By Daniel Vlasaty
I don’t have much of an opinion on the genre of body swapping stories. I’ve seen some movies. I’ve read some things. But I’ve just never really given it much thought. I think because it’s too simplistic of a thing. You have two people, and they’re either miserable or bad or mad or sad or whatever, and then something magical or mystical happens that swaps their mind with someone else’s. And then there’s a period of time where they try to figure out what happened. Why they’ve been swapped. Or whatever. And ultimately they’ll learn that in order to switch back they will have to learn a lesson. They’ll learn that maybe they don’t have it so bad. Or maybe it’s not so easy to be someone else. They’ll learn that they’re smart and good and I don’t know. Whatever you get where I’m going with this. Probably. Maybe. Anyway. This is my review of Crosswinds #3. A body swapping, mobster/suburban step-mom romp.
The first thing I want to say is that I’m enjoying this book. More than I thought I would. But on the other hand, I’m really only digging the Cason Bennett as Juniper Blue storyline. Not so much the Juniper Blue as Cason Bennett. The housewife as mobster story is definitely not as strong as the mobster as housewife one. But I think that’s kind of by design. Because Cason is more sure of himself and what he wants and how he’s going to get it. While Juniper is more subdued, quieter. I won’t call her weak because, even before the switch, she was able to put up with some shit. But she’s by far the less assertive of the two.
Look at it like this. You have a street tough mobster hitman from Chicago who’s become a suburban Seattle housewife. She’s been getting harassed by neighborhood kids. And her husband’s a dick. She’s basically just spent most of her life getting bossed around and stepped over and ignored. But then the great swap happens and now there’s a hardcore, cold blooded killer in her body, her mind, her life. So, it’s interesting to see what Cason does with Juniper’s life. It’s interesting to see writer Gail Simone play around with this.
Unfortunately, it’s less interesting to see the flip of this story. To me at least. And that’s because I don’t think I like Juniper as a character. I don’t like her internal monologues as she tries to navigate Cason’s violent and messy and spontaneous life. That doesn’t mean she won’t come into her own in his life. I’m sure she’ll figure shit out and get more comfortable in it. It’s only the third issue after all.
Although I will say, I think the story’s been working so far. But I think it’s teetering on the edge of a cliff. I think it can easily fall into cliches. In the sense of my rundown of the body swapping genre up above. I hope it doesn’t because if Simone keeps it fresh and new and original than this a story can be something really great. In the long run. Because again this series is still a baby. Only three issues in. At three issues most stories have barely defined themselves yet. So I’m excited to see how this one plays out.
But, but, but. I have one major problem with Crosswind as a whole. And that is the art. More specifically the coloring. I actually like Cat Staggs’ art. At least the few samples pages of only pencil and ink we’re given at the back of the book. The process pages. It looks good there. It’s clean and nice. But once the color is added it just looks like some shitty generic Photoshop filter laid over photographs. It’s messy and the shadows just look fake. The colors also do weird things to the faces. It leaves them with these weird expressions. Stunned and bewildered at the same time. Let’s call them constipation faces.
Crosswind is an interesting book. I’m digging it. I am, however, slightly afraid that it won’t hold up over subsequent issues. I’m not sure though. It just might. Hopefully. Another thing I’ll keep my fingers crossed for is that they bring in someone different to color the book. Because that’s a real buzzkill. I honestly would have rated this issue at a 4 or maybe ever a 5 if it weren’t for the coloring. I don’t know.