Crossed #1

Sep 2008 | Avatar

Story: Garth Ennis
Art: Jacen Burrows

This issue occurs 10 months later than what happened in the preview issue. Things have pretty much gone to hell. They’re a decent sized bunch of survivors with no idea where to go or what to do.

When a large group of people start heading towards their hiding place, they’ve got to move. When one man’s wife injures her foot, rather than take his little girl and go on, shooting his wife at her request, he pours table salt in a circle around him.

Earlier in this issue, this guy tells his tale about how one of these crazies died after falling into a pile of salt. Of course, the guy never actually saw the thing die, but his desperate hope told him it did. Now his little girl gets torn and chopped up while he and his wife are brutally raped and butchered.

This is so dark and disturbing it’s like a breath of fresh air in the middle of all this other crap I’m reading, even the ones I actually like. It has the right level of brutality and the direness of the situation and desperation of the survivors makes it sink in more. You’re not just dealing with the horror and pity you feel as more of an idea like when you hear news about some father killing his wife and five little kids. You know it’s wrong and terrible and you’d certainly feel something for the atrocity, but you’re disconnected from it. After a short time, it’ll be erased from your mind.  This book would be like following the entire story and every brutal detail of what happened to that family. That would sure-as-hell stick with you longer and you’d certainly feel something for a lot longer.

I also like how this situation is different. These crazies seem to have some zombie-like qualities in that they seem quite resilient, but they’re still aware and still capable of talking. It seems like everything that would inhibit their behavior has been released leaving them in a more carnal state driven by primal emotions and instinct.

What’s with that nuclear blast? I wonder what role it had through all this, or if it was just a side-effect of the violent chaos. There’s just so many questions I have.

The writing is really good. The journal styled exposition way better than what I have to deal with in Vinyl Underground. The characters and their emotions are believable and I care about them enough I’m actually cheering for them.

I’d come to crave that sneer of his, that pissed me off and made me pity him in equal measure. Tried to provoke it every chance I got.

The frustration it awoke, the desire to take his pompous head off, pulsing behind my eyes like the pain that seems to soothe you through a fever… and the sorrow for a social invalid—now less capable than ever—that made you die inside and he squawked and scrabbled for his dignity.

Poor nerd guy. So desperate for an answer, so convinced…

This is my rising star. It had an intriguing beginning that just exploded into something I could really get excited about. I’ve been waiting for something like this for a long time. This is what real horror should be like (Cthulhu excepted).

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