Yesterday Was Freaky
The first issue from comic that advertises itself as ‘Freaky Friday meets Goodfellas’ has it’s work cut out for itself with that tagline. The first few pages of Crosswind #1 start with a bang. Literally! The sound resonates and grows louder throughout the rest of the first issue. That’s not a surprise when you look at the creative team behind it; Gail Simone and Cat Staggs.
I’m getting ahead of myself here though! Crosswind #1 sets up the story of Cason a hitman and Juniper a housewife. Cason, a hired gun opens the comic on a snowy hilltop, his trusted ‘Sig Sauer P226’ pressed into the forehead of a childhood friend. Shot fired, job done, Cason returns home. Juniper’s story begins with a confrontation with her stepson followed by an abrasive phonecall from her beligerant husband demanding a dinner party. The pair couldn’t live more different lives if they even tried.
Cason seems to be struggling with the baggage his job carries. While he does pull the trigger on his friend he’s also aware his friend was innocent of the accusations. Juniper is just struggling. She’s faced with the possibility of her husband cheating on her, the strained relationship with her stepson and the unwanted advances and harassment from her teenage neighbours.
…I Always Wanted To Be A Gangster
The body swap comes as abruptly for these two as it did for me. I walked into Crosswind completely unaware it was a body swap comic. In fact, just like Juniper and Cason I had no idea that it was about to happen until it did. Unlike the body swapped pair, everything about the comic made a whole lot of sense then. Though I do recommend you afford the first issue a second read, just to ensure you soak in the story for all it offers.
Both Cason and Juniper are trapped by their circumstances. Cason has nowhere and really no one to turn to, his job has made that so. Juniper’s relationships are a prison, forcing her to give up her only real escape; reading. Stagg’s panels feel very tight, each frame is crammed with her photorealist style.
This intensifies the sense of being trapped, there is no space in the comic not used, just as there is no where for Cason or Juniper to go. Her style works very well in the crime genre too, characters are expressive with tiny details snapshotted for us to study.
Simone doesn’t just leave all the work up to Stagg though. Her characters, their words, all feel very real. Cason and Juniper aren’t just victims of their circumstances, they’re fully aware of their worlds. Aware of their choices, their relationships and their inability to move outside of that world. Juniper tends to be our focus in this issue. Simone affords her more time, casting a light on just how hard she has it, she truly seems alone. Her husband’s possible affair aside, he dismisses her claims of harassment from neighbours as simply ‘Boys being boys’ when it’s clearly more, a lot more than that.
Hired Gun Housewife
The body swap is the chance for these two to maybe find an escape. This isn’t a teenage daughter and an adult mother swapping bodies. It isn’t a high school jock or geeky girl. This isn’t a moral dilemma wrapped around a comedy about expectations and reality between generations. This is a hired killer and a housewife swapping bodies. We’ll have to wait and see if they will fall into their old ways or seize the chance to make a real escape from their lives.
Simone and Staggs look set to add something new to the body swap theme. There is a definite harmony between the co-creators and I’m keen to see it play out across the rest of the series. Crosswind is most certainly going on my pull list. Personally I can’t wait to see just what Cason as Juniper has in store for her husband’s dinner party. Here’s hoping there’s a big slice of comeuppance on the menu with some justice leftover for the boys next door!
Editor-in-Chief, part-time super villain and hoarder of cats. If you can’t find me writing, I’m probably in the kitchen!