March 22nd, 2011 | → 0 Comments | ∇ Graphic Novels & Comics |

Crossed by Garth Ennis and Jasen Burrows

by Ghastly McNasty

Crossed Graphic Novel ReviewGarth Ennis has achieved legend status in the world of comics and is famous for comic creations such as Preacher, The Boys & Hitman to name a few. I rate Preacher as one of my favourite comic series so was excited to get my hand on Crossed his latest horror offering drawn by the skilled Jasen Burrows. Having already read some reviews which had warned me of the ‘extreme’ content found in Crossed I was eager to see what all the fuss was about.

Crossed is a 10 part series which ran from September 2008 – March 2010. I purchased the complete work in juicy graphic novel format and set about reading with my usual childish eagerness. Publisher Avatar have this to say:

Crossed is his horrifically visceral exploration of the pure evil that humans are truly capable of indulging. This gut-wrenching vision is brought to vivid (and more than a little disturbing) life by Ennis and Burrows. Imagine, for a moment, the worst crimes against humanity. Picture the cruelest affronts to decency. Conjure your darkest nightmares… and then realize it could all be so much worse. When civilization crumbles in one terrifying moment; when people are gleefully breaking into unthinkable acts of violence all around you; when everyone you love has died screaming in agony: What do you do? There is no help. There is no hope. There is no escape. There are only the Crossed.

Sounds good huh…

The Crossed, so called because of a cross like rash that appears on their faces, have lost all inhibitions and morals finding themselves driven towards acts of extreme brutality, sadism and evil with a huge amount of enthusiasm and pleasure on their part. This results in a graphic and disturbring story filled with moments that purposefully set out to revolt and terrify the reader. If you’re looking for depravity on a grand scale then this book is for you. The first chapter ends with an image that is so truly horrifying that it will burn itself into your brain.

These infected homicidal maniacs are the stars of the comic and righly so because they are what makes it work so well. Stumbling zombies are all well and scary but the fact that the Crossed are still human, fast, cunning and driven by their evil desires, make the whole story seem even scarier. They are totally dedicated to their goal of causing unspeakable acts of murder, rape and mutilation. There’s no silver bullets or get-out clauses for these villians and this just adds to the overbearing sense of hopeless doom.

Crossed by Garth Ennis and Jasen Burrows

I was slightly wary approaching yet another apocalyptic story. As a regular reader of the Walking Dead I have enough quality survivalist horror in my life. However, in Crossed, the villians are not zombies but deranged humans infected by some unknown disease. A decent enough twist on the survival theme to warrant a read. There is of course some well trodden ground covered in Crossed but with the amount of zombie stuff around these days it’s almost impossible not to have some similarities. Those infected are done so through some form of bite or bodily fluid transfer but the author manages to throw in a few new surprises that kept it fresh.

Jasen Burrows’ artwork is great and he compliments Ennis’ story with some great pictures. Be warned though, no punches have been pulled by either contributor. They really did set out to make it as horrible as possible so kudos to them. There’s actually a Crossed movie in the pipelines but i doubt it will be quite as graphic as the comic.

In Conclusion

I’m both a fan and collector of graphic novels. Being drip fed continuous stories suits by addictive personality and arranging the volumes in numerical order ticks my OCD boxes. I rate comics as either keepers or sellers. If i’ve enjoyed them enough to read again I will keep them and proudly add to my collection. Those that don’t make the grade will be flogged on eBay.

I’m happy to report that Crossed easily makes the grade as a keeper thanks to the post-apocalyptic story and its ability to truly disguct and horrifiy. The only caveat is that if I ever have kids it will be sold. If one were to ever stumble upon this at early age it would well and truly fuck them up.

Some cool Crossed artwork on Flickr

by Ghastly McNasty

Theatre of Terror

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