February 29, 2024

Gabbing Geek

Your online community for all things geeky.

Comic Review: Crossover Volume 2

In a world where comic book characters are suddenly real, someone is stalking comic book writers.

Well, I waited long enough to get back to Crossover, the Image Comics series that posits a story where comic book characters suddenly appeared in the real world, and it got pretty violent pretty fast.

What happens in Volume 2 then?  Subtitled The Ten-Cent Plague, this one has some guest talent.

The first volume of this series showed how a girl from the world of comics and a boy, the son of a fundamentalist preacher who thinks comic book characters need to be destroyed, found something like love even as they investigated the phenomena that is the Crossover.  There were a number of cameo appearances by a variety of creator-owned characters while background images suggested more corporate-owned DC and Marvel heroes were just getting rounded up by the feds.

Volume 2 makes it look like most of the comic characters are now in custody with a handful of exceptions, but the big mystery is the question of who is killing comic book writers.

Writer Donny Cates had some real fun here, putting himself into the narrative and even bringing a few guest writers in to show how the writers themselves would react in such a scenario.  Which Chip Zdarsky goes into hiding, Brian Michael Bendis finds himself being interrogated by the cops from Powers while Michael Avon Oeming sits in the corner and draws the whole conversation.  And then there’s Robert Kirkman, who has a most unfortunate encounter with The Walking Dead‘s Negan.

But by this point, whatever is causing the characters to come into the real world gives way to a more meta conversation on where comics come from, specifically from the point of view of the writers (artists appear to be up for the next trade).  Cates and the others seem to enjoy writing themselves as idiots in their own narratives, and it wouldn’t be all that unlikely that Negan wouldn’t take too kindly to the mess his life has been because someone else liked to write those stories that made his life miserable.  At the same time, the trade suggests Cates started writing this very story before something went wrong, and there’s even an anticlimactic moment for anyone hoping for a confrontation between the Powers cops and Negan…something that the book hangs a lampshade off as it is.

I was enjoying this one as a spectacle before.  I like it even more now as a tongue-in-cheek look at where comics come from.

9 out of 10 Batman writers found dead in alleyways.