Written by: Gail Simone
Art by: Cat Staggs
Published by: Image Comics
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. It’s Freaky Friday meets Goodfellas!
Holy moly, I did not see Crosswind coming. This was a blind buy, I didn’t know anything about this comic before I saw on the new release wall my local comic shop yesterday. The only reason I picked up Crosswind #1 was because I noticed it was written by the one and only Gail Simone.
Crosswind is a collaboration between Gail Simone and artist Cat Staggs, and this series hopes to answer one simple question: what would happen if a hitman switched bodies with a housewife?
The first issue of this series introduces us to Cason, a Chicago based hitman, and Juniper, a suburban housewife. Simone does an incredible job developing both characters before they switch bodies. The story in issue #1 spends time with each character as we learn about their lives, their daily routines, and the people in their life.
Cason’s life is pretty straightforward, and we see him on the job in the first few pages. Meanwhile, Juniper is dealing with a moody teenager, and some a-hole neighbors. But the biggest pain in her life may end up being her husband who (in this issue at least), treats her more like an employee than a wife.
Parts of this issue were heartbreaking, while other moments just plain shocked me. Gail Simone breathes new life into situations we’ve seen before, but for once they don’t feel preachy. Simone simply shows you real-life scenarios and lets you as the reader decide what to make of them.
When it comes to Cat Staggs’ art, I have to admit it took a bit to get used to it. Staggs’ art style is super-realistic, so much so that when a woman shows up in Cason’s apartment, I wondered if it was a photograph.
But as the issue went on, Cat Staggs’ art made Crosswind‘s crime elements pop out of the page. After reading this comic twice, it’s clear to me that this story would not have the same weight with a different artist.
I can’t remember a time when I wasn’t a fan of Gail Simone. I’ve followed her work in everything from Birds of Prey, to Batgirl, Secret Six, The All-New Atom, and Wonder Woman. And two years ago she blew my mind with her Swords of Sorrow mega event. She’s done fine work before, but Crosswind #1 may be some of the best stuff Simone has ever done!
Crosswind #1 score: A+