Wednesday, August 17, 2011

Graphic Novel Review: Crossed

Crossed, at first glance, looks a lot like The Walking Dead (another excellent Graphic novel series I will review at a later date). But turn the page and there it is: the most disturbing images you've ever seen in bright, vibrant color. Crossed is, simply put, the most disturbing graphic novel in existence.

Imagine if the world- every inch of it- was suddenly crawling with a virus. The virus turns people into the same things we saw in 28 Days Later- ravenous, crazed, blood-thirsty berserkers. Scary concept, no? But it’s been done.

Now imagine this: those blood thirsty berserkers aren’t going to stay berserk. They will organize. They will plan. They will learn. And they’ll come equipped with all the skills and talents they had before they got infected. If you were a biochemical engineer before, you are now- but now all you want to do is traumatize people in the most horrific ways that the deepest, darkest part of your mind can possibly come up with. Oh, and unlike the guys from 28 Days Later, they're also horny as hell. That’s scary.

The only edge the survivors have is that the crossed are alive. Therefore, they can be killed. Zombies keep walking despite the freezing temperature, lack of food, and anything else that might help kill a human. Crossed don’t. You can shoot ‘em any ol’ place and they’ll die. But then again, they can shoot back. And they do some pretty nasty things to the bullets.

On page one, the survivors aren’t really anything horrifically special. In the beginning you’ll be reminded of Rick and Co from Walking Dead. But their journey- and what they do to survive- is different. Because what they’re dealing with is so much worse.

For them, there is no such thing as safe. Ever. There’s no abandoned prison where they can hold up and regroup. Because the things they’re running from aren’t just going to stand at the gate and groan. They’re going to plan and attack. The only way to survive is to keep running. And to do the things that you never dreamed you’d do. What they go through, the choices they make, and the people they become are that much worse.

The real kicker of Crossed is this: these monsters are us. The unimaginably sick and twisted things they do are things that we are more than capable of. We like to think we’re not. But the fact is that if civilization, morals, logic and all the other executive functions we have that keep our most primal urges in check weren’t there anymore we’d be monsters, too. And that mind f**k stays with you long after you’ve read the last page.

If you have the stomach for it, check it out.

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