By Gail Simone and Cat Staggs
There are few comics that make it to the top of your reading pile every new comic book day, and Crosswind is one of those comics. Issue #4 once again picks up right where we left off in issue #3. June as Cason is ending a date with Mika, confused on how to take things to a personal level, while Cason as June is giving her husband the business. This issue has a new element introduced, finally June and Cason make contact with one another. This provides some momentum in the story, prevents it from feeling stale, and is driving the arc forward. Meanwhile, Cruz is on a path to destroy Cason, but can June escape his body before Cruz meets up with him again?
Simone really gives this story a huge kick in the butt with finally having Cason and June not only make contact, but also attempting to figure out how to remedy their situation. Which when they finally make contact, it is June as Cason who makes the first phone call to her phone. It almost appears that Cason as June is starting to feel comfortable in his new situation while June as Cason is starting to feel the same until Mika wants to get a little more intimate.
So, this might be an obvious connection for some, but not one this reviewer made right away, that this story is almost a look into transgender identity. The concept of being trapped inside a body that doesn’t match your mind and concept of gender. This was especially impactful when considering gender norms, like a woman being submissive to her husband. Simone takes those gender norms and really just tears them apart, by putting a little feminine inside the macho Cason with June, and in reverse the super macho Cason inside the timid June. It’s interesting to see how Simone take a stereotypical woman like June who is submissive to a near abusive husband who takes her for granted while treating her like an object, and injects some traits people would consider to be “masculine” and she solves a lot of her problems. She connects with her step-son, she confronts her husband, and she gets respect from the neighborhood boys. The same happens when June becomes Cason, she handles a difficult situation with tact rather than guns and shows some sensitivity and vulnerability that could have saved Cason’s life with Cruz and saved some face with Mika later.
Artwork from Staggs continues to impress and keep this material compelling throughout the book. She blends in so much realness to each character that it feels like we know them, and can recognize them among a crowded room. The book flows from page to page with gorgeous panel layouts that basically explain themselves. Staggs uses some realistic facial expressions that it is so easy to understand what everyone is feeling. This realistic style only helps to underscore Simone’s great, emotionally pulling story.
Crosswind #4 is a tremendous book that keeps this series going strong. Simone and Staggs keep the stakes high as they introduce a new threat to Cason and June, the impending ass-kicking Cruz wants to deliver to Cason, but how will this ass-kicking take place and will anyone else suffer the consequences in his wake? These are some of the things that are touched on in this issue, but also there is much more to uncover as June and Cason both are starting to react to being stuck in each other’s bodies in different ways than you would expect. This book never disappoints with its beautiful combination of story and artwork, the result is a near perfect comic book.