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Review: Crossover #5

Crossover #5

The God of Blades has been obtained. The team needs to hustle to get to their destination of the dome. A military attack stands in the way. Crossover #5 is an interesting comic that feels like something is missing but still generally flows in an over-the-top nature. A terrorist attack has forced the government’s hand. It has forced an attack on the comic characters that have bled over into the real world and the dome. This complicates matters as our group of heroes is caught in-between.

Writer Donny Cates begins to wrap things up in this penultimate chapter of “Kids Love Chains”. The issue isn’t bad but feels like there’s something missing. What happens due to the attack is explained but we don’t see the setup of the attack. The terrorist attack itself is a bit odd as the person that’s the cause doesn’t have the tell-tale signs of being from the comic world (the dots). It’s a headscratcher why his captors would so easily fall for things. From there, it’s a quick decision to attack the dome as well which again feels like a quick ramp-up of the situation, and things are skipped off-panel. In other words, the comic feels a bit rushed and choppy.

Cates dials back the self-referencing and the comic doesn’t quite feel like ego-inflation which has been danced around for bits of previous issues. The issue is focused on that action as the group must decide what to do with the bombing raid before them (which makes you also wonder why the US hasn’t done this before?).

This is an issue that feels more visuals than dialogue and plot and Geoff Shaw delivers. There’s some stunning pages, especially as the God of Blades is used and a choice is made in how to deal with a threat. Along with Dee Cunniffe‘s color and John J. Hill‘s lettering and design, the series as a whole has shined when it has come to the art. Here’s a prime example as pages are packed in with action and characters and the comic both does its own thing and pays an homage to action comics of the past. The Ben Day dots that indicate a character is from comics continue to be amazing and such a nice detail that stands out in a creative way.

With some fun pop-culture references and a big action sequence, Crossover #5 is a fun comic to read. It stumbles in that it could use a bit more of a setup. Steps feel like they’ve been missed and we go from 0 to 10 in no time at all. I thought I missed an issue when I first began to read the comic. Still, it delivers action, drama, and ups the stakes of it all.

Story: Donny Cates Art: Geoff Shaw
Color: Dee Cunniffe Letterer/Design: John J. Hill
Story: 7.0 Art: 8.5 Overall: 7.0 Recommendation: Read

Image Comics provided Graphic Policy with a FREE copy for review

Purchase: comiXologyZeus ComicsTFAW

Crossover #4 Goes Back to Print to Meet Demand

Last week’s reprints of the bestselling series Crossover by Donny Cates and Geoff Shaw with Dee Cunniffe and John. J. Hill sent a surge of new customers to stores interested in picking up the series everyone is talking about. Image Comics will rush Crossover #4 back to print in order to keep up with the growing readership.

In Crossover #4, readers journey to the strange land of magical Colorado as our intrepid team of heroes searches for a way to shatter the dome and expose the truth behind The Event!

Crossover #4, second printing (Diamond Code JAN219070) will be available at comic book shops on Wednesday, March 31.

Crossover #1, second printing (Diamond Code JAN218668) and Crossover #3, second printing (Diamond Code JAN218669) will both be available at comic book shops on Wednesday, March 24.

Crossover #4, second printing

Crossover Gets Two Issues Going Back to Print

The bestselling series Crossover by creative masterminds Donny Cates and Geoff Shaw with Dee Cunniffe and John. J. Hill sizzles with fan frenzy and both Crossover #1 and Crossover #3 will be rushed back to print in order to keep up with the unrelenting customer demand.

In Crossover #3, there are monsters and robots falling from the sky! Mysterious (and familiar??) superheroes joining our intrepid gang on their journey to event ground zero! The story continues with the series’ most explosive and shocking issue to date! Don’t miss this one, folks. If you do, it just might drive you… mad.

Crossover #1, second printing (Diamond Code JAN218668) and Crossover #3, second printing (Diamond Code JAN218669) will both be available at comic book shops on Wednesday, March 24.

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: Nailbiter Returns #9

Nailbiter Returns #9

Nailbiter Returns #9 delivers all of the reveals as we get a better sense as to the big picture of it all. With our heroes captures, the issue is that stereotypical moment where the big bad does a monologue and reveals their motivation. This is mixed in with flashbacks that delivers more history about Warren and has us questioning a lot of what we believed to know about the world of Nailbiter.

Joshua Williamson and Mike Henderson continue their dive into the world of Nailbiter playing it up as both a sendup and homage to horror sequels. Nailbiter Returns #9 has moments we expect so much from these types of films but also offers so much more for fans of the series. We get the villain going on about her plan but Williamson and Henderson also tie it all into the world they’ve built. There’s implications here that go back to the original series which again is something we see at times with horror sequels.

There’s a brilliance about Nailbiter Returns #9 as it adds some real depth and mystery to the overall story but it also uses a hook we’ve seen so many times before. It’s like the revelations in the Scream sequels which tie into the original’s story and changes it up ever so slightly. It’s smart, fun, and generally, really interesting. It has me wanting to go back and read the original series again.

Nailbiter Returns #9 is a solid issue in that it also gives us a lot of history between Warren and Penelope. We get to see a slight slide of Warren but also question what pushed him over the edge. There’s young kids in “love” but also something very sinister about it all as well. It’ll have you looking at Warren in a different way by the end.

Williamson and Henderson provide the art with Adam Guzowki on color and John J. Hill on lettering. Like all the issues before, the art does a dance. There’s over the top moments which might gross out some but it’s kind of hard to not see the humor in it. It’s just so silly at times, it delivers laughs and it’s hard to take seriously as scares. There’s so many moments of blood and some gore, none of it is played straight. A necklace made of eyeballs, a tender moment taken a bit too far, it’s weird and creepy but never meant to be sickening.

Nailbiter Returns #9 isn’t an issue new readers can jump in to. But, those who have been following this volume will be satisfied as to the reveals and where the issue takes things. Those who are long time readers of this and the previous series will be very happy as the issue delivers reveals that adds a lot to the series’ world and has us wanting to know more.

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

Image Comics provided Graphic Policy with a FREE copy for review

Purchase: comiXologyKindleZeus ComicsTFAW

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

Review: Nailbiter Returns #8

Nailbiter Returns #8

Nailbiter Returns is the horror sequel I didn’t know I needed. For seven issues the series has danced around horror tropes, and especially sequel tropes. It’s made fun of and had fun with them. As someone that’s not the biggest horror fan, this is an approach I appreciate. It’s comedic horror in some ways reminding me of the film Behind the Mask. Nailbiter Returns #8 finally pulls back the curtain like a messed of Wizard of Oz as we learn who’s behind the return of the Buckaroo Butchers.

Joshua Williamson and Mike Henderson continue their at times over the top horror sequel amping things up by the end of the issue giving us reveals and motivations. Like so many horror sequels the motivations and plan is taken to 11, a somewhat ridiculous level and reason.

Williamson and Henderson are having fun with the issue delivering their usual comedic styling along with the horror. This isn’t one that’s meant to scare as much as laugh and entertain. It’s not a campy horror, there’s gore, but it’s hard to take things seriously. It’s tone is defined by laughs and ridiculous (in a good way) imagery.

Blood flies, eyes are gouged, and the heroes trip balls. It’s all done in a style and way that it’s hard to not laugh at. Like a Tarantino film, the violence is so over the top it’s meant for laughs.

Henderson and Williamson are joined by Adam Guzowksi on color and John J. Hill on lettering. The group lets the blood fly with glee. The series as a whole has featured art that’s popped and this issue delivers eyeballs that do too. Nailbiter Returns #8 continues the acid-inspired hallucinations playing it for humor and takes us to the past giving us a bit more history into the characters. There’s a lot packed in the issue and the art is no exception as there’s so much subtle storytelling with just the visuals.

Nailbiter Returns #8 is the big reveal of who’s behind the current game of murderers and we get the master plan which is… very horror sequel. There’s a goofiness to it all that’s hard to not sit back and just enjoy. The series continues to play with expectations and delivers entertainment with every issue.

Story: Joshua Williamson, Mike Henderson Art: Joshua Williamson, Mike Henderson
Color: Adam Guzowski Letterer/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

Purchase: comiXologyKindleZeus Comics

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

Review: Nailbiter Returns #7

Nailbiter Returns #7

Nailbiter Returns #7 delivers a trippy experience as our gang of heroes venture deeper into Buckaroo. The issue takes a hard turn as the group is drugged leading each of them to flip their lids and freak out. The story is out there and the visuals match. It’s best to not do drugs yourself while reading.

With a story and art by Joshua Williamson and Mike Henderson, Nailbiter Returns #7 takes things in an unexpected direction. The battles with returned killers is put to the side as we get a Wonka-esque trip. The issue drops hint after hint as to who might be behind everything as each character spirals in their visions. And the comic is all about the visions.

There’s some crazy stuff in this issue as snakes come out of eyes, it rains blood, monsters appear. I’ve used the word trippy a lot but it really does the comic justice.

But, what’s interesting about Nailbiter Returns #7 is that it gets us to its end point through a windy road. The issue is peppered with hints and teases as to who’s behind things and I’m sure it’ll be interesting to go back to when everything is revealed. The comic could easily have cut through it all to get us to the end of the issue but it instead has fun with a forest funhouse of horrors.

The visuals are fantastic with some truly disturbing work that game me pause and had me quickly turning the page. Those visuals are also maximized to create a flow to the issue that’s a constant slide to the next sequence. Characters break through panels and pages to fall into the next terror of their experience. The use of perspective is top-notch and the issue feels like it’s designed to keep the reader off-center.

Things are helped by Adam Guzowski‘s colors and the lettering of John J. Hill. Purples, reds, and whites, are combined for a look that’s not scary or sickly but does have a frightening sense about it all. Hill’s lettering adds a punch and emphasis to key moments and like the art often breaks the bubble to add an exclamation point on it all.

Nailbiter Returns #7 is a very different issue than what has led up to it and it’s beyond welcomed. The visuals are crazy without being over the top and there’s something fun about the “wtf” of it all. If you’ve been reading the series, the issue doesn’t add a ton other than teases but it’s a lot of fun. If you just like crazy art, go for it. This isn’t the best place to start but it continues a hell of a fun horror series.

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: 9.0 Overall: 8.35 Recommendation: Buy

Image Comics provided Graphic Policy with a FREE copy for review

Purchase: comiXologyKindleZeus Comics

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