By Cat Staggs, Gail Simone, and Simon Bowland
This may only be the second issue of Crosswind, but there is something deeply satisfying about watching these characters swap bodies à la Freaky Friday in Crosswind #2. Yes, we have only had one issue to get invested in the two respective characters, the meek and under appreciated Juniper Blue and the cocky and cold-blooded Cason Bennett, but that was all it took. The impressive writing from Simone coupled with the talented art style of Staggs only needed one issue to get the readers’ investment. This issue fulfills all your desires for each character; maybe you wanted to see Mrs. Blue embrace her hotness and the power that comes with it to her advantage besides shrinking herself away. Maybe you wanted to see Cason get put in his place a little bit, see him handle a situation with more class and less shooty shooty. All this comes to pass in some shape or form in issue #2 of Crosswinds with an interesting phone call to each Cason and Juniper that makes it seem this was all done for some greater purpose.
This issue captures the moment right where Crosswind #1 left off. We follow-up with Cason inside Mrs. Blue’s body in the grocery store buying supplies for the all-important dinner party for her jerk of a husband’s boss. While Mrs. Blue finds herself having to clean up a murder scene, and a pretty gruesome one at that, after the boss’ grandson. The minute these pages unfold, it’s amazing to see the details from Staggs; Cason’s face appears more feminine while Juniper appears hardened and walks with a certain swagger. All of that comes across from the new way Staggs illustrates the characters and the panels. The pain and cringe-inducing moments from the first issue come to your mind and you start to root for these two newly inverted people; they each needed a little something the other one had. Juniper is giving him some tact and poise to navigate situations you can’t shoot your way out of, and Cason gave her the balls to show up and give a dinner party that would impress any boss. You see Juniper use a butcher knife with decisive confidence, and Cason clean up blood stains with a smile on his face. These panels from this issue are just magical, and there’s a calm that comes across each person undertaking each respective task that gets shown throughout the panels with very little dialogue or narration.
This series is so promising; the story from Simone is just something that sounds so trite and overdone, but when you see her bring it to life it is something wonderful. You are rooting for these deeply flawed characters and the thought of them living the life of one another gives you life as a reader because you see the growth potential for both as you see that only Cason can get this dinner party together for Juniper and only Juniper can clean this messy murder scene up for Cason. Simone paints these characters so precisely and intricately that it isn’t a risky move to have the body switch happen in issue #2, instead it feels appropriate and allows for a good pace to the story. It’s not just Juniper and Cason that Simone gives her love to either, we get great and rich supporting characters in the form of Juniper’s stepson who is getting the crap beat out of him. There is also Mika, Cason’s kind-of girlfriend, who is also the fiancée of his co-worker; you know, a fellow assassin. This kind of diverse and interesting cast of characters around our lead two characters, give this series a ton of promise. We have only scratched the surface of the potential of the universe Simone and Staggs have built.
It is hard to fall in love with a book, especially a new series, but you will believe in love at first sight again after reading Crosswind. This second issue affirmed that this series is the real deal, giving life to a great story with art that moves you. Simone and Staggs are a dream team together, giving us characters, story, art that all has meaning. The book itself is visually stunning and you won’t be able to put it down once you pick it up.