What do an amoral hitman and an average woman-on-the-street have in common? Well, right now, they’re in one another’s bodies… Your Major Spoilers review of Crosswind #2 awaits!
Writer: Gail Simone
Illustrator: Cat Staggs
Letterer: Simon Bowland
Production: Carey Hall
Publisher: Image Comics
Cover Price: $3.99
Previously in Crosswind: “The mind-breaking crime fantasy continues! Slick Chicago hitman Cason Bennett and mousy Seattle housewife Juniper Blue have inexplicably switched bodies and lives, and a heartless, relentless killer seems intent on killing them both. Don’t miss this edge-of-your-seat thriller by fan-favorites GAIL SIMONE and CAT STAGGS!”
A FASCINATING PREMISE
The upside of following your favorite creators on social media is knowing months in advance that projects are in the pipeline. Writer Gail Simone has been talking about ‘Crosswind’ for what feels like a year or more, which makes me feel even more foolish for missing the release of issue number one. No matter, though, as this issue makes for a perfect single issue read from the opening pages. Moments after the mind-swap that forms the premise, we find hitman Cason in a grocery store, inhabiting the body of housewife Juniper as she shops. Juniper’s situation is more precarious, but no less baffling, taking over Cason moments after he has completed a particularly bloody job. The real joy here is in the characters, as Cason preparing for a dinner party has as much tension as Juniper cleaning up a murder scene, and the voices of our main characters are distinct and fascinating. Though the mysterious entity who has engineered their torment is as yet unknown, I really enjoy seeing Juniper and Cason apply their skills to their new situation, and it looks like everything is going to be temporarily fine…
…then the feds arrive at the crime scene.
Also, Cason is out of cream for the coffee.
STUNNING ART FROM THE VERY FIRST PAGE
In lesser creative hands, this story could easy feel cliché, with Juniper out of her depth and collapsing, but instead, she rises to the occasion (and her partner remarks that he’s never seen a hit cleaned up so perfectly.) Simone’s dialogue is just breathtaking throughout, but Cat Staggs art really makes the story sing. The voice of a tough-guy coming from the mouth of a nice suburban stepmother works even better when Juniper/Cason actually looks like a real person. Her facial expressions are lovely as well, delivering on the idea that there are different minds inside each body with aplomb. (Seeing Cason’s dismissive sneer on Juniper’s face and her terror in his eyes drives home the fact that something terrible is happening, making them feel like real people.) The issue ends with a short story written by Juniper, allowing us to get even further inside her head (and since there’s a hitman in there already, it might get a little crowded.)
THE BOTTOM LINE: A MUST-READ
The real magic of Image Comics comes when talented creators are able to deliver a story that you wouldn’t be able to find anywhere else, and this book’s premise, while containing that fantastic element of the mind-swap, wouldn’t fly in a shared universe or a superhero world. But on its own, it makes for a riveting comic-book, one that I highly recommend on all levels, leaving Crosswind #5 with full marks, 5 out of 5 stars overall. There’s something supremely satisfying about a simple premise being used to make such a strong story, and the combination of Simone’s dialogue and Staggs’ beautifully complex art makes every page worth looking at. This one’s well worth the price of admission…