Review – Crossed

Publisher/s: Avatar Press

Genre: Survival horror, post-apocalyptic

Author/s: Garth Ennis

Artist/s: Jacen Burrows

Format: Limited Series

No. of Issues: 10

Vintage: August 2008 – February 2010

Crossed is a ten-issue creator-owned comic-book series focussing on a small band of people as they deal with a zombie-like outbreak that has been unleashed upon the world.  ‘The Crossed’, so-called because of the cross-like rash that forms on the individual’s face, are berserkers, completely uninhibited and as a result they go around killing and raping everyone in sight.  Though somehow they still manage to retain some level of intelligence as they form hunting parties, are able to reason and (to further spread the crossed-’plague’) are quite insidious as they coat their weapons in bodily fluids in order to infect their prey.

Crossed is narrated in the past tense, the central storyline takes place ten months after the initial outbreak with flashbacks to those events strewn throughout the series.  I initially found the structure to be somewhat confusing as there isn’t any distinction or markers between the central storyline and the flashbacks, though eventually I did manage to piece together what was going on, it just felt like the entire story was chopped into pieces and shuffled around.

Some of the Crossed antagonists stand out from the majority, like the so-called 'Horse-Cock' and his posse.

Garth Ennis is one of my favourite writers in the comic-book industry, ever since reading Preacher, I’ve kept track of his work and am pleased to report that Ennis has done it again.  Crossed is a brilliant take on the zombie apocalypse genre and is filled with Ennis hallmarks including; foul language, extreme violence and weird situations.  Once again, Jacen Burrows returns to Avatar Press and has done a wonderful job in illustrating Crossed and bringing the world to life.  Ennis and Burrows make a great team and Crossed is just as entertaining as any huge Hollywood zombie production that you may see.

Sensitive readers beware, Crossed is filled with ultra-violence, sodomy and much more and if you have the stomach for it (or perhaps if you’re a gore fan), Crossed is a highly enjoyable read and worthy of your hard-earned cash.  A sequel entitled; Crossed: Family Values, is in the works though Ennis wont be the writer as he was content with the ten issue series and does not wish to dilute his creation with a sequel.  Therefore non of the original characters will return in the sequel, something I for one am happy about as Crossed is just about perfect.

Grade: A

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