Skip to main content

REVIEW: 'Crosswind' #6 by Gail Simone and Cat Staggs

The first story arc comes to an explosive and surprising end as Gail Simone and Cat Staggs have taken the familiar body switching storyline and put some delicious though-provoking twists in it.


CROSSWIND #6

Writer: Gail Simone
Artist: Cat Staggs
Publisher: Image Comics
Release Date: January 3, 2018
Cover Price: $3.99

Score: ★★★★☆ (4/5)

It's been interesting reading Gail Simone's social media posts because she genuinely seems taken aback by the success of 'Crosswind.'I've rated it high since its debut for the clever plotting and eye-popping art but so has nearly every other comic site. The comic will also be adapted into a television show on Syfy so its success has transcended one medium into another. Being as humble as she is, Simone is grateful for the praise and showers all the kudos on Staggs, letterer Simon Bowland, and production artist Carey Hall. It's a team effort of course and Simone's sizable contribution elevated 'Crosswind' to one of the most imaginative and subversive titles of the year.

On the surface, any body-swapping tale is going to teach a lesson to those who find themselves literally in someone else's shoes. They learn to appreciate what that person goes through and develop a sense of empathy that maybe didn't have before. When the swap involves an unappreciated wife and a mob enforcer there are plenty of lessons to learn. There's also a lot of danger.

Cruz, his henchmen, and Vox are en route to Juniper's home in Seattle. Cason as Juniper has assimilated very well into a fierce maternal influence over her son and become the "take-no-crap" wife to her cheating condescending husband. The internal transformation for Cason has given him a whole new perspective on life now that he's removed from the sleazy deadly world from whence he came. Now it's about cooking a great dinner, battling her son's bullies and making friends with the neighbors. And kicking that shitbag of a husband to the curb. The switch for Cason has mostly removed a giant weight off his shoulders from being under the thumb of a mob boss and working with psychotic colleagues. One of which is on his way to murder him in his new body and the family he's assumed.

For Juniper, it's been a different type of awakening. Once a pushover, disrespected by everyone, a passive wallflower living a miserable unappreciated existence, Juniper as Cason found her inner strength, a strength that had always been there. She was always smart but taking the place of a respected and feared mobster tested her in ways she never had before. She had to make decisions, life and death decisions, quickly and confidently. These were situations that made suburban life seem tame by comparison. Yet, Juniper persevered and found the respect (and some pampering from Cason's girlfriend Mika) that she had deserved for so long.

The lesson here was not that they learned something from an outward source, some enlightening event, or a mentor. Not even Vox whose mysterious and mystical power to initiate the body switch in the first place taught them "grace" as he planned as a form of revenge. In fact, the surprisingly underdeveloped character of Vox didn't play a big role in the series. He became a disposable plot device but what Juniper and Cason did learn was the capacity to change from within. Their self-discovery revealed a strength and power that they suppressed in their normal lives. Cason found empathy, suddenly responsible for Juniper's step-son in need of some discipline and confidence-building. He recognized the kindness of others, opening to his neighbors including a transperson who is portrayed as a regular human being. Juniper found her voice, a confidence she had resisted to express before using her smarts as well as her newfound toughness to deal with high-pressure situations. Whatever ailed their respective lives was within them all along. Their new bodies became the vessel, a cocoon, in which they blossomed from.

Cat Staggs is a singular talent No one does photo-realistic art like Staggs does and is responsible for the signature look of 'Crosswind.' As adept at action and violence, as she is, Staggs excels at conveying characters' thoughts and emotions through facial expressions and body language. When Staggs is involved there's never a dull moment with briskly paced layouts and bold panels. She's made the series a uniquely visual stunner.

'Crosswind' ends its first arc with a satisfying and unexpected conclusion. It opens up the world to new possibilities with characters that symbolize the magnitude and weight of change and self-love. Simone and Staggs have created a multi-layered crime drama that dabbles in the familiar while provoking emotions and thoughts that will surprise.

Review by Enrique Rea

Buy Me a Coffee at ko-fi.com





Comments

Popular posts from this blog

DC Comics March Movie Poster Variant Covers are Fantastic

DC Comics may have outdone themselves with their running themed variant covers for the month of March 2015. After some fun and gorgeous variants in 2014 like Darwin Cooke (December), LEGO (November), and Bombshells (June) to name a few DC Comics is continuing to bring some creative covers in 2015. January will feature Flash throughout the company line in celebration of his 75th Anniversary, February will bring everyone’s favorite wild card, Harley Quinn, on DC covers, and perhaps the best mash-ups of comics and famous movie posters will arrive in March.

WONDER WOMAN OF THE DAY: Fitness Model Gia Macool Embodies the Amazon Princess

The closest we'll ever get, probably, to superheroes in real life is through the great work of cosplayers. You see them at every pop culture convention from the very basic to extremely elaborate costume design. However, you don't have to be a cosplayer to enjoy dressing up as your favorite superhero from time to time. Take fitness model and entrepreneur Gia Macool for example. An accomplished fitness competitor and model, Macool is also a big fan of DC Comics' Wonder Woman. She shows her love of the iconic Amazon Princess in her fitness wear, meal prep accessories and even a full blown photo shoot in a Wonder Woman costume. 

For decades comics have featured very muscular superheroes, male and female, epitomizing the human form at its strongest. So when bodybuilders and fitness pros decide to suit up as these costumed heroes, they are the embodiment of those fictional characters in the flesh. Macool looks like she stepped out of the pages of a Wonder Woman comic with a suit …

KICKSTARTER SPOTLIGHT: 'WHITE' The Sequel to the Acclaimed Graphic Novel BLACK

How does America react when only black people have superpowers? In the sure-to-be-controversial six-part comic book series WHITE, co-creators Kwanza Osajyefo and Tim Smith 3, Inkpot-Award winning artist Jamal Igle, and cover artist Khary Randolph reunite for the sequel to their acclaimed graphic novel and Kickstarter sensation, BLACK.



“How does a nation struggling with a history of racial inequality cope in a world where only black people have superpowers?” said Kwanza Osajyefo. “Our story asks: In a time of supposed inclusion and diversity, how far will those in charge push back to retain the status quo?”

In WHITE, Theodore Mann, whose family exploited empowered blacks for centuries, is now President of the United States. Mann’s administration has exacted controversial measures to deal with the empowered he’s deemed terrorists and is stoking national tensions to win public support for Mann First, a cybernetically-augmented soldier program. The main person standing in the President’s …

Fitness Women in Superhero Body Paint by J.M. Manion

J.M. Manion has long been a successful photographer covering the fitness and bodybuilding industry. He has photographed some of the strongest, well-defined physiques on the planet. He's also had a love of super-heroes and comic books. So much so that Manion began publishing his own comic book, Iron Siren Comics, featuring some of the fitness competitors he's covered as superheroes themselves. It's no wonder he sometimes incorporates superhero cosplay and body paint into photo shoots. Here are just some examples of his work:

PRE-ORDER: 'Sabrina the Teenage Witch' #1 (of 5) by Kelly Thompson, Veronica Fish, and Andy Fish

BRAND NEW SERIES! Sabrina is a teen witch who’s struggling with balancing the double life of high school and her burgeoning powers. Newly relocated to Greendale with her aunts Hilda and Zelda (also witches), Sabrina is trying to make the best of being the new girl in town which so far includes two intriguing love interests, an instant rivalry, a couple of misfits that could turn into BFFs, and trying to save the high school (and maybe the world) from crazy supernatural events. NBD!




SABRINA THE TEENAGE WITCH #1 (OF 5)
Script: Kelly Thompson Art: Veronica Fish, Andy Fish, Jack Morelli Cover: Veronica Fish Variant Covers: Stephanie Buscema, Adam Hughes, Victor Ibanez, Sandra Lanz On Sale Date: 3/27 32-page, full color comic $3.99 U.S.
FINAL ORDERS DUE 3/4 ON SALE 3/27
Artwork by Veronica & Andy Fish