Crossed

Crossed + One Hundred 6 (June 2015)

Crossed + One Hundred #6Reading the last issue of this arc (as I guess it’s continuing somehow), I couldn’t stop thinking about the finale of Garth Ennis’s original Crossed run. How he mixed humanity with desperation without exactly going for sympathy.

Moore does something similar with this issue. It’s not the unimaginable horror show the quiets in the series promised, however. It’s a Crossed horror show to be sure, but it’s not unimaginable. Moore and Andrade concentrate on the story, they concentrate on the explorers as they’ve been doing. These characters don’t see it as a horror show; it’s life. The trick is how Moore and Andrade work the reader’s perspective without desensitizing.

+ One Hundred has always been a strange concept–Alan Moore doing a special series of an Avatar franchise. The finale is just as thoughtful, just as unexpected as the rest of the comic’s been. Great writers write great, regardless of material.

CREDITS

Writer, Alan Moore; artist, Gabriel Andrade; colorist, Digikore Studios; letterer, Jaymes Reed; publisher, Avatar Press.

Crossed + One Hundred 5 (May 2015)

Crossed Plus One Hundred #5After so many calm issues, Moore gets around to showing a little of + One Hundred’s plan and it’s a doozy. But the way he shows it is so fantastic.

Moore has lulled the reader into expecting the calm while still imagining some sensible, if horrific, explanation. He gradually reveals the truth here, as Future reads some diaries she finds and everything starts to make sense. While Moore didn’t give the reader enough information to guess it, his style for the book also lulled the reader into not thinking about guessing.

Instead, he spent the entire time making the reader care about the characters. And now, through a masterfully executed reveal, they’re all in trouble. Only Future’s just as calm as always. Why? Because she grew up in + One Hundred and it’s the reader who’s anxious. That aspect, the calm of the damned, is one of Moore’s great moves here.

CREDITS

Tyger, Tyger; writer, Alan Moore; artist, Gabriel Andrade; colorist, Digikore Studios; letterer, Jaymes Reed; publisher, Avatar Press.

Crossed + One Hundred 4 (March 2015)

Crossed +100 #4In this issue, Moore drops Future and company in a Muslim settlement (the only religious community in the world… AFAWK). Future’s got a thing going with the archivist there, giving Moore and Andrade a chance to mix talking head Crossed history in with a sex scene. There’s some stuff with the Crossed in the issue–the tape, finding out the Crossed can breed (for me anyway)–but it’s Future’s romantic interlude is the action standout.

And Moore ends on that same gentle note. Given Future’s narration of the comic is in her journal and Moore loves playing with how storytelling works, it’s unlikely the comic will ever end an issue on a different note. Or, if he does… well, it means the comic’s changed.

Of course, Moore’s not threatening Future either.

It’s a strange, thoughtful comic. This issue has lots of dialogue, but also lots of character moments.

Awesome again.

CREDITS

Writer, Alan Moore; artist, Gabriel Andrade; colorist, Digikore Studios; letterer, Jaymes Reed; publisher, Avatar Press.

Crossed + One Hundred 3 (February 2015)

Crossed + One Hundred #3For this issue of Crossed, Moore goes nice and calm. He brings his explorers back to their home and lets all the things they’ve learned settle in. What’s so disconcerting–but not bad–about One Hundred is the way Moore’s vernacular makes sense by the end of the issue but not necessarily at the beginning. It’ll probably be perfect in a trade.

Moore even makes a joke (using Cormac McCarthy’s The Road).

Most of the issue is the protagonist, Future, hanging out with her mom, her cat (Flash Gordon) and catching up. Through that catch-up, Moore’s able to reveal the future society a bit. Then there’s the building toward whatever the big reveal is going to be.

It’s a calm, fantastic, quietly terrifying issue; the people’s lives seem so mundane, it conditions the reader not to get too excited by the horrific nature of it all. Moore’s kicking butt.

CREDITS

Writer, Alan Moore; artist, Gabriel Andrade; colorist, Digikore Studios; letterer, Jaymes Reed; publisher, Avatar Press.

Crossed + One Hundred 2 (December 2014)

Crossed + One Hundred #2Moore takes the comic to Graceland–sans Elvis cameo–because even though Moore has a lot of pop culture references in Crossed, they’re never cheap. They’re never too obvious, they’re never forced. A few of them had me wondering where Alan Moore would have heard about them, given I don’t picture him on Facebook reading memes.

The comic continues to be fantastic. The language he’s using for the future apocalypse is still fantastic. He even paces out the comic to have a good finish. Even though he’s doing a limited series, the issue itself satisfies with its conclusion. Once again, shocking to see Moore putting so much thought and effort into work-for-hire. He even gets in some really nice character moments.

As for Andrade’s art… it works out. It’s not the best it could be, but he gets how to break out the story for it to succeed.

CREDITS

Writer, Alan Moore; artist, Gabriel Andrade; colorist, Digikore Studios; letterer, Jaymes Reed; publisher, Avatar Press.

Crossed + One Hundred 1 (November 2014)

Crossed + One Hundred #1Who would have thought Crossed + One Hundred wouldn’t just be good, but would be some really strong mainstream stuff from Alan Moore. He gets to create a language–future English–which undoubtedly gave him a lot to think about (since the language also shows how the world has changed since the apocalypse and what’s important and what’s not). And he gets to imagine a future civilization.

Not surprisingly, it’s upbeat. Moore shows the humanity both in his cast of survivors, but also in the crossed. It’s very strange because they’re not sympathetic yet, but he’s got a anthropologic distance from them and it does make them very interesting.

A lot of the details don’t have anything to do with Crossed and are probably just ideas Moore has had kicking around for a while. But he fits them perfectly to the world such a calamity might create.

Gabriel Andrade’s art’s excellent.

A 

CREDITS

Writer, Alan Moore; artist, Gabriel Andrade; colorist, Digikore Studios; letterer, Jaymes Reed; publisher, Avatar Press.

Crossed 9 (February 2010)

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You know what, I’m really pissed off.

Really, really, really pissed off.

Because Ennis doesn’t do something lame with the conclusion, he doesn’t do something predictable following up on that last cliffhanger. He does something else entirely.

He’s seen The Last of the Mohicans is all I’ll say. The original cut with the better music.

He does something beautiful with his story about killer rapist cannibals or whatever they’re called.

And I’m mad about it.

Because somehow the format doesn’t allow for the possibility he’s going to turn it into what he turns it into. It’s a really quiet ending about a couple people who are really upset. More upset than if they’d just poorly anticipated how Ennis was going to end Crossed.

Overall, with this conclusion, it’s one of his best works. Without it, maybe not. But he does some beautiful things here.

I feel like crying right now.

CREDITS

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p style=”font-size:11px;”>Writer, Garth Ennis; artist, Jacen Burrows; colorist, Juanmar; editor, William Christensen; publisher, Avatar Press.

Crossed 8 (December 2009)

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Gosh, Garth, thanks for the miserably downbeat foreshadowing at the end.

Things are winding down in Crossed, obviously, and it’s kind of hurried. Not a lot of stuff happens this issue. Instead, it’s just a little bit of reaction to the last issue and a lengthy aside with Ennis filling the reader in on other people’s experiences outside the scope of the comic. But all of a sudden things just rev up and go full speed ahead….

Only to have Ennis do everything he can to depress the reader with the last passage.

Wait, I know what the problem is… it’s a cliffhanger. He’s finally ending an issue on a cliffhanger and it just doesn’t work. It feels overly sentimental and melodramatic and cheap.

It’s sucking the anticipation out of the story with a cute device. Ennis’s way better than a move like this one. Worries me for the finish.

CREDITS

Writer, Garth Ennis; artist, Jacen Burrows; colorist, Juanmar; editor, William Christensen; publisher, Avatar Press.

Crossed 7 (September 2009)

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The seventh issue basically brings the story to where, event-wise, not location-wise (since they’ve been moving for the series), it would pick up before Ennis’s digressions into non-epical storytelling. In other words, the shit hits the fan.

And there’s some bad stuff, but it’s nowhere near as affecting as the old guy’s confession scene in the previous issue. It’s just bad Crossed stuff. If the reader’s given up on a happy ending–and in the case of Crossed, it’s the worst possible ending one’s preparing him or herself for–there’s nothing much more Ennis can do to shock.

So, lots of bad stuff happens. Burrows draws it really disturbing and it’s a nasty time.

Ennis does action well and it’s a good comic. It’s just what I’ve been expecting to happen since the end of the third issue and… I had hoped it wouldn’t have to happen.

CREDITS

Writer, Garth Ennis; artist, Jacen Burrows; colorist, Juanmar; editor, William Christensen; publisher, Avatar Press.

Crossed 6 (June 2009)

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Ennis’s goal with Crossed, I’ve decided, is to make me sorry I ever said the book wasn’t going to surprise me anymore.

There are Crossed in this issue, there’s even a horse and a dog and an annoying new member of the group who’s pissing Stan off a lot because Stan feels like the first husband even though Cindy’s not interested.

There’s this whole awful flashback to Kitrick’s past and it finally makes the character visible. Even though he’s the only black guy, he’s almost not there in the previous issues. And, surprisingly, it isn’t as terrible as Ennis could have made it. There’s some restraint.

But the big surprise is what Ennis comes up with when he plays with conventions. The one guy sitting around talking about himself and what he did before takes an incredible turn (it seems like a joke for a while).

Then it ends quietly.

CREDITS

Writer, Garth Ennis; artist, Jacen Burrows; colorist, Juanmar; editor, William Christensen; publisher, Avatar Press.

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