Jacen Burrows and Garth Ennisset things up for us so well, Global Disaster, murderously horny Rednecks and a rag-tag group of people trying (I guess) to get to Alaska ( if they don’t believe that Alaskans wouldn’t gleefully join in on the Crossed-in-Blood rape and killing spree, they haven’t see Levi’s myspace page). Our survivors have murdered children (as punishment for cannibalism) and apparently killed any number of psycho rednecks. They have survived fallout from nuclear explosions and let’s face it the exploding poulations of aggrsive, meat hungry carnivores that have no-doubt set to reproducing in Noahesque numbers.
The Crossed appear to be cannibals, so they’re not hunting.
Anyway, at least issue four has our heroes moving in a direction rather than sort of just hanging around shooting kindergartners.
They have come to this:
The Crossed are using their victims for sport.
They get entertainment from the following, Rape, killing, dismemberment and apparently survivor style closed-room brawls. The crossed are MMA fans of a particularly cruel stripe it appears.
This issue filled me with two emotions, dread (because it appears that the Crossed have among them the gleeful sadists that appear in all post-apocalyptic ficiton) and dread because this sets up a plot line that feels unnecessary. The whole world is out to get our heroes (who I remind you will survive as this is being told in past tense) why set up Horsecock like this?
One point, at least the male lead isn’t bedding random women throughout, please applaud Mr. Ennis for skipping this pointless trope of PA fiction!
Garth Ennis and Jacen Burrows set the Rape and Murder by crazed Rednecks bar really high in Crossed #1. I can safely state that issue two doesn’t add to the horror, instead it shows the keen, steely and purposeful levels of evil the “Crossed” can reach. Speaking of the Crossed, here’s the birth of one:
Our uninfected are telling this story in anecdotal form, which means at least one of them is alive “in the future” I’m guessing either as one of the Crossed or it is the kid that has been tagging along all this time. Giving a hopeful narrator with such bleak and (really) dark subject matter strikes me as an odd choice. The Crossed tear one of their own apart and rape the severed foot/calf, with that kind of determined horror, it’s hard to imagine some form of hopeful anything save a quick death.
As for the crossed themselves. when they aren’t mutilating each other and raping men, women and children (and animals I’m sure) to death, they are “spreading the love” in an inventive and evil fashion, through the use of a variant Soggy Biscuit game.
I’ll leave that there for you to puzzle out on your own.
Overall verdict; read it if you are a fan of post-apocalyptic stories as well as “zombie” fiction, as the Crossed are the implacable but intelligent foe that Zombie fiction sometimes wants for.
I’ve read a number of “Horror” comics, and more than my share of Zombie Comics in my day. I don’t think that I’ve ever really turned a page and then immediately wanted to skip what I’m seeing so quickly until I saw the Climax of this Comic.
It’s a real achievement for a Writer and Artist to come together and create something that shocks as effectively as the best horror movie. Better still if one can be equally repulsed at the same time. This Comic is truly horrifying and frightening.
Frightening like crowds of flesh hungry Peckerwoods with permanent viagra hard-ons and shrieking harridan meth-head women.
Frightening like the total breakdown of society into Paunchy Nerds and Wiry Speed freaks with Knives and dangerous libidos.
Not to mention the fact that a Nuclear Bomb has gone off in the Geographical Neighborhood.
Not To Mention that society has broken down.
You can Check out Crossed at your local Comic Store and if they don’t have it, check out Avatar Press
So, where have you been hiding, comic fan? Over in Marvel and DC? In that nice shiny house on the hill, I bet you think that Vertigo comics are edgy too?
While DC and Marvel had quietly cast off the Comics Code, Avatar Press has some of the most violent, edy and REAL comics out there. Did you get a chance to read “Black Gas” , how about “Black Summer”, maybe you have read “Gravel”?
Avatar Press continues to be THE source for creator owned, outside the norm comics. Crossed is yet another great example of that work. Like any good Apocalyptic fiction, the author throws the unsuspecting protagonists into a scenario that initially seems ridiculous or unlikely, abruptly tossing them into the fire with no obvious hope for safety. There is a reference to people becoming inured to the ridiculous by instantaneous media like Youtube or Break.com and I think there is something in that, if you saw a Zombie on the street eating an arm, wouldn’t you look for the camera too?
Garth Ennis continues to deliver Edgy comics and now that his Run on Punisher is over (boo) what can we look forward too? Crossed.