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07/10/2019 19:35:02 •••

So Intense it Literally Physically Assaults You

I will never understand the mentality it requires to not only conceptualize a world so devoid of hope and humanity, but to actually want to spend time there. Perhaps that's for the best.

After wading through the thick miasma of Crossed +100, The Thin Red Line, and Homo Tortor, I am sure I've seen all I need to see of this series to make an informed opinion of it (as well as possibly picking up some sympathetic PTSD).

This is brought to us by Garth Ennis — a man who should probably just stick to writing satire for 2000 A.D., if only for the sake of humanity's collective psychic wellbeing — and published by Avatar Press (I say "published," but perhaps the more operative term would be "enabled"), with an interesting premise of a Hate Plague that brings out the absolute worst of human impulses. There's certainly some potential in that concept by itself, and something worth exploring in a horror/drama series.

But this isn't horror. This isn't drama. It's porn.

I think I reached this conclusion after I saw a feral child, caged in a public bazaar, violently masturbating in an attempt to infect passers-by with his ejaculation. As I write that I feel the need to bathe.

Even beyond that, the titular Crossed aren't so much infected people as they are Villain Sues, who brutally violate any chance at a satisfying ending. It's as if they understand the laws of the world around them better than the protagonists do. Or, to put it more bluntly, the stories cheat so these gibbering maniacs always win, no matter how improbable. In regular zombie survival horror, the main conflict is born out the tactics — undead don't require food, water, sleep, or all of their body parts. As long as the brain is intact, they will not stop coming. None of this is applicable to the Crossed, who, despite being out of their minds, seem to pull winning strategies out of thin air. Spree-killers being well known for their logic and forward-thinking capabilities.

If the Crossed scenario actually happened it wouldn't be as cataclysmic as presented here, but this is a fantasy after all.

There's nothing worth recommending about this comic beyond what can be gleamed from the cover art alone because the series as a whole seems to be one long excuse to write something that deserves to be left in Jeffrey Dahmer's sexual fantasies. The only reason I endured as much as I did was because I was, regrettably, perversely fascinated by it all. But as I write this, I feel no catharsis, I feel no closure or better understanding of myself, the series, or the twisted architects behind it.

I just feel dirty.

To see better applications of this premise, I could recommend Black Gas, 28 Days Later, or even Firefly. At least they had the wherewithal to build a story around the carnage.

07/10/2019 00:00:00

I remember wondering how the Crossed were able to last so long. They wander around naked in the snow, subsisting on a diet of raw, rotting meat, and passing the time by mutilating each other. They should be dropping like flies.

The webcomic partially has an answer: They aren\'t always party mad killers who are constantly engaging in deadly, high risk activity. In fact most of the time they are dormant and sensibly looking after their basic survival needs. The carnage is a self-destructive hobby that only comes on when they see the uninfected.

07/10/2019 00:00:00

Thatís not my impression of them. They seem happy enough to rape and brutalize each other when itís most convenient, and the only thing that seems to motivate them towards co-operation is the promise of hurting future people.

But thatís part of the fantasy, isnít it?

The victims have no chance because the Crossed are as smart as they need to be. Just like any Marquis De Sade story, the depravity is the whole purpose of the tale.

It makes sense the virus is eventually revealed to be magical in origin; since even touching the Crossed is enough to pass on the infection, they display complex problem-solving skills when the story demands it, and dipping bullets in their bodily fluids actually works, only some cosmic anvil dropped from on-high could justify it.

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