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Comic book review: ‘Crossover no. 3’

7 mins read

Donny Cates and his team continue to deliver in the ongoing comic series “Crossover.” I have been enjoying this series since it debuted in November 2020. The series follows Ellipses (or Ellie) who is on a journey to find her parents trapped in a dome. The dome is full of comic book characters and it is engulfing all of Denver, Colorado. Joining Ellipses are Otto (her boss and comic shop owner), Ryan (son of a religious zealot and her soon-to-be love interest), and Ava (a little girl comic book character from the dome).  

Spoilers Ahead

Courtesy of Image Comics

In issue no. 3, Ellie is on a mission to return Ava back to the dome and find her parents. In addition, Ryan has his reasons for traveling to the dome which involve a deal with the government. Otto is reluctant on going to the dome and having Ryan tag along since the latter burned his comic shop. As they are travelling to the dome in traffic, Ellie and Ryan are caught by the police. However, they are interrupted by a battle between what appears to be a Gundam and a giant squid.

But, this battle turns out be an illusion created by a comic book superhero Doctor Blaqk who leads the “Paybacks” from Dark Horse comics. Ellie learns that Blaqk was the one of comic characters that saved Ava (who hilariously calls him Doctor Strange). Blaqk transports Ellie and her friends to his hideout which is in a mansion in comic art. Ellie shows the hero Ava’s drawing of the man with the “S” on his chest. A comic character comes out of the shadows and asks if Ava’s drawing is of him. The character is revealed to be Madman, also from Dark Horse Comics.

Courtesy of Image Comics

Donny Cates’ has become one of my favorite comic writers late last year and in 2021. When “Crossover” came out, I decided to read “God Country” first to get a feel of what I was getting into. After reading many issues of “God County,” Cates’ writing had me on the edge of my seat since I wanted to know what was going to happen next. It is the same with “Crossover” but, since it involves comic characters, it is ten times the anticipation. And Cates continues to deliver in this issue. Especially with the ending when his writing had me hoping that the character revealed was who I thought it was. But even with Madman’s, or Frank’s, revelation, it left me hopeful that perhaps he might still show up. And he being none other than Superman himself.

The character development has to be another favorite thing about this comic. Ellie is becoming a strong character who is determined to find her parents and also return Ava to her parents as well. Otto is the reluctant but supportive friend who serves as comic relief. Ryan is the closet comic book fan who is repressing his true-self thanks to his father who represents society’s distasteful view on comic books. Lastly, Ava is a comic book character who, even though she secretly has powers, is very much a normal pre-adolescents girl. All of these characters create a motely crew of people who have different reasons for going to the dome.

Courtesy of Image Comics

Geoff Shaw’s art really killed this comic in a great way. My favorite scene was the Gundam and squid illusion created by Dr. Blaqk. The art definitely showed that this is truly a crossover. Plus, the silhouette of Superman got me pumped and then got me going “dangit” when I saw that it was Madman. However, it was still awesome since it was a reminder of the Superman and Madman team up in the comic “The Superman Madman Hullaboo.” The revelation was a great tease that is a reminder of how with his drawing, Shaw is a great tag team partner with Cates and his writing. In addition, the colors from Dee Cunifee bring the comic art to life. In the beginning of Issue #3, we see the flashback of Ellie escaping the dome while reluctantly leaving behind her parents. The dome is pixelated comic art similar to Ava’s form. 

Courtesy of Image Comics

The lettering from John J. Hill helped bridged the story. First, the plane dropping bombs on a giant squid kicking off Ellie’s escape from the dome and leaving her parents. Second, I felt that Ottos knocking on the bathroom door kicked off the journey to the dome. Third, the lighting crackle from the sky seemingly convincing Ryan to go on his journey and escape his abusive father. And fourth, the fighting sounds between the Gundam and squid. Another hilarious added bonus was the “Paybacks” logo when their van showed up to pick Ellie and her friends up.

I’m totally looking forward to where this series goes. Will we see Superman? Will Ryan carry out the mission set forth for him. And more importantly (and with the help of Madman), will Ava return to her parents and will Ellie find hers? Crossover #3 is available now in your local comic shop.


“Crossover no. 3” was written by Donny Cates, illustrated by Geoff Shaw, colored by Dee Cunniffe with lettering done by John J. Hill.

Synopsis: “Kids Love Chains-Part Three” Monsters and robots falling from the sky! Mysterious (and familiar??) superheroes joining our intrepid gang on their journey to event ground zero! CROSSOVER continues with the series’ most explosive and shocking issue to date! Don’t miss this one, folks.

If you do, it just might drive you…mad.

Brian of Earth 16

Brian of Earth-16 is a podcaster for the Earth-16 Comics Writer and a contributing writer/journalist for the Daily Planet. You can also hear Brian on the DC Comics Geeks Nation podcast. When not writing, Brian enjoys going to the world of comic books, TV shows, video games, and pro-wrestling. He also loves listening to other podcasts and having a philosophical conversation.

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