Story: Donny Cates
Art: Geoff Shaw
Colours: Dee Cunniffe
Letters & Design: John J. Hill
Story Edits: Mark Waid
Publisher: Image

The Death Of The Author. It’s not a concept you might expect to surface in a series that has introduced that author as a character, and yet here we are. Opening on a scene of Donny Cates bleeding out in the midst of the battle that was set to take place at the end of issue #12. It’s a dramatic opening scene, and a few issues ago one that would’ve felt loaded with intrigue as to whether Cates’ characters could exist without him. However, Crossover tackled that idea head on in the last issue when Negan took a baseball bat to Robert Kirkman.

This is a good issue of Crossover, a really good issue in fact, but I can’t help but feel that Robert Kirkman’s death at the hand of his own creation took a lot of tension out of the Cates’ first page brush with death. With that being said, this instalment gives us a lot of forward momentum for the overarching narrative of the series. I’ll be honest, it’s progress that might not come as a surprise but progress nonetheless.

There’s some acknowledgement in Cates’ narration that Crossover hasn’t exactly been going to plan, and that the original intention was for this to be a love story. The narration throughout the issue is interesting, but primarily because it’s the point of view I’ve ended up having during the last few issues. While I’m into the larger plot of the series I would like to see some more time spent with Ellie and Ryan, however I’m coming away from each issue feeling like we’re not going to get back to the more character focused storytelling of the first volume any time soon.

With that being said, almost every character does get an interesting, and in some cases defining moment within this issue. Although he’s been an interesting character from his introduction this is where Pendleton really gets interesting, by taking a more active role among the chaos. We also see some curious scenes between Ellie and Ryan which hark back to the budding relationship between the two that we saw in the initial issues of Crossover. I’m hoping we can see more of these moments going forward as this is what initially drew me into the series.

In terms of art, Geoff Shaw absolutely kills it this issue. There’s one fantastic double page spread, no shortage of action sequences and some scenes of genuine emotion. It’s everything you could want from comic book art and really shows off Shaw’s skill and range as an artist. Equally Dee Cunniffe’s colouring adds a tremendous amount to every panel, his work is essential to making Shaw’s art pop and he never fails to take each page to the next level.

There’s also plenty of scenes in this issue that demonstrate Donny Cates’ abilities as a writer, a personal favourite being Valofax demonstrating just what being ‘all swords’ really means.

I’ll be honest, when I started writing this review I’d managed to get back into the frustrated state with which I’ve had with the last few issues of Crossover. The main reason for that is the fact that this issue feels more like a part two for issue #12 than the start of a new arc, even though admittedly it does open the doors for the next arc. But aside from that…this is a really great issue of a series that I adored when it began, a lot of what got me initially invested is present here: great artwork, colouring, lettering and writing, the return of those character focused moments, and some smug references and badass moments. I didn’t think it was going to happen after the last arc, but Crossover #13 has brought back my enthusiasm for the series and I’m genuinely excited to see what will come next.

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