Crosswind #3 Review
Writer: Gail Simone
Artist: Cat Staggs
Letterer: Simon Bowland
Publisher: Image Comics
A Review by Greg Brothers
One of the major obstacles of a creator-owned comic is those first couple of issues. As a creative team, the writer and artist must find that balance where they can hook the reader, while not giving away the entire book. It is because of some of these obstacles that when I pick up a new series I always try to give the book about three issues to see if I am going to continue with the series. Well unless it is so bad that I must choke down that first issue. Fortunately, Crosswind #1 did not fall under the choking it down category, although I did find some faults in the first issue.
Crosswind #3 picks up right where the last issue ended. Juniper Blue — or at least her body — is finishing up an interesting dinner party with her husband’s boss. Meanwhile the body of Cason Ray Bennett is trying to figure out how to get out of a situation that neither he nor his colleagues want to be in.
Crosswind #3 really starts to pick up for one half of the duo, as we see Juniper really start to take matters into her own hands. Instead of being the weak and timid wife and stepmother she had been, with Cason now in control, she stops putting up with people disrespecting her or her stepson. The personality of Cason allows for Simone to really push the Juniper character and have some fun with it. Imagine the most ruthless, outspoken, and stereotypical mob hitman, put into the body of a timid housewife. That is what you get here. It is almost impossible for Simone to go too far with the character, and she really does push those limits.
As fun as the character of Juniper has been, the Cason character has been slow to develop and create a hook. Some of the writing plays into personality of having Juniper in Cason’s body, but it had made the character boring and uninteresting so far as the action happens around the character rather than to the character. It creates an uneven story where the panels with Cason do not seem to go anywhere and you are just trying to get through them to see what kind of exciting thing Juniper is going to do next.
Staggs’ decision to go with photo-realistic style also has its hits and misses throughout Crosswind #3. Many of the panels pop and draw you right into the action. However, many of the panels featuring Cason and his colleagues come off as unfocused and hard to distinguish between characters. The panels with Juniper are generally clean, sharp, colorful, and filled with action. The panels specifically with the use of a certain kitchen utensil made me grimace in pain. Some of the coloring seems a bit off, also, as in several panels the shading makes it look as if some characters have rashes or some other skin condition. It’s unfortunate because it really takes away from the story at times.
Wait and See! I’m really struggling with Crosswind #3 and the series in general. I can see this potential for an amazing story that is bubbling just under the surface. At any moment, I feel a switch is going to flip and the story is going to turn up to an 11. Simone has done an excellent job of taking the body switch genre and completely flipping it on its head, but the execution so far has been inconsistent.