Written by Donny Cates
Art by Dee Cunniffe and Geoff Shaw
Review by KrisK
Crossover season lasts 12 months a year in comics. Between Marvel and DC, events continuously push heroes together. The biggest crossovers in comics history went farther though. When Marvel and DC crossed over, the comics world set ablaze. That was a long time ago. While annual hopeful rumors appear of a crossover to save the comic book industry crop up, nothing materializes. Though if we trust the timeline of Doomsday Clock, Marvel and DC cross over in 2030 in Secret Crisis.
DC gets the closest. They crossover with the smaller publishers constantly, setting up interesting mashups like the Green Lanterns/Planet of the Apes, Justice League/Power Rangers, and Batman/Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles. (My personal favorite).
Crossover upgrades the level of the scope. What if the comics (clearly one publisher in particular) crossed over with the real world? Superheroes and supervillains battle it out in what is likely a crisis level event in the state of Colorado. A hero or villain contains the battle in a dome, and Colorado remains quarantined years later. No one leaves or enters. The people brought over appear like they do on old comics, covered in dots, like old comic panels digitized and blown up.
Fear of comics dominates America. Superhero comics cease to publish. The government allows one shop to sell the old stuff, but all new comics consist of the McCarthy era genres: westerns, romances, etc… No men and women in tights. The Christian Right view the destruction and loss of Colorado as a sign from God to ban all superhero comics. This base hatred of ty7667yhe genre leads to a powder keg situated between the protesters and the comic book store. When a “fakey”, a person from the comic book world, appears in the shop with a revelation from Colorado, the keg explodes.
The world that Crossover populates feels fleshed out. While the characters take a backseat to the setup, they do get backstory and motives. The most interesting character is comic book store employee and cosplayer, Ellipses Howell. She lost her family when she was young to the Colorado Incident, but she still believes in the messages and morals of superheroes. This puts her at odds with most of the people in her town and country.
The writing definitely feels like a Cates book. He always brings epic scope to his stories. He also brings a decisively masculine violent energy, even when displaying love at first sight. If you love his Venom and Redneck, you will dig this comic. So far though, this story lacks the pathos of God Country. Its only issue one though, so the story certainly has time to get there. The elements of McCarthyism with the reaction to comics after the incident in Colorado caught me by surprise, but I loved the added cerebral layer to it.
The art by Geoff Shaw and Dee Cunniffe suit the issue well. The issue sports the Image feel, but with definite DC tinges. While the world feels bleak, pages occur where the team clearly had fun with the material. I expect Cates will provide lots of fun material for the team to mess around with.
Verdict: Buy! If you love Cates, you will get loads out of this. If you aren’t…its a fine book. The book, tonally, fits in with Watchmen and other somber works. If you are looking for something light, skip this one.