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Crossover, Vol. 1: Kids Love Chains

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DONNY CATES and GEOFF SHAW reunite for an epic and historic series that's AVENGERS: ENDGAME meets CLOVERFIELD with a good dose of the questing of THE DARK TOWER series thrown in for good measure. Imagine everything you thought was fantasy...was real. And now join us, in a world where reality is dead...and anything is possible... Collects CROSSOVER #1-6 DONNY CATES and GEOFF SHAW reunite for an epic and historic series that's AVENGERS: ENDGAME meets CLOVERFIELD with a good dose of the questing of THE DARK TOWER series thrown in for good measure. Imagine everything you thought was fantasy...was real. And now join us, in a world where reality is dead...and anything is possible... Collects CROSSOVER #1-6


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DONNY CATES and GEOFF SHAW reunite for an epic and historic series that's AVENGERS: ENDGAME meets CLOVERFIELD with a good dose of the questing of THE DARK TOWER series thrown in for good measure. Imagine everything you thought was fantasy...was real. And now join us, in a world where reality is dead...and anything is possible... Collects CROSSOVER #1-6 DONNY CATES and GEOFF SHAW reunite for an epic and historic series that's AVENGERS: ENDGAME meets CLOVERFIELD with a good dose of the questing of THE DARK TOWER series thrown in for good measure. Imagine everything you thought was fantasy...was real. And now join us, in a world where reality is dead...and anything is possible... Collects CROSSOVER #1-6

30 review for Crossover, Vol. 1: Kids Love Chains

  1. 4 out of 5

    Anne

    So, yes and no. The story was fun - comic book characters end up getting thrown into our reality and crazy world-altering shit happens. There's really no rhyme or reason for anything that occurs but it's very readable. Don't look at the plot too closely and you'll be fine. Cates is a good writer, so I was flipping the pages with intensity to see what was going to happen next. And every issue ended on a cliffhanger with a character from another comic showing up! Dun, dun, duuuuun! SKHER-POW! And here's So, yes and no. The story was fun - comic book characters end up getting thrown into our reality and crazy world-altering shit happens. There's really no rhyme or reason for anything that occurs but it's very readable. Don't look at the plot too closely and you'll be fine. Cates is a good writer, so I was flipping the pages with intensity to see what was going to happen next. And every issue ended on a cliffhanger with a character from another comic showing up! Dun, dun, duuuuun! SKHER-POW! And here's where the biggest problem for me came in. I really didn't know who the fuck most of these people were. And I've read several of Cates's other books. So while I recognized a lot of other cameos appearances, very few of the big reveal scenes meant much to me. At the end of the book, another shocking reveal left me wondering if I was supposed to recognize the girl at the end, as well. When all was said and done, the downfall of this book (for me) wasn't that Cates didn't come up with a fantastic story, it's that he overrated his audience's knowledge of some of these random characters. I'm not going to claim to be some sort of expert on every comic out there, but I think I read enough to say that I can't be the only one out there who was scratching my head a good 70% of the time. Having said that, I still thought this was wacky good fun and I intend to come back for volume 2.

  2. 4 out of 5

    Chad

    When a mega comic book event crossover manifests in our universe, what happens? Years later, we see the fallout as we are introduced to the main character. She is a survivor of the Crossover and now owns the last "real" comic book shop in the country. Superhero comics were burned in the aftermath, Marvel and DC went out of business, and her shop is the only one still carrying them. When someone from the 4 color universe walks into her comic shop, they start a journey to get her home. I loved how When a mega comic book event crossover manifests in our universe, what happens? Years later, we see the fallout as we are introduced to the main character. She is a survivor of the Crossover and now owns the last "real" comic book shop in the country. Superhero comics were burned in the aftermath, Marvel and DC went out of business, and her shop is the only one still carrying them. When someone from the 4 color universe walks into her comic shop, they start a journey to get her home. I loved how Cates mixed this in with his other comics, and not only his own but other creator owned comics. There were characters from Image comics but also Dark Horse and Boom as well. I thought the black and white zombies of The Walking Dead was a nice touch as well. I love the meta nature of this book without it getting Grant Morrison weird.

  3. 4 out of 5

    Sam Quixote

    I can tell you the premise of Crossover, Volume 1: Kids Love Chains (the subtitle is a quote by toymaker Todd McFarlane - no clue what it means, unless he’s being literal, in which case he’s as mad as he’s always seemed): comic book characters emerge in the “real” world and wreak havoc for no reason. I can’t tell you the story though because Donny Cates is an incompetent writer/storyteller who doesn’t seem capable of producing anything coherent or interesting. Superhero characters suddenly come I can tell you the premise of Crossover, Volume 1: Kids Love Chains (the subtitle is a quote by toymaker Todd McFarlane - no clue what it means, unless he’s being literal, in which case he’s as mad as he’s always seemed): comic book characters emerge in the “real” world and wreak havoc for no reason. I can’t tell you the story though because Donny Cates is an incompetent writer/storyteller who doesn’t seem capable of producing anything coherent or interesting. Superhero characters suddenly come to life - no idea why - and cause widespread damage in Denver, Colorado - no idea why this place specifically - before being contained in a dome in Provo, Utah - no idea why this place specifically. Some rando comics fans come across a little girl who’s somehow escaped the dome and, with the help of some (conveniently all Image) comics characters, take her back to the dome, for no reason. … huh? Besides not understanding why anything was or what was happening, the new characters are an uninspired bunch: generic “strong female character”, stock cute kid character, weak male character whose arc will inevitably be to toughen up, stereotypical Christian nutjob leader. There’s nothing to these cardboard cut-outs. And the main character’s name - “Ellipses Howell” - is sickeningly twee. Twee is how I’d describe a lot of this book. Cates wants to make you believe this is a world where comics are edgy and the biggest thing, and he completely fails. It reads like the sad ramblings of an extremely sheltered comics fan who doesn’t realise that comics, despite becoming more popular in the last decade or so, is still a niche medium in pop culture, and always will be. And I disagree with his thesis that fictional characters impact the world more than real people. Sure, lots of people know who Superman is but what does that knowledge do exactly? They’ll watch a movie or play a game or (heaven forbid) read a comic featuring the character but then they’ll forget about him and move on with their lives. Superman will “outlive” all of us but he’s still just a drawing without the ability to have the kind of impact any living person has on our world. Beyond the feeble and unconvincing worldbuilding is the poorly constructed story. Why are comics writers being killed? Presumably because people blame them for their characters’ destruction in the “real world”, right? But then if these writers have this remarkable power, then why not create new characters who can undo the damage and help our world - some kind of hero who can magically resurrect the dead and restore the damaged infrastructure? In addition to just happening to create a dome to contain the superheroes just in time, the government also has “draining lamps” that limit the superheroes’ powers - how convenient! And the idea that the Christian fanatic and his small group of idiots in Utah could somehow convince the US government to instigate a war against superheroes is laughable - this guy is the smallest of smalltime nobodies who can’t even influence his own son. Contrivances like these only underline how hacky Cates is as a writer. The final part of the book is non-stop fan service as one Image character after another is trotted out (though we’re told that Marvel and DC characters are also supposed to be in this mess, we don’t see them probably for legal reasons - good for Marvel/DC, not getting involved in trash like this; they’ve got their own trash to get involved in!). I guess if you’re a fan of crap like Black Hammer and Hitgirl then this part of the book might set your heart aflutter, but, really, who shivs a git about Madman or Savage Dragon? I like Mike Allred but I’ve never felt the urge to go back and read his Madman books, and this book has only affirmed I likely never will either! And Savage Dragon - if this drek wasn’t by one of the Image co-founders, it would have been cancelled years ago. Cates’ back must be sore from all the patting as he also throws in his own terrible creations, from Buzzkill to God Country. It’s all so gratuitous and serves absolutely no narrative purpose. Mystifying, unengaging story, terrible characters, a handful of half-baked, dull ideas executed badly, and a whole lotta pointless noise at the end, Crossover, Volume 1: Kids Love Chains is one helluva boring read. No idea how Donny Cates has any fans - his Marvel work is just as awful - but those are the only ones this rubbish will appeal to.

  4. 4 out of 5

    Alexander Peterhans

    It's a crossover event! Every superhero character ever has crossed over into our world! Obviously we don't get to see the actually famous ones, but there's still plenty of famous heroes from the indie world of comics, right? Right! But they are also not really here. Lots of heroes are presented as if I should know them, and I had no idea who they were (to be fair, Cates also plays a bit with this, presenting a superhero group whose comic was immediately cancelled). Ah, who cares, the concept stil It's a crossover event! Every superhero character ever has crossed over into our world! Obviously we don't get to see the actually famous ones, but there's still plenty of famous heroes from the indie world of comics, right? Right! But they are also not really here. Lots of heroes are presented as if I should know them, and I had no idea who they were (to be fair, Cates also plays a bit with this, presenting a superhero group whose comic was immediately cancelled). Ah, who cares, the concept still works, there's still a good story that could be told..! But there isn't. The plot is rather dull, and even worse, the not-powered characters are flat and a bit uninteresting, and never really develop much. I just found myself barely caring about what was happening. The art is uniformly excellent, and does a good job of selling the world and the invading heroes especially. Cates introduces the book by saying how important this project is to him personally, and the narrator of the book goes on about how important and impactful comics are, and so it's a real shame how disappointingly unimpactful this book is. (Picked up an ARC through Edelweiss)

  5. 5 out of 5

    Kadi P

    *Thanks to Edelweiss and the publisher for providing me with an eARC in exchange for an honest review* The concept of this comic was so fantastic...ally wasted! If you’re going to bring comic characters into the real world at least make sure those characters are ones people will know! I’m not sure if it’s because I don’t read tons of indie comics or because some of these so called comic characters don’t even exist, but either way I spent the majority of this vol having no idea who the comic chara *Thanks to Edelweiss and the publisher for providing me with an eARC in exchange for an honest review* The concept of this comic was so fantastic...ally wasted! If you’re going to bring comic characters into the real world at least make sure those characters are ones people will know! I’m not sure if it’s because I don’t read tons of indie comics or because some of these so called comic characters don’t even exist, but either way I spent the majority of this vol having no idea who the comic characters introduced were. It would’ve been okay if the protagonist Ellie hadn’t kept being shocked by each character’s reveal. I couldn’t match her shock in any way and it made her reactions seem cliche and hyperbolic. The narrative voice was quirky. It bordered on exasperating. It was like a little fangirl in the background of scenes explaining stuff away with too much exposition. But the question always remained as to who was actually the one narrating and that mystery was probably the most interesting part of this vol. Above all, this comic very much came across as simply marketing for other comics. Interesting concept, middling execution. I didn’t love it but I didn’t really hate it either. If the opportunity arises I’ll probably read the next vol too.

  6. 4 out of 5

    Chris Lemmerman

    Crossover is an ambitious title from Donny Cates and Geoff Shaw, positing what might happen if the comic book world began to encroach on our own. Following the actions of a girl who works in a comic shop and the son of a group of zealots who want to murder all the comic book characters, it's a book unlike any other that Image are publishing. Crossover's premise is something that would only work in comics, and Donny Cates really gets into the nitty-gritty of that. The effect of the comic book char Crossover is an ambitious title from Donny Cates and Geoff Shaw, positing what might happen if the comic book world began to encroach on our own. Following the actions of a girl who works in a comic shop and the son of a group of zealots who want to murder all the comic book characters, it's a book unlike any other that Image are publishing. Crossover's premise is something that would only work in comics, and Donny Cates really gets into the nitty-gritty of that. The effect of the comic book characters on the real world, as well as how they're reacted to, feel real and long lasting, right from the first issue. And yet even in this big, wide world of craziness, Cates keeps the story tightly focused on our two leads so we never feel like we're spinning out. The actual 'crossover' of it all is where the ambition really shines. I can only imagine the legal loopholes Cates must have had to jump through to get this book published given all the characters involved. You won't see any Marvel or DC heroes in anything but silhouette, but their presence is definitely felt, and the characters you DO get to see keep things very interesting, and have a bit more flexibility given their relative obscurity. Shaw's artwork really sells the book too - the way he subtley alters the visuals to fit the comic book characters worlds, and how he makes characters from different books stand out among their peers reminds me of Dan Schoening's Ghostbusters crossovers, using multiple styles all on one page to make everyone feel different and pop off the page. Crossover is an example of how there are some stories that can only be told in a visual medium like comics. This wouldn't work as a TV show, or even an animated series - it's just not built like that. Whether it can keep the momentum and interest up after this insane first arc remains to be seen, but for now I'm captivated by what Cates tries next.

  7. 5 out of 5

    Subham

    This was so cool! A big event breaks out in the real world in 2017 and so people get trapped in a dome in Colorado and we pick up years later with a girl named Ellipses Howell and her going through this world and working in a comic shop where comics are banned, DC and Marvel too and while there are heroes fighting in the dome, on the other side you have Ellie and Otto her boss meet a comic character Ava (from the comic world) and most of the story is about them trying to take this girl to her pa This was so cool! A big event breaks out in the real world in 2017 and so people get trapped in a dome in Colorado and we pick up years later with a girl named Ellipses Howell and her going through this world and working in a comic shop where comics are banned, DC and Marvel too and while there are heroes fighting in the dome, on the other side you have Ellie and Otto her boss meet a comic character Ava (from the comic world) and most of the story is about them trying to take this girl to her parents inside the dome through the portal and them meeting various characters from Donny's Paybacks like Doctor Blaqk, Buzzkill and certainly Valofax also shows up and its epic how its done! Also a boy Ryan whose story is quite fascinating and their ultimate battle against threats both human and this comic and will they be able to fulfill their objective? What characters will they meet? Cameos of some characters are so amazing to see and finally when they do, what big revelation about Ellipses will shake the ending? Amazing story and yes some of it gets convoluted unless you have read various other titles and I had so I know most cameos or easter eggs and it makes for a fun and unique story and this volume was pretty much a set up and big things are still to come and the art is just so gorgeous as it flows nicely with the writing! Just pure fun reading this book!

  8. 4 out of 5

    Rory Wilding

    On January 11th 2017, a portal opens in the city of Denver, Colorado, in which fictional characters from comic books and other media come to life and cause a lot of unintentional destruction and death. Five years later, Ellipses “Ellie” Howell, a survivor of the Event, works and sleeps in a comic book store in Provo, Utah. When a young girl named Ava, a character from the other world, arrives into the store, Ellie joins forces with other humans and characters, and embarks on a quest to return to On January 11th 2017, a portal opens in the city of Denver, Colorado, in which fictional characters from comic books and other media come to life and cause a lot of unintentional destruction and death. Five years later, Ellipses “Ellie” Howell, a survivor of the Event, works and sleeps in a comic book store in Provo, Utah. When a young girl named Ava, a character from the other world, arrives into the store, Ellie joins forces with other humans and characters, and embarks on a quest to return to her home in Denver. Please click here for my full review.

  9. 4 out of 5

    Erica

    I had really high hopes for this one - comic book characters come to life and of course there's a government conspiracy. Unfortunately the the writing is very jumbled, the world never really gets set before a bunch of storyline begin, and the artwork is kinda all over the place. Cool concept - poor execution. I had really high hopes for this one - comic book characters come to life and of course there's a government conspiracy. Unfortunately the the writing is very jumbled, the world never really gets set before a bunch of storyline begin, and the artwork is kinda all over the place. Cool concept - poor execution.

  10. 5 out of 5

    Peacegal

    I'm sure I didn't "get" even a quarter of the comics nerd in-jokes in this book, but I still had a ton of fun reading this one. The story is off-the-wall and full of twists, and the wildly colorful and frenetic illustrations leap off the pages. CROSSOVER is a success in that it entertains both hardcore superhero fans and those who aren't as involved in the genre--the title fits perfectly! I'm sure I didn't "get" even a quarter of the comics nerd in-jokes in this book, but I still had a ton of fun reading this one. The story is off-the-wall and full of twists, and the wildly colorful and frenetic illustrations leap off the pages. CROSSOVER is a success in that it entertains both hardcore superhero fans and those who aren't as involved in the genre--the title fits perfectly!

  11. 5 out of 5

    Venus Maneater

    Ah do you love to be teased? Tickled and poked and feeling like an absolute martyr? If you do, Crossover is your gal. For sure. Endless teasing about all the great, big, famous, notorious characters that we'll see. Cliffhangers a-plenty. Pages and pages of hinting. A prison where we can't see anything beyond the bars, but casually hanging out of the cells are hundreds of super-arms. Recognize; the gloves of batman, the big arms of the Thing, the chains of Spawn. And your expectations rise. But d Ah do you love to be teased? Tickled and poked and feeling like an absolute martyr? If you do, Crossover is your gal. For sure. Endless teasing about all the great, big, famous, notorious characters that we'll see. Cliffhangers a-plenty. Pages and pages of hinting. A prison where we can't see anything beyond the bars, but casually hanging out of the cells are hundreds of super-arms. Recognize; the gloves of batman, the big arms of the Thing, the chains of Spawn. And your expectations rise. But do we even get treated with a decent cameo? Sadly, we don't. This is a superhero world where all genius heroes get caught and bound by the powerless people of earth, and where the cancelled bunch ends up trying to save the world. Where Donny Cates presents us with his own past characters saving the world. The art is very decent, there are some good spreads. That's just it, good. Not stellar or amazing or breathtaking. You know, all the things you'd imagine you'd see in a BIG CROSSOVER EVENT COMIC like this. I enjoyed myself and by now Cates has left an enticing trail of breadcrumbs for me to follow to the next volume....I do want to see some questions answered. I have a gut feeling however, that the answers be as underwhelming as the HERO REVEALS we've seen in this volume.

  12. 5 out of 5

    David Edmonds

    So. Much. Fun. Imagine every superhero and supervillain from every comic book publisher all crashing into the "real" world simultaneously. How would we respond to that? How would they? Such a ridiculously clever concept. Can't wait to find out what happens next! So. Much. Fun. Imagine every superhero and supervillain from every comic book publisher all crashing into the "real" world simultaneously. How would we respond to that? How would they? Such a ridiculously clever concept. Can't wait to find out what happens next!

  13. 4 out of 5

    David

    Probably not the best place to start reading Donny Cates' Image material. Was cool to see Madman, though. Probably not the best place to start reading Donny Cates' Image material. Was cool to see Madman, though.

  14. 5 out of 5

    Sabri

    SUCH AN AMAZING STORY! Read the first six issues in one siting, I just couldnt put it down. Basically all comic book characters come back to our world, and as humans and goverments are a piece of shit they are not safe, and we need to help them go back home. Full of guest appearences of characters and objects from the comic book world we know plus action and plot twists. I even loved the narrator. I want the opening words of this comic tatooed on my arm. Go read it and see what I mean.

  15. 4 out of 5

    Adam Fisher

    THIS WAS AWESOME! Review submitted to Diamond Bookshelf for potential professional publication.

  16. 4 out of 5

    Adam Stone

    I work in a comic book store, and have worked for a variety of comic book stores for many years. I read comics on a Very Regular basis. A story about comic book characters being real and invading our world is a premise that intrigues me. Mark Millar did it in Marvel 1985, and it was more or less successfulat keeping me interested. This book started off strong enough to get my attention, but apart from a few references that I enjoyed, and a few that, as someone who reads almost every comic title I work in a comic book store, and have worked for a variety of comic book stores for many years. I read comics on a Very Regular basis. A story about comic book characters being real and invading our world is a premise that intrigues me. Mark Millar did it in Marvel 1985, and it was more or less successfulat keeping me interested. This book started off strong enough to get my attention, but apart from a few references that I enjoyed, and a few that, as someone who reads almost every comic title that comes out, didn't understand, Cates didn't do anything with any of his premises. You can pretty much map out every character's journey from their first line of dialogue. Ah, young girl estranged from family will find family eventually but no in the way she hopes. Obi-Wan will die. Child of villain will rebel and become a Sort Of Chosen One who must grow stronger by helping the actual protagonist. It's fairly cookie-cutter writing. But the tragedy of the book is the pacing. The introduction of a long-time Image character, as well as a short-lived team of superheroes (in their own cancelled series, this is not a spoiler) who I was excited to see again, boded well, but most of the "cross-over" characters were either only briefly shown but without having any dialogue, or their appearances completely alluded me. I read the back matter and went "Huh? Really? How was that referenced?" several times. And it's not because Cates is a subtle or clever writer. I believe most of the appearances happened in the last issue when Cates absolutely rushed through the scenes that the whole volume was supposed to be building up to. I was left not caring what happened in volume two ... until I remembered that the next issue has a new creative team, including Chip Zdarsky, whose work for Image and Marvel, I've very much enjoyed, so ... I guess I'll stick around a bit longer Unless you are dying to see some obscure Image characters placed in a world where comic book characters show up for reasons that are yet to be explained or even hinted at, you can probably skip this story, though.

  17. 5 out of 5

    Alex Sarll

    Denver, Colorado, is obliterated by the sudden crash-landing of what appears to be a superhero summer event. The twist being that this happens in a world much like ours, which knows these characters only from stories: "Almost every "fictional" comic book character you have ever heard of has been sighted amidst the chaos. You name it, from green men with fins on their head, to men dressed as bats, or spiders, or gods with giant hammers...people claimed to have seen them in the footage. No one kno Denver, Colorado, is obliterated by the sudden crash-landing of what appears to be a superhero summer event. The twist being that this happens in a world much like ours, which knows these characters only from stories: "Almost every "fictional" comic book character you have ever heard of has been sighted amidst the chaos. You name it, from green men with fins on their head, to men dressed as bats, or spiders, or gods with giant hammers...people claimed to have seen them in the footage. No one knows how. No one knows why. If it was a comic, it would be the greatest selling comic book of all time. But it wasn't a comic book. It was real. And here in the real world, a super hero-mega-summer-event has consequences..." Cates' foreword talks about how this is a comic inspired by his love of comics, but you wouldn't know it to read this, where the main impact of the broken fourth wall is to make our world even worse than it already was; one of the many spiels from the unseen narrator notes, fairly, that for all Watchmen is considered grim'n'gritty, its conclusion is ridiculously optimistic about how a world at daggers drawn would be likely to respond to a sudden and apocalyptic intrusion from outside its ken. So all that's been worst in recent years – division, prison camps, governments operating as they see fit and damn the checks and balances – is in full effect. Which could be the basis for a contrast to recall Christopher Reeve's Superman, the primary coloured hero as salvation of the murky, realistic world. Sadly, it isn't, although the way the comic characters are distinguished from natives of the real world by being coloured in a different style is one of the neater tricks here – and indeed, Shaw and especially Cunniffe's work on the art is consistently impressive in a way which can't be said of Cates' script. It's not that there's not good stuff here. The narrator's musing on how Superman is more real than you or me - he was here first, he'll outlast us, he has more impact on the world than all but a very few non-fictional people – is not entirely original, but nor is it anywhere near the 'we are all made of stars' level of cliche yet, so I don't mind it getting another outing. Similarly, this is certainly not the first comic to get meta and point out the purgatorial aspect of ongoing series in which the characters never reach a final resolution, but as a succinct summary of that, it's hard to beat "Stuck. Forever locked in the endless loop of their own second act." There are plenty of other good lines, but now I look at these particular examples, what makes them especially telling is that they both remind me of Grant Morrison when Grant Morrison was good. See also that whole notion of a comic about comics in which superheroes erupt from fiction into our own benighted world – a recurring Morrison theme, but for me one which found its finest expression in probably my favourite comic ever, Morrison and Frank Quitely's Flex Mentallo. Now, which other comics writer used to be regarded as 'we've got Grant Morrison at home?' I forget who it was that I first saw compare Cates to Mark Millar, but dear heavens, I've never felt the terrible justice of that observation so keenly as I did reading Crossover. Now, I don't hate Mark Millar as much as a lot of people now do; I remember the first time I went to progressive and now deceased comics con Nine Worlds, making a not entirely damning comment about some recent Millar comic, and getting a proper Punch cartoon reaction. Even so, his tendency to go for the eyecatching moment, the way characters' power levels will fluctuate for the sake of what works in a given scene, and more than anything the sense of a comic powered above anything else by audacity... they're all conducive to popularity, for sure, but it can easily lapse into a junk-food sort of popularity, especially when the audacity sags into mere nastiness. All those traits are here, but especially the audacity, made manifest in that central concept, which enables Crossover to draw in characters from other books. Big Marvel and DC characters would present legal issues, so we only ever see just enough of a glimpse in silhouette, or a costume tweaked ever so slightly, keeping things the right side of actionable while enabling a nod and a wink to the reader that yes, Batman and Iron Man and the rest are definitely here. At least once this does set up quite a neat joke where we think we've seen a particular character, and in fact it's a pre-existing analogue of them. But soon it seems to settle down into a bit of an excuse for Cates to give us the Donny Cates Comic Universe for which I'm not sure anyone except Donny Cates was particularly crying out, and an initially endearing cheekiness starts to lapse into taking the piss. Yes, there are guest stars from other people's books too, and that's the audacity again – likewise the news report about the various real, named comics writers who've been killed, the ones who are still on the run. But ultimately, I've got a Comic Relief comic from 30-odd years ago which already had Blue Beetle, RoboCop and Lenny Henry all showing up, so I'm not going to be wowed just because you've got characters from a couple of different publishers plus a few real names in the same story. Not to mention, bringing us back around to Millar, the plot is really not far at all from Millar's old Marvel book 1985, which likewise had the 'real' world suddenly visited by comic characters, and to be honest pulled this off better. Part of the problem is that if the bells and whistles are only moderately arresting, that throws us back on the main characters. Who thus far, seem more like cyphers than anyone in whom I can particularly invest. Ellie is the most obviously sympathetic protagonist, a die-hard comic fan in a world that's turned against comics for obvious reasons. But even when you manage to forget that her name is short for Ellipses (yes, seriously), she's very much a type. The across-the-barricades romance with an escapee from some very thinly veiled Westboro Baptist types is thus far relying almost entirely on the narrator's mutterings about fate; the older and younger members who make up their party are even more thinly drawn. The obvious summary would be to call Crossover style over substance, but if it's stylish enough, that can work. This is more a grab-bag of gestures and gimmicks disguising an underwhelming core. Yeah, it has balls, but it feels like some biological curiosity that doesn't have much of anything else, its underpowered chassis only there to drag around a monstrous scrotum and hope that somehow impresses us. (Edelweiss ARC)

  18. 5 out of 5

    Chris Thompson

    Based on some of the bad reviews, I was surprised to find I enjoyed this one. Sure it gets messy early on and towards the end, and perhaps not enough of the more well-known comic book characters show up, but the characters and story have enough heart to keep this enjoyable.

  19. 5 out of 5

    Craig

    I applaud the ambition here and for awhile, I thought this just might be the next amazing Cates creation. But it falls far short of what of that. Just imagine if he'd managed to get one or two Marvel or DC heroes included here? (actually, I don't think that would have helped) I'm glad he's survived a near-death experience twice now (huh?), but this isn't on par with his cosmic Marvel work or even a creator-owned series like Redneck at Image. Having gone back to find as many Cates' works as possi I applaud the ambition here and for awhile, I thought this just might be the next amazing Cates creation. But it falls far short of what of that. Just imagine if he'd managed to get one or two Marvel or DC heroes included here? (actually, I don't think that would have helped) I'm glad he's survived a near-death experience twice now (huh?), but this isn't on par with his cosmic Marvel work or even a creator-owned series like Redneck at Image. Having gone back to find as many Cates' works as possible after having enjoyed those previous works, I actually recognized The Paybacks and the sword from God Country (I wonder about the reactions of those readers who aren't as steeped in Cates' past work?). But this story needs a lot more magic than is on display here. And the artwork this time is basically perfunctory, when it should be transcendent. Big disappointment.

  20. 5 out of 5

    John

    Could've been a bit more transgressive. Could've been a bit more transgressive.

  21. 5 out of 5

    Matt

    Collects Crossover issues #1-6 This awesome new series took me on a journey, so I'm going to use this review to share some of my journey with you as I read through the individual issues. SPOILERS: Issue #1: This was a great Issue #1, and I have high hopes for this series. I believe we are going to see some surprising cameos in future issues. Issue #2: Good second issue. I'm continued to be filled with anticipation about where this series is heading. Issue #3: This series continues to be intriguing, a Collects Crossover issues #1-6 This awesome new series took me on a journey, so I'm going to use this review to share some of my journey with you as I read through the individual issues. SPOILERS: Issue #1: This was a great Issue #1, and I have high hopes for this series. I believe we are going to see some surprising cameos in future issues. Issue #2: Good second issue. I'm continued to be filled with anticipation about where this series is heading. Issue #3: This series continues to be intriguing, and we finally see some crossover characters from other titles in this issue. Although they've been teasing characters from the Big 2, this issue featured: SPOILERS: -Mike Allred's character called Madman and -The Dark Horse superhero team called The Paybacks I had heard of Madman before, although I've never read any of those comic books. I had not heard of The Paybacks, but a little internet research revealed that they are a team created by "Crossover" writer, Donny Cates. Doctor Strange was heavily teased in this issue, but it ended up being Doctor Blaqk from The Paybacks. Issue #4: This issue made me realize how smart Donny Cates is. In the early issues he teased that we may see some crossovers from DC and Marvel books, here in this Image book. Of course, I wasn't sure how that would happen, but I was hopeful. Now I can see that what Cates is actually doing is building a Multiverse out of his creator-owned material. I don't blame him, and I'm not mad about it. I think it's a great idea, and since I haven't read a lot of Cates original work, it is getting me to check out his other titles. Honestly, I applaud him. Well done, Donny Cates. Issue #6: Things really opened here in the final issue of the first story arc as... SPOILERS: ...we saw a ton of appearances of characters from various creator-owned titles. It is all starting to make sense now that although there were teases of characters appearing from Marvel or DC books, the ones that were actually possible were characters from creator-owned books. I loved Issue #6.

  22. 5 out of 5

    Theediscerning

    Forget the MCU, and the DCU, and the Valiant U, and the Vertigo U, and even forget the Pepe-le-p U, in this book every hero and villain of everywhere in comics has descended for the biggest rumble in history. It's so big it's taken over all of Colorado, which has been separated from the rest of existence by a large force-field dome thing. Out here, comics are becoming unwanted, with humanity let down by the characters within the dome – they sure must have loved Colorado to let this turn them aga Forget the MCU, and the DCU, and the Valiant U, and the Vertigo U, and even forget the Pepe-le-p U, in this book every hero and villain of everywhere in comics has descended for the biggest rumble in history. It's so big it's taken over all of Colorado, which has been separated from the rest of existence by a large force-field dome thing. Out here, comics are becoming unwanted, with humanity let down by the characters within the dome – they sure must have loved Colorado to let this turn them against so many comics. Our lead character is a young woman whose parents are inside the fight zone, with no way in – until she sees just how regularly things and people get out... Billed as a love letter to comics, it's definitely peppered with references, in-jokes, whatever you wish to call them, from elsewhere. It's also clearly a book about the power of family and what the love therein can conquer. But it is also a muddle. The cockamamie set-up has provided for quite a few people with very heightened character intentions and ambitions, and putting them all together, dragging them messily to a point where he can do this because he's been told to, that one can try that, the other can respond to this needless deus ex machina, and so on, does not quite work. The narration jumps about, promising this, teasing that, and generally getting us in a temporal muddle, which doesn't help either. It promises, in fact, things clearly not within these covers – yet, while this isn't utterly terrible, I for one will not be back to double-check.

  23. 4 out of 5

    Cale

    Well, it's novel at least. The idea of a crossover between 'reality' and all fantasy worlds, albeit in a mostly contained and separated dome, has a lot going for it, and the story sets up the pieces, but it's definitely a volume 1. It does provide a pretty explosive action sequence, but I never really got invested in the characters. Instead, I spent most of my time trying to identify all the references (and there are a lot, from Image and Dark Horse primarily), and all the ways it infers or refe Well, it's novel at least. The idea of a crossover between 'reality' and all fantasy worlds, albeit in a mostly contained and separated dome, has a lot going for it, and the story sets up the pieces, but it's definitely a volume 1. It does provide a pretty explosive action sequence, but I never really got invested in the characters. Instead, I spent most of my time trying to identify all the references (and there are a lot, from Image and Dark Horse primarily), and all the ways it infers or references DC/Marvel characters without actually using them (including a nice twist relatively early on that gets bonus points just for its audacity). The artwork is pretty good, and using a newsprint CMYK dot approach to differentiate the characters from humans is pretty inspired. One thing I will say - you need to have read other Donny Cates works before this - it is strongly dependent on God Country, and some Dark Horse titles also play prominently, which didn't have as much impact because I wasn't familiar with them. Several get used as thinly veiled Marvel/DC analogs. Ultimately, it's a weird experiment that succeeds more than it fails, and I'll be curious to see if there's more of it. If there is, I'll be reading it, but I don't know that I would recommend it to people who aren't deep into comics.

  24. 5 out of 5

    Tom

    Generally speaking, I like the work of Donny Cates. I think he has a good grasp on how to write a monthly comic, and he can plot an entertaining superhero story. Here we have a story where, for reasons unknown, a rift opens up over Denver and all the fictional characters from every comic book come roaring out and start fighting. How did this happen? And given how dangerous that can be, what can the rest of the world do about them? The plot is, perhaps by design, a little confusing. But as I said, Generally speaking, I like the work of Donny Cates. I think he has a good grasp on how to write a monthly comic, and he can plot an entertaining superhero story. Here we have a story where, for reasons unknown, a rift opens up over Denver and all the fictional characters from every comic book come roaring out and start fighting. How did this happen? And given how dangerous that can be, what can the rest of the world do about them? The plot is, perhaps by design, a little confusing. But as I said, that appears to be by design. Outside of Cates's main cast are a plethora of guest stars, creator-owned heroes all there with permission of the owners in small cameos...and in the shadows are a number of other characters lurking in the background if you know where to look, but those are the DC and Marvel heroes that Cates probably couldn't get permission to use if he really wanted to. Anyway, this is the start of...something as war breaks out between fictional characters and real human beings. If nothing else, seeing all these characters interact with each other is a bit fun...kinda like so many mediocre summer crossover events from the big publishers where the biggest thrill if any is just seeing the characters hang out together.

  25. 4 out of 5

    Bob

    Yknow how there are fancy artisinal organic Kobe burgers served at gourmet restaurants for $25, and then there are giant sloppy burgers at a roadside stand that are like 6 patties from who knows what kind of cow stacked on top of each other? This is like a combination of both of those modes of being. It's like an endlessly tall quadruple Kobe stack. So it's kinda great and kinda gross and overwhelming at the same time. I am no comic expert. I've got a good amount of the supposed classics under my Yknow how there are fancy artisinal organic Kobe burgers served at gourmet restaurants for $25, and then there are giant sloppy burgers at a roadside stand that are like 6 patties from who knows what kind of cow stacked on top of each other? This is like a combination of both of those modes of being. It's like an endlessly tall quadruple Kobe stack. So it's kinda great and kinda gross and overwhelming at the same time. I am no comic expert. I've got a good amount of the supposed classics under my belt (and quite a few non-classics) but I haven't even yet read some of the books this explicitly references like Black Hammer and God Country. But I got enough of it to enjoy this mishmash of Watchmen, Wandavision and X-Men. The artwork and paneling are just stunningly executed from my perspective. If I had one nit, it would be that the omniscient narrator is a occasionally a little too much, although even that gets a nifty little treatment toward the end. And excessive cursing sometimes just annoys me to the point that I fall out of the story a little bit. That said, I found this overall to be a neat idea lovingly executed.

  26. 5 out of 5

    Bryan

    --read as single issues #1-#6-- New book by the same creative powerhouse that gave us God Country? Well, yeah, I'm in. And once again the Donny Cates/Geoff Shaw team-up leaves me rather impressed, and having a lot of fun. Only this time it's ongoing. Crossover feels like the comic lover's meta deep-dive into the world of comics itself. It essentially answers the age-old question unique to nerd circles the world over: what would happen if all our favorite characters came bursting into reality? How --read as single issues #1-#6-- New book by the same creative powerhouse that gave us God Country? Well, yeah, I'm in. And once again the Donny Cates/Geoff Shaw team-up leaves me rather impressed, and having a lot of fun. Only this time it's ongoing. Crossover feels like the comic lover's meta deep-dive into the world of comics itself. It essentially answers the age-old question unique to nerd circles the world over: what would happen if all our favorite characters came bursting into reality? How would this affect our world? What would the repercussions of such an event be? Who would rise heroically to the strange circumstances of such a world-shattering event, and who would take darker paths? Well, read and find out. I'm already looking forward to the next issue. I feel like anyone could get a kick out of this series, and be prepared for a no-limits approach to story-telling; the title is not just a title. Stories, myths, legends… They are not fiction. They’re a virus. And they are spreading.

  27. 5 out of 5

    Jake

    Crossover has all of the elements you might find from a Donny Cates story. I don't just mean the elements from his creations like Paybacks, God's Country, Buzzkill, and a few surprise appearances from Madman and Hit Girl, but his entire brand. Something like problematic paternal figures and feeling isolated from whatever home you had. It certainly feels a little more than just mashing all of Cates' privately owned creations together. It also makes a lot of commentary about some problematic histor Crossover has all of the elements you might find from a Donny Cates story. I don't just mean the elements from his creations like Paybacks, God's Country, Buzzkill, and a few surprise appearances from Madman and Hit Girl, but his entire brand. Something like problematic paternal figures and feeling isolated from whatever home you had. It certainly feels a little more than just mashing all of Cates' privately owned creations together. It also makes a lot of commentary about some problematic histories of comic books. Crossover event fatigue, cults of toxicity about and against comics, and powers that be exploiting comics and fans for their own gains. This doesn't just mean governments but the narrator too. The only problem is, this series is best geared mostly towards comic fans. Or better yet, Cates fans.

  28. 4 out of 5

    SuperSillySerra

    Kids love crossovers. If you love comics, you will love this book. The fact that it's set in the Image universe is just an added bonus! If you know the Imageverse you'll have fun picking out characters from a whole bunch of different series. Don't let that discourage you if you have never read an image book. This is a great intro to the company. It has really great art and fantastic story telling. When a strange event happens between our world and the Image comics world, super heroes and their Kids love crossovers. If you love comics, you will love this book. The fact that it's set in the Image universe is just an added bonus! If you know the Imageverse you'll have fun picking out characters from a whole bunch of different series. Don't let that discourage you if you have never read an image book. This is a great intro to the company. It has really great art and fantastic story telling. When a strange event happens between our world and the Image comics world, super heroes and their readers are started to be viewed as outcasts. I really don't want to give too much away because it covers so much in just 6 issues, but at some point Chip Zdarsky is trying to kidnap himself. Its great!

  29. 4 out of 5

    Sara

    Read more graphic novel reviews at The Graphic Library. Ellipses Howell (or El to her friends) lives outside The Dome and works in a comicbook store that sells vintage titles from before The Event. The Crossover Event was an unexplained phenomenon that ripped a hole in our reality and let superheroes and other fictional characters spill out into Denver, Colorado. One of the supers put up a force field to not only keep the other superstars in, but to protect them from the outside world that is no Read more graphic novel reviews at The Graphic Library. Ellipses Howell (or El to her friends) lives outside The Dome and works in a comicbook store that sells vintage titles from before The Event. The Crossover Event was an unexplained phenomenon that ripped a hole in our reality and let superheroes and other fictional characters spill out into Denver, Colorado. One of the supers put up a force field to not only keep the other superstars in, but to protect them from the outside world that is now bent on destroying them. This field is now known as The Dome. Ryan is the son of a baptist minister who has been chosen to fulfill a special mission with almost no details as to what he’s expected to do, just that he is the only one who can do it. With shop owner Otto, the three rescue a young comicbook girl and try to get her back to her parents, but they’ll have to go into The Dome - and the war zone - to do it. Get ready for a pretty big image superhero comics circle jerk. Volume one doesn’t really get into why The Event occurred or what caused it, so maybe we’ll get that revealed later. If you love other image comics like God Country, Hitgirl, Maybe even Black Hammer, you might enjoy this world where they’re all coming together in a singular storyline. My favorite part was probably the narrator, which is actually Cates breaking into his own story to execute fourth wall breaks. His commentary can be pretty funny. There are lots of fun nods to other creators and their works (wonder how some of them feel to have been killed off in Cates’ world?), so this is definitely a series for a pretty hardcore reader. Casual readers might get some enjoyment but won’t really know who the characters are in order to be impressed by their reveals or inclusions in the story. There are several f-bombs but that’s, so far, the only thing in Volume One that elevates this to the publisher-recommended older teen reading level. Sara’s Rating: 7/10 Suitability Level: Grades 10-12

  30. 5 out of 5

    Benjamin

    An interesting idea, but I'm not sure if the execution works. Some of that is just the nature of doing something that's The Ultimate Showdown of Ultimate Destiny in comics form, but doesn't have the ability to pull in the big name characters from Marvel and DC like a lot of readers might expect or want. But it's more than just that disappointment. The terrorism allusions, the religious zealotry and hatred of comics, the shadowy government conspiracies...it all sort of falls flat for me here. The An interesting idea, but I'm not sure if the execution works. Some of that is just the nature of doing something that's The Ultimate Showdown of Ultimate Destiny in comics form, but doesn't have the ability to pull in the big name characters from Marvel and DC like a lot of readers might expect or want. But it's more than just that disappointment. The terrorism allusions, the religious zealotry and hatred of comics, the shadowy government conspiracies...it all sort of falls flat for me here. There is some great art, and Ellie/Ryan are great characters, but I wish they were in service of a plot that doesn't feel so familiarly trodden.

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