By Garth Ennis (Writer), Jacen Burrows (Art), and Juanmar (Colors)
The Story: The “crossed” are primal, psychotic humans with a taste for nothing but sex and extreme violence. Their numbers are growing as a band of survivors try to keep it together long enough to stay alive for another day. Simply put, the story is pretty much what The Walking Dead would probably be like if it was helmed by Garth Ennis instead of Robert Kirkman.
What’s Good: For what amounts to little more than a variation on the zombie genre at this point, Crossed still manages to come across as unique thanks to the extreme nature of those humans that have become “crossed.” Drawn in brutal, disturbing detail by Jacen Burrows, trust me when I say that you have never seen zombies behave quite like they do in this series debut. A single issue in and it’s readily apparent that this book aims to shock while also providing some heavy handed commentary on our cultural obsession with sex and violence.
What’s Not So Good: This book is completely devoid of the subtlety and human drama that compelling characters are born from (read The Walking Dead for that). I couldn’t name a single character in Crossed, but you better believe I could describe, in detail, the more outrageous things that happen. That’s why it’s really hard to tell where things will be going once the story actually advances beyond trying to survive. It can probably amount to more than just a string of graphic language and artwork, but it needs to happen sooner than later.
Conclusion: Crossed #1 does just enough to keep me around for a bit longer, but it is really nothing more than a comic version of an unrated gore flick. Fun if you can handle it, but far from being an essential read.
A Second Opinion
I’ll readily admit that I’m reading this book just to see how far Ennis will push the moral envelope. This book is the highlight reel of the most disgusting parts of Garth Ennis’ magnum opus, Preacher. It takes a certain kind of person to be able to stomach Ennis’ sadistic side. Those in that camp feel right at home. If you’ve read The Boys or Preacher the graphic content shouldn’t surprise you (that much). If your only exposure to Ennis is Dan Dare, well, prepare to have your eyes raped.
Robert Kirkman fans: This is Walking Dead: Extreme Edition.
And I love it!
– J. Montes