third issue has shifted things a bit taking this comic to an even crazier level of entertainment.

Story: Donny Cates Art: Geoff Shaw
Color: Dee Cunniffe Letterer/Design: John J. Hill
Story: 9.0 Art: 9.0 Overall: 9.0 Recommendation: Buy

Image Comics provided Graphic Policy with a FREE copy for review

Purchase: comiXologyKindleZeus Comics

Preview: Juggernaut #5 (of 5)

Juggernaut #5 (of 5)

(W) Fabian Nicieza (A) Ron Garney (CA) Geoff Shaw
Rated T+
In Shops: Jan 06, 2021
SRP: $3.99

The JUGGERNAUT just keeps barreling down the path of righteousness – right into the hands of some very dangerous people. But the question is: for all his personal growth…can Cain Marko save anyone but himself?

Juggernaut #5 (of 5)

Crossover #2 Heads Back for a New Printing

Bestselling creative team Donny Cates and Geoff Shaw with Dee Cunniffe and John. J. Hill have sent an electric shock of excitement through the comics industry with the launch of their next level superhero series Crossover. The second issue has sold out instantly at the distributor level and is being fast tracked to a second printing in order to keep up with the skyrocketing sales trajectory.

Crossover #2 amps up the jaw-dropping reveals and sets the stage for even more surprises in the issues to come. The event continues to unravel as Ellie, Otto, and Ava rise from the ashes of their comic shop to begin their four-color odyssey to find the truth beyond the dome. Meanwhile: super-prisons! Magic guns! Mysterious government agents! Don’t miss out on all the plot twists to come.

Crossover #2, second printing (Diamond Code NOV208056) will be available at comic book shops on Wednesday, January 13.

Crossover #2, second printing

Review: Crossover #2

Crossover #2

In its debut, Crossover was a clear love letter to comic books and comic fandom. The second issue continues that with a mix of humor and horror but also adds in a reflection on our real world. Crossover #2 is the grounded reality to the first issue’s over the top fantasy.

Writer Donny Cates does what he does best, mixing up the action, surprises, and a little bit of humor. Crossover #2 exceeds the first issue’s solid debut by adding moments and concepts that’ll give you pause and make you reflect.

The series revolves around the concept that comic characters have entered the real world for some unknown reason. Their arrival has shaken the world resulting in protests against comics and a fear of this unknown. As we learn in this issue, it’s led to horrible actions by the government.

Cates does an interesting dance with the issue. It’s opening is riotous laughter as we find out comic creators are being killed one by one. The names, and what they’re “known for” will get comic fans to laugh and smile. But, much of the comic is a downer. We learn about the refugee comic character a bit more and discover that this fictional government is treating comic characters outside the dome in an all too familiar way.

Impressively, Cates does a solid dance between name and character checks. It’d be all too easy for the comic to come off as cute and insidery, where the the names mentioned or characters hinted are the entire depth of the comic. Instead, they act as window dressing to the meat of the story. They also lighten the mood in many ways making the heavier subject of Crossover #2 easier to digest.

Geoff Shaw‘s art, along with Dee Cunniffe‘s color, and John J. Hill‘s lettering are spot on. There’s clearly some fun with “spot the comic reference” on some pages. But, the trio keeps things grounded to making all of that natural. Where things really stand out is the comic characters in the real world. Their coloring and small details are amazing. Much like Cates’ story, they use nostalgia to emphasize aspects instead of that being the entire schtick. The art is understated in some ways. Scenes are purposely left sparse, for example, a gun when presented. It allows the focus to be clear and gets rid of distractions. A scene in jail too plays this out in some way allowing small details to tell the story.

Crossover #2 is a fantastic second issue that grounds the fantastical set up. Like so many solid sci-fi stories, this one is not just entertaining but acting as commentary and reflection on our reality. What seemed like an initial fun homage to comics is quickly shaping up to be an excellent story about our politics and reactions to fear and the unknown. It also reflects how quickly we can “other” individuals and groups to justify actions. With one issue, the series has become infinitely more interesting and deep.

Story: Donny Cates Art: Geoff Shaw
Color: Dee Cunniffe Letterer: John J. Hill
Story: 8.75 Art: 8.75 Overall: 8.75 Recommendation: Buy

Image Comics provided Graphic Policy with a FREE copy for review

Purchase: comiXology AmazonKindle

Preview: Juggernaut #4 (of 5)

Juggernaut #4 (of 5)

(W) Fabian Nicieza (A) Ron Garney (CA) Geoff Shaw
Rated T+
In Shops: Dec 09, 2020
SRP: $3.99

For once, Juggernaut is worried about something other than himself. It’s not easy, it’s not what he’s used to… but D-Cell is counting on him. Try and stop him from helping.

Juggernaut #4 (of 5)

Review: Crossover #1

Crossover #1

Crossover #1 explodes in the land of Colorado where a superhero event has taken place. The superheroes just sorta pop up outta nowhere as they cross over into the real world. An invisible field keeps everything and everyone from the event contained. It’s had an effect on the real world, as Baptists are against comic books and get angry at cosplayers. It’s like the comic book version of Footloose, which took place not too far from Provo, UT, where Crossover takes place. Apparently, Utah County is not that cool of a place for comics and dancing. Anyway, our heroine of the story works at a shop, and lo and behold, they notice one of the comic book people has gotten into the shop and the unruly mob outside the shop isn’t one bit happy about this suddenly happening.

What’s written above is a bland statement describing the story of Crossover but being fair, the book is better than I describe it. Donny Cates does his best work at Image Comics and this book certainly falls into that category. If one opens Crossover looking for a Supes battle of good and evil, you’ll be a bit disappointed, as that’s not really the story. It’s more about how someone living the small-town life lives within the current aftermath of the event. I did hope to see a bit more of it, too, but what Crossover lacks in big, costumed fights, it makes up for with a more human story. Cates has a real knack for injecting humanity into his characters and making them feel real. The strongest part of Crossover is not the event but the aftermath.

Kind of a weird complaint about this but I live in Utah. I’m not far from Provo and I go there often. I worked there for a few years. It’s not a place that would have any kind of active Baptist community. It’s basically ground zero for the LDS Church and living here, there’s so much of it thrown in your face that it’s not funny. Not many who read Crossover will know that little detail but I thought it was odd to not be accurate to the location. I know, it’s a book about a superhero explosion crossing into a more realistic world, but still…

The story is cool and all but what stood out to me was the art. Geoff Shaw and Dee Cunniffe put to paper a really beautiful comic, full of creativity and detail. It’s a colorful book, which I love when an art team can really stretch the color spectrum to the fullest. How a person looks from the Crossover world is a bit interesting, too, so I thought that was true to the world of comics. John J. Hill’s letters work great in the story with a few different changes in emotion.

I came into Crossover #1 open-minded of what it was, did all I could to not read any spoilers. Story-wise, Crossover #1 is an entertaining read. The concept is tight and the art hits on so many levels. This issue helps get the world-building explained and set up and with that, I  am definitely interested in where this story goes and am excited for issue two.

Story: Donny Cates Art: Geoff Shaw
Colors: Dee Cunniffe Letters & Design: John J. Hill Story Edits: Mark Waid
Story: 8.0 Art: 9.0 Overall: 8.5 Recommendation: Buy

Image Comics provided Graphic Policy with a FREE copy for review

Purchase: comiXology – AmazonKindle – TFAWZeus Comics

Early Review: Crossover #1

Crossover #1

Stories about fantasy and reality bleeding over into each other isn’t anything that’s new. We’ve seen it numerous times before and in some cases its worked and sometimes it hasn’t. These types of stories often also play off of nostalgia and can get lost in pop culture references. Crossover #1 is the latest entry into this type of story and it succeeds and sores. It does so because it isn’t a pop culture check list and because it has a depth that can be debated and discussed.

Written by Donny Cates, Crossover #1 focuses on a world where the imagined has appeared in reality. In an unexplained event, the world of comics has popped up destroying a major American city where their battles rage resulting in the death of who knows how many. This event has lead to puritanical religious zealotry being waged against comics. It’s the latest “moral panic” to an extreme but actually based on something real as opposed to the imaginary events that have fueled that actual real world ones.

Where Cates succeeds is by bringing it all into the playground. The references to heroes from so many different publishers and lines is impressive. It gives the check list comic fans will enjoy without being bogged down in specifics. It doesn’t name Savage Dragon but there’s a reference that’s likely him as an example. But Cates balances the fantastical elements with the real-world impact. This is a world that has had a “Watchmen like” event destroying a city. Due to that there’d be real world change directly impacting pop culture and consumerism. We get to see that. We get to see how it also impacts businesses and communities. And that’s where I think Cates really succeeds. He emphasizes and makes front and center that comics is a community. It might be dysfunctional but we are a community.

The story revolves around two individuals, one works at a comic shop and one the son of a firebrand preacher. Each has their community. Those communities have their side on this issue. Each feels they’re under attack by the other and the events of “The Crossover” have only amplified that. Cates has taken real-world tension and turned it up into a comic event-like level.

Joining Cates is Geoff Shaw on art. Dee Cunniffe handles the color while John J. Hill is on lettering and design. The art is fantastic and that shouldn’t be a surprise at all. In reality, nothing about this debut issue’s quality should be a surprise. There’s a lot packed into the pages and panels which beg readers to examine the world and learn from the visuals. What little we see of the “comic characters come to the real world” will have you linger and attempting to figure things out but it’s the eventual twist of the comic that stands out about the thought put into the visuals. But, we’re not going to spoilt that fun.

Crossover #1 is an amazing start with a love letter to comics and its community. It also is a larger discussion about community as a whole with a lot of interpretation possible by readers. This is a comic that should be on everyone’s pull list and I have no doubt it’ll be seeing multiple printings and lots of buzz when it eventually comes to shelves. Do yourself a favor and don’t miss out. Crossover is a comic that should be on everyone’s pull-list.

Crossover #1 comes to comic shelves on November 4th, pre-order it now.

Story: Donny Cates Art: Geoff Shaw
Color: Dee Cunniffe Letterer & Design: John J. Hill
Story: 9.5 Art: 9.5 Overall: 9.5 Recommendation: Buy

Image Comics provided Graphic Policy with a FREE copy for review

Pre-Order: comiXologyKindleTFAW

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