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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


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Crossover Gets Collectible “Raw” Versions of Geoff Shaw and Ryan Stegman’s Covers

Image Comics has reveal three breathtaking, collectible “raw” versions of the Geoff Shaw covers and Ryan Stegman cover for the forthcoming Crossover by Donny Cates, Geoff Shaw, Dee Cunniffe, and John J. Hill. These unique covers will showcase the raw inks and pencils behind the stunning cover art for the series coming this November.

The raw Geoff Shaw “Ellie” cover will be a 1:75 incentive cover, the raw Ryan Stegman cover art will be a 1:100 incentive cover, the Geoff Shaw “Infinity” cover (main cover) will be a 1:200 incentive cover.

The highly anticipated Crossover will also feature a 1:10 incentive cover by Daniel Warren Johnson, a 1:25 incentive cover by Tradd Moore, a 1:50 incentive cover by Ryan Ottley,

The creative powerhouses behind the bestselling, critically acclaimed God Country, Thanos Wins, and Redneck returns for Crossover. Imagine everything that you thought was fantasy…was real. And now join us, in a world where reality is dead…and anything is possible…

Crossover #1 will be available at comic book shops on Wednesday, November 4.

  • Crossover #1 Cover A Shaw & Stewart – SEP200012
  • Crossover #1 Cover B Stegman & Cunniffe – SEP200013
  • Crossover #1 Cover C Shaw “Ellie” – SEP208021
  • Crossover #1 Cover D (blank) – SEP208023
  • Crossover #1 Cover E 1:10 Daniel Warren Johnson – SEP208022
  • Crossover #1 Cover F 1:25 Tradd Moore – SEP208024
  • Crossover #1 Cover G 1:50 Ryan Ottley – SEP208025
  • Crossover #1 Cover H 1:75 Geoff Shaw “Ellie” (raw) – SEP208026
  • Crossover #1 Cover I 1:100 Ryan Stegman (raw) – SEP208027
  • Crossover #1 Cover J 1:200 Geoff Shaw “Infinity” (raw) – SEP208028

Review: Nailbiter Returns #5

Nailbiter Returns #5

I’m not generally a fan of the horror genre. The films and shows I enjoy tend to be more on the comedic end of things. They act as both a love-letter and send-up to what’s come before. Nailbiter in some ways did that, while it’s sequel Nailbiter Returns absolutely does that. Nailbiter Returns #5 switches things up a bit more taking the over the top game of killers into the point where the heroes are on the hunt.

Sheriff Crane is back! But now she’s sporting an eye-patch and has a very Linda Hamilton in Terminator 2 attitude. It’s time for our crew to switch up the game and begin to hunt the killers!

Joshua Williamson and Mike Henderson have been nailing this series delivering a story that plays with tropes and expectations of this type of story. This isn’t just victims running from slashers, there’s also a bit of Scooby-Doo mixed in as well as everyone attempts to figure out what’s going on.

Nailbiter Returns #5 spends a lot of time focusing on Sheriff Crane and where she’s been. We find out how she survived and how she went underground in a fantastic sequence that once again “uses the rules” of the genre against itself and in that way has fun and honors what has come before.

We also get hints as to a bit more of what’s going on with the Buckaroo Butchers. That’s all mixed with the usual humor that this series is known for. Yes, there’s lots of blood and violence but there’s also a goofy aspect to it all. A killer is defeated by offering fingernails to chew or a trope of the killer running at the victim with arm raised with knife screaming. There’s just a style to it all that takes it from “scary” to “fun.”

That goes beyond the art but also the coloring by Adam Guzowski and lettering by John J. Hill. The use of black, white, and red is great never going over the top to be distracting with the amount of blood present. But, there’s enough to make it feel cartoonish in a good way. Hill’s lettering adds screams to pages and scenes that add to the atmosphere of it all. Like so much, it’s also over the top and full of energy that makes it all… fun.

Nailbiter Returns #5 continues the fun ride which takes a turn as our hunted heroes are now on the warpath. The series up to this point felt like a who’s who of serial killers hunting victims to up their body count. We’re at the part of the story where the game has turned with our heroes standing up and now hunting the serial killers. This isn’t a traditional outsmart the killer and survive, this is much more Terminator than Elm Street. It’s an infusion of a fun aspect that should make this series even more over the top and unpredictable.

Story: Joshua Williamson, Mike Henderson Art: Joshua Williamson, Mike Henderson
Color: Adam Guzowski Letterer: John J. Hill Design: John J. Hill
Story: 8.0 Art: 8.0 Overall: 8.0 Recommendation: Buy

Image Comics provided Graphic Policy with a FREE copy for review


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SDCC 2020: Get a First Look at Crossover from Donny Cates, Geoff Shaw, Dee Cunniffe, and John J. Hill

Announced during Comic-Con@Home, Crossover is the much anticipated new comic series from Donny Cates, Geoff Shaw, Dee Cunniffe, and John J. Hill. The team behind God Country and Redneck reunite for this new series being published by Image Comics and out in November.

What if a comic book summer event generated so much energy, broke down so many barriers, and upended so many expectations that the sheer critical mass of the moment blew open a portal into our world? Imagine if everything you thought was fantasy…was real. Now join us on an epic quest through a world where reality is dead… and anything is possible…

Get a look at Crossover #1 below!

Crossover #1

SDCC 2020: Donny Cates, Geoff Shaw, Dee Cunniffe and John J. Hill Crossover from Image

During Comic-Con@Home, Image Comics announced Crossover, a new series from Donny Cates, Geoff Shaw, Dee Cunniffe, and John J. Hill.

During the panel, Cates described the series as “Avengers: Endgame, but as Cloverfield.” The concept for the comic began in 2017 as an “anti-event event” told from the perspective of an average person.

The series is about a comic company line-wide event getting out of control and opening a portal into the real world.

Check out the panel below as well as the cover for the first issue.

Crossover #1

Review: Nailbiter Returns #2

Nailbiter Returns #2

Nailbiter Returns #2 is a hell of a second issue with twists and turns, some of which are completely unexpected. With a story and art by Joshua Williamson and Mike Henderson the second issue just surprises all over. With Sheriff Crane missing, Agent Finch takes her daughter Sharon to see the Nailbiter.

But, where things could easily go Silence of the Lambs, Williamson and Henderson inject a lot of humor to it. Warren has been locked away in a secret prison just passing his time. What has he been doing and why is he here? Finch and Warren explain it all and the trio together really take what could easily been a queezy concept and keeps it kind of light. Warren spins a tale that would be an awesome one-shot while Finch justifies his decision and recounts what he knows. It feels like a “cards on the table” type moment.

But, where things go from there is where it’s really intriguing. Williamson and Henderson flip the script in a way with two Buckaroo Butchers stalking a couple as their next victims and from there the comic gets really shocking as the rug is pulled out from under the reader. It’s really impressive and really entertaining. It also ups the action and pacing of the comic as it compacts expectations.

The art by the duo is fantastic with the addition of Adam Guzowksi on color and John J. Hill handling the lettering. The Warren scene which is just individuals standing around (lets face it a lot of this issue is) could easily be boring. But, the team delivers an expressive nature about Warren which both makes for interesting visuals but really enhances the fact this person has had little contact with the outside world. The art really stands out for the Nailbiter as his energy pops off the page and though he’s a killer… you kind of like him.

The series is fantastic and having fun with tropes and expectations with it being a sequel to a horror story. Like the best, Nailbiter Returns #2 plays with things keeping the readers on their toes and not expecting what to happen next. It creates an excitement and energy about it that’s a hell of a lot of fun to read and experience. It’s a sequel I didn’t know I wanted but two issues in, beyond happy it’s here.

Story: Joshua Williamson, Mike Henderson Art: Joshua Williamson, Mike Henderson
Color: Adam Guzowksi Letterer: John J. Hill
Story: 8.5 Art: 8.5 Overall: 8.5 Recommendation: Buy


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Review: Nailbiter Returns #1

Nailbiter Returns #1

Nailbiter Returns #1 takes us back to the world of serial killers and mystery. For those who never read the original series, Nailbiter, this first issue does an excellent job of dropping you into this world and catching you up. For new readers, it’s an entry point. For longtime fans, it’s a return to a world of blood, bodies, and horror.

To catch new readers up sixteen of the world’s worst serial killers were all born in the same town. The previous volume solver and buried that mystery… right? Well, violent copycat murders imitating the infamous Buckaroo Butchers have begun on Portland, Oregon bringing Agent Finch back into this strange world. Instead of Sheriff Crane, he’ll be teaming up with Alice, the daughter of one of the serial killers, the Nailbiter himself, to solve this mystery.

Accessible. Leaving you wanting to already know the answers. Slightly scary. Nailbiter Returns #1 is a solid debut comic that builds the tension and delivers some shocks. Writer Joshua Williamson nails, no pun intended, the first issue with all the beats and surprises you’d want from this type of story. There’s not traditional scares but definitely a lot of “wtf” moments that’ll have you excited for the next issue.

There’s such an ease of going into the first issue. With an excellent previous volume, it’d be easy to rely a bit too much on knowledge from that. While I read that volume, it’s been so long, I don’t remember a lot of specifics. So, this debut felt like a fresh read and it delivers just enough info that you’ll feel caught up.

Part of what makes the comic so good is the art by Mike Henderson. There’s such a good use of panels and framing of a scene. The right details are focused in on. Along with the colors of Adam Guzowski and lettering by John J. Hill, the comic delivers chills without the gore. At times it approaches the line into gore porn but never quite crosses it. There’s added smarts there as it allows our minds to fill in the gaps and horrors we imagine can never be equaled by what’s on the page. There’s a good use of letting the reader fill in the gory details.

Story: Joshua Williamson Art: Mike Henderson
Color: Adam Guzowski Letterer: John J. Hill
Story: 8.5 Art: 8.5 Overall: 8.5 Recommendation: Buy

Image Comics provided Graphic Policy with a FREE copy for review


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Review: Batman/Superman #3

Batman/Superman #3

Batman/Superman #3 continues to deliver a hell of a series as we begin to see the larger picture of what’s going on.

Written by Joshua Williamson the issue has Superman infected by The Batman Who Laughs. The issue teases out what’s to come and by the end, it’s much clearer this is a much bigger story tying into DC’s meta.

Williamson is able to deliver an issue that’s enjoyed on its own. At the same time, for those paying attention to “Year of the Villain” and “Tales From the Dark Multiverse,” you’ll be extra thrilled with the issue. Though this is a race to find out who’s infected and cure them, there’s so much more going on. That, and the fact Williamson is focused on numerous relationships makes the issue resonate.

The art by David Marquez with color by Alejandro Sanchez delivers. There’s some powerful moments and action sequences and you can feel the impact of the punches and crashes. The lettering by John J. Hill adds to the twisted nature of it all, especially Superman, as the infected grow.

The issue delivers and really moves the series and story along. There’s a sense of desperation you can feel coming from Batman as he struggles with what to do. Add in Superman realizing this isn’t an easy fight and you truly get a sense of a struggle. The series is delivering one of the best experiences from DC right now.

Story: Joshua Williamson Art: David Marquez
Color: Alejandro Sanchez Letters: John J. Hill
Story: 8.5 Art: 8.75 Overall: 8.65 Recommendation: Buy

Review: Batman/Superman #2

Batman/Superman #2

Batman and Superman are locked in battle with Shazam in a solid second issue. Batman/Superman #2 has the pacing down as these two heroes realize they’re up against a hell of a threat. I’ll fully admit corrupted heroes as a concept is a bit of a yawn. Writer Joshua Williamson puts me in my place though with this and the previous issue.

To some extent, Batman/Superman #2 feels like certain beats are attempted to be hit. Williamson delivers the moments we’d expect if Superman and Batman were to fight Shazam. Even though they’re expected, they’re still entertaining. And that’s part of Williamson’s strength. The comic is fun like a wild ride you immediately want more of. You can see the twists and hills but it’s still enjoyable.

Still, while mostly predictable, Williamson delivers mystery as someone lies outside in the shadows directing the corrupted heroes. It’s a tease that is still a lot of fun even with so much of the story spoiled through solicits.

The art by David Marquez is amazing. Along with color from Alejandro Sanchez and lettering by John J. Hill, the visuals nail the tone. The small details on the corrupted Shazam are fantastic and use of lightning top notch. The comic pops visually. The lettering by Hill emphasizes the corruption. There are just amazing pages that had me lingering for quite some time. The art captures the excitement and energy of it all.

Batman/Superman #2 is a fantastic second issue. The cynicism for the concept has gone away. It’s a ride I’m completely strapped in for. It hits the key beats perfectly delivering on expectations but doing so effortlessly and with a hell of a lot of fun.

Story: Joshua Williamson Art: David Marquez
Color: Alejandro Sanchez Letterer: John J. Hill
Story: 8.5 Art: 8.5 Overall: 8.5 Recommendation: Buy

DC Comics provided Graphic Policy with a FREE copy for review

Review: Batman/Superman #1

The follow up to The Batman Who Laughs, Batman/Superman #1 is the newest chapter of the meta story that began with Dark Knights: Metal. Superheroes have been infected by the Batman Who Laughs, but who are the secret six!? Batman and Superman are on the case.

Story: Joshua Williamson
Art: David Marquez
Color: Alejandro Sanchez
Letterer: John J. Hill

Get your copy in comic shops now! To find a comic shop near you, visit http://www.comicshoplocator.com or call 1-888-comicbook or digitally and online with the links below.

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DC Comics provided Graphic Policy with a FREE copy for review
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