Crosswind, Vol. 1by Gail Simone, Cat Staggs Published 06 Mar 2018
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Goodfellas meets Freaky Friday in this mind-bending new ongoing series from Fan-favorite creators GAIL SIMONE (Wonder Woman, Batgirl, Deadpool, Secret Six, Birds of Prey) and CAT STAGGS (Adventures of Supergirl, Smallville Season 11, Wonder Woman '77).
A slick and ruthless Chicago hitman.
A smart but downtrodden Seattle housewife.
When an inexplicable event strikes these two random strangers, their bodies, souls, and lives are switched--to potentially deadly effect.
Collects issues 1-6.
"Crosswind, Vol. 1" Reviews
Have a hit-man switch bodies with a suburban housewife. And then have each of them decide they like their new lives/bodies better. That's basically what this book is, albeit with a lot more detail (and brutality). It's an interesting take on the genre that is intentionally informed by LGBTQ+ critiques of the trope, and shows that the concept can be respectful of their concerns and still tell a strong story. The level of comfort both Cason and Juniper both show when in the alternate bodies is different, but powerful. The catalyst behind the switch and the motivation are the weakest part of the story. But in spite of that, the conflict that ends up bringing the two threads together leads to an explosive finale. The back-matter is a worthwhile read, too, as it offers a little more depth for several characters and the entire concept.
Before I started reading this one, I completely forgot what it is about. And until the "crossing" happened I was wondering what story it would be. And I started to enjoy it. Swapping bodies is nothing new. A man with a woman, a boy with a girl, a young with an old, a poor witch a rich. And mob hitman with the housewife. Despite it's (gentle) campaigning for transgender people here and there (especial with single issues "bonus material") it is a well-written story, with few (unsurprising) twists and a decent ending. But I have a major problem with Crosswind too. It tries to look like a TV show a lot. by the scenes and style of panels, by the art, by the dialogues (and inner dialogue), it all evokes TV show's extremely detailed screenplay. And the art - it works here, but honestly - it is messy, sloppy and, well, fracking ugly. I needed to read fast because when I started to look into panels, it usually ended with the thought "Geez, that's hideous!" What can I say - the Crosswind is not bad comics. It is actually good comics, but with the style which was a bit annoying to me and, for me, hideous art.
*Galley received from Image*
3.5 to 4 stars?
This was an interesting one and it delivered in all the ways it promised. The art style is unique, and I found myself enjoying the visuals throughout. The plot, though not entirely original, does feel fresh in the hands of this creative team.
In flipping the lives of a hit man and a housewife, the story takes unexpected turns--alternately humorous and dark--as the two lead characters find themselves both in over their heads. But they may also be more suited to their new lives than they originally expected.
With strong characters and an engaging plot, Vol. 1 has a lot of positives going for it. However, there are also moments throughout that just didn't sit right when I read them. It's definitely a mature story, and it has its flaws--but "Crosswind" is a comic that surprises, delivering complexity and occasional humor, while putting a unique spin on an existing concept.
Really fun book and can't wait for the 2nd part to start up again. The blurb of "Freaky Friday meets Goodfellas" is pretty much on the nose. A downtrodden Mormon housewife and Cuban hitman switch bodies at horrible times for both of them (in the midst of cleaning up a huge crime scene and trying to get dinner ready for the overbearing husband's boss)--but what was meant to be a punishment works to both their advantages. And I loved how both Juniper and Cason are both relieved and manage to extricate themselves from their problems (no matter how improbably they do so). Least this is supposed to be coming again this year--and rumors of a TV show too, which this would be good, if they kept the same humor and sensibility.
I have seen several blurbs referring to this mess as a twist on Freaky Friday, but I think the gonzo Nic Cage/John Travolta action flick Face/Off would be more apt. As in that film, so much of the plot of this book relies on the main characters not acting as reasonable people would. Instead of delving much, the creative team just goes for the cool quip or moment of violence as they send their body-switched duo up against a couple of over-the-top bad guys.
I had to keep reminding myself this was written by a woman as the male character in a female body just slam dunked the change while the woman in a man's body floundered about helplessly for much of the story. He rocked the suburbs again and again, while her one big victory early on was cleaning up really well. I know this was driven by their one-note personalities - stud hitman and doormat housewife - but it still comes across as a negative signal to be transmitting.
The art bugged me too, as it seemed at times to be based on digital alteration of photographs like that Richard Linklater animated movie, Waking Life. Or perhaps the awful mottled coloring just made it look that way. Regardless, the pictures struck me as distractingly ugly and kept throwing me out of the story.
If not for the amazingly effective use of the word "transphobe" late in the book, I might even have gone for a one-star rating. That moment, and the end-matter interview with Charles Battersby made me realize how more interesting this story would have been told mainly from the point of view of the vastly underutilized transgender supporting character. I want to read that book, not this loosey-goosey action trash.
A body switch story about an abused and objectified housewife who ends up crossed with a foul mouthed hitman is somewhat conceptually funny. Unfortunately, the over-the-top language and the art made this nigh-unreadable to me.
Cat Staggs seems very talented at their art style. Unfortunately, it's one I can't stand. It looks like highly photoshopped pictures dipped in mud. It definitely takes talent to create this type of art, but it also takes talent to write limericks about licking Donald Trump's head but I don't ever want to be exposed to the work of someone with that talent.
I usually love Simone's storytelling, but this one missed the mark, as I could hear her giggling as she wrote some of the dialog the hitman (and later the hitman trapped in the housewive's body) used, but it was far too over-the-top for me.
The idea of exploring the false gender binary through these characters and their circumstance is theoretically interesting, but I just didn't believe a single character in this book enough to dwell on the social implications.
I recommend it for people who wish Quentin Tarantino wrote a Freaky Friday movie directly after he fell down a flight of stairs, people who fished their prized family photos out of a swamp and decided the pictures looked better that way, people who can't climax without using the Grunge effect on photoshop, people who like hitman stories where the writer focuses more on shock value than character development.