Story: Alan Moore
Art: Gabriel Andrade
Publisher: Avatar Press
The Crossed comics has, since it first was released in 2008, become somewhat of a phenomena. Though not widely acknowledged by the main stream yet, it has built up a cult following and anyone who knows anything about comics has heard of it. It has seen several different incarnation through various story arcs, by various writers and artists, and it is constantly pushing the envelope when it comes to gore and sexual perversion. There are few things that haven’t been covered over the years. With a monthly series, Crossed: Badlands, and two webcomics the franchise would run the risk of growing stale and stagnant. It is when Garth Ennis returns to his creation when people begin to get excited about it again and the news of a possible webseries has also sparked interest and might launch the franchise into the main stream.
The fact that Alan Moore was going to tackle a Crossed story set in the future naturally got the casual Crossed subscriber’s heart a flutter.
Crossed +100 is set one hundred years after the outbreak of infected, referred to as The Surprise, which has devastated the earth. In the first issue, the subject of this particular review, we get to follow a group traveling on an old train and mainly the character Future Taylor, an archivist who is charged with finding books for trade or general information. On a routine investigation of a library the group is ambushed by Crossed, which is surprising since they rarely encounter them anymore. Their numbers have been dwindling and when they discover a new born Crossed baby it makes the entire business even more confusing for them. They also end up finding a shrine set up in an old town hall, raising further questions.
To set Crossed in the future is no easy task. There are many factors to take into consideration here. How have people survived, can the Crossed with their decadent ways live on and so on. Moore is of course the right man for this job. He manages, already in this first issue, to create an understanding for the characters’ situation and the setting of the world they live in. He also manages to describe the language of the future. People have seemingly managed to keep the written language, but it has evolved from emoticons and internet slang. Future Taylor for instance uses the phrase “I don’t heart it much” and the others in her group say “brown” instead of other curse words. This makes the story more believable and gives it a depth that many of the other Crossed stories lack. It also deviates a bit from the other titles, except for the initial story arc, in that it has very little shock value, the strength is instead the mystery of why the Crossed seem to be gaining in numbers again and what are world would look like 100 years after a global catastrophe that isn’t environmental.
For those not familiar with Crossed, this is still an interesting piece of dystopian science-fiction filled with Moore’s ingenious attention to detail and great art. Of course things may change, but initially it is easy to get excited about the coming issues.