‘Crossover #2:’ Comic Book Review

It dawned on me after reading issue 2 of Crossover who Donny Cates was. In one of the ads on the very last page, they advertise his book, Buzz Kill, which I had read upon its release and thought it was incredible. If I had kept his name ingrained in my head, I would have picked up everything he had written as he went along. Thankfully, his name is now synonymous with two series that I love, the second being the one that I’m currently writing about.

The world of Crossover is our world, where superheroes only exist in comic books, until a giant dome appeared over Denver. Within it, so too did all of the superheroes and villains from comic books. It became a war zone. Now, people from the comic book worlds are hated, and that means anyone who works at a comic store or wears cosplay is also hated.

As Donny Cates points out throughout the narration, this is also a love story between one such nerd named Ellie, short for Ellipses – no, seriously - who would do anything for any innocent living creature, and a young man, Ryan, who would rather be anything other than the son of a millionaire religious extremist, but he is, and he gives into peer pressure only to regret it.

The second big dilemma is that a young girl showed up in the comic store in which Ellie worked, and like everyone else from the comic book worlds, she is covered by pixels. It’s a beautiful visual that holds a lot of emotional weight when reading. Someone with a giant “S” on his chest saved her. This book is about a lot of things, but it’s about hope.

I’ve seen the Superman mythology pop up in two very unexpected places recently, both here and in the first episode of Watchmen. Both times, it has brought me to tears, because that Superman myth used in these two situations is about hope for those who need it most. In Watchmen, it was about the Black community that was being bombed in Tulsa. Here, it’s about refugees, people who are different than us, people who need our help, not our hatred.

There’s a powerful message wrapped up in the first two issues of Crossover, and Ellie is ready to do whatever she needs to do against whatever she comes up against to help the girl with the pixilation.

The art by Geoff Shaw and colors by Dee Cunniffe are wonderful, and they capture the playful and dramatic voice of Cates beautifully. This series is also edited by Mark Waid, so there are some heavy hitters at work. It would behoove you to give it a look.

Creative Team: Donny Cates (story), Geoff Shaw (art), Dee Cunniffe (colors), John J. Hill (letters and design), Mark Waid (story edits)
Publisher: Image Comics
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