Writer: Gail Simone / Artist: Cat Staggs / Image Comics
Remember last month, on the Crosswind #1 review, when I said this comic would get better? You thought I was full of crap — I know you thought that, it’s cool — but I wasn’t.
This comic got better. In this issue, the action gets sharper, the tension ratchets up a notch, and the art achieves perfection.
I mean that, Cat Staggs’ art is *perfect.* All comics are told in words and images, but in this one, the art has to convey one person’s personality in another person’s body, and it does that perfectly.
You can look at any given image and tell if it is June in Case’s body or Case in June’s body. The posture, hand gestures, facial expressions, every detail is carried over and translated into a new shape. Combined with the visceral mundane grossness of everyone else, they are all the kind of normal people we know and despise, the pages pop with meaning and weight. The story here is told in character, not setting, and the art supports that 100%.
Then there’s Simone’s work on the plot. In this issue, both Case and June get a call from a mysterious person, Vox, who seems to take credit for the body-switching, saying that they want to teach each of our protagonists “a little grace” by challenging them to get out of the situation they are now in.
Each of them does get out of it by using their real life skills in new settings. June’s ability to clean house and think fast scrubs a murder scene better than any “cleaner” ever. Case’s love of Cuban food results in an amazing unexpected meal for her husband’s boss. But there are additional effects. June’s timidity with a fellow hitman, Cruz, helps him avoid getting killed. Case’s take-no-shit attitude quickly puts her step-son, Kelly, in his place. (Warning: Reviews for this comic are going to be a pronoun minefield as June becomes becomes he and Case, she.)
The feeling of watching June and Case do the things they are good at is pure satisfaction, and it gets better combined with the anticipation of watching them get ready to do the things you desperately want them to do. I can’t wait for Case to stab one of the neighborhood bullies or for June to meet the girlfriend.
The issue ends with each of them getting into another complication, June saving the boss’ psychotic grandson, Case saving the step-son. How they get through those issues, and dig deeper into their own mysteries, is sure to continue to be a great story.
If you like gangsters, mysteries, stories where women find their power and bad guys use their powers for good, this is the comic for you. Really, pick it up. This is one we’ll be raving about for years to come.
You’re going to want to keep up on Crosswind, so read all of our reviews here.