Story: Donny Cates & Brian Michael Bendis
Art: Geoff Shaw & Michael Avon Oeming
Colours: Dee Cunniffe & Nick Filardi
Letters & Design: John J. Hill
Story Edits: Mark Waid
I’m going to be straight with you, this is the first issue of Crossover that I haven’t entirely enjoyed. I’ve been eagerly waiting for this series every month and I’ve praised the entire creative team each month; that’s where the problem lies for me this time around. There’s six pages in this issue written and illustrated my Brian Michael Bendis and Michael Avon Oeming respectively, and while I get the idea, it’s Powers, it just doesn’t work as well as the Cates and Shaw Powers scene from last issue. Last month it felt like a loving homage, well done and worth every second. With Bendis and Oeming taking on those duties it just feels too Bendis and Oeming.
That’s really my only complaint. The opening of this issue is really strong, focusing on Director Pendlenton’s home life, which we’ve heard next to nothing about up until now. It’s a welcome addition to the story to spend some time with an important character we don’t know very much about, and it paves the way for some revelations later in the issue.
In fact, there’s a few intriguing ideas introduced in this issue and I really wish they’d been given the time they deserve. For me, it felt like the Powers stuff in the middle got in the way of the plot points surrounding it. I don’t actually think that the Bendis, Oeming, Pilgrim, Walker conversation adds much to Crossover. Naturally there’s a tonne of dialogue, but to quote the Talking Heads “you’re talking a lot, but you’re not saying anything”.
As always Geoff Shaw’s artwork is on point from start to finish. There’s some great facial expressions and emotion is always conveyed perfectly, all the while maintaining a classic comics feel. Equally, Dee Cunniffe’s colouring helps bring every panel to life. In particular, the nightmare sequence demonstrates a frantic couple of pages from Shaw and Cunniffe immediately reminiscent of Divinity, which contrasts brilliantly with the more mundane scenes within Pendleton’s home.
Last issue, Ellie’s talk with Walker and Pilgrim opened up some interesting ideas and led to a really intriguing ending, but I feel like the cameo here very much gets in the way of just about everything else that’s going on. Despite some bombshell revelations I’m finding myself disappointed with Crossover for the first time.