Saturday, December 15, 2012

Crossed volume 4. Graphic novel review

Crossed (volume four) by Garth Ennis, Jamie Delano, Jacen Burrows and Leandro Rizzo (Avatar $24.99/ Titan Books £18.99)

Reviewed by Peter Coleborn

Volume four of Crossed collects two stories, “Badlands” and “Homo Superior” – and this is the first time I’ve come across the comic. First off I have to own up: I don’t much like zombies and their stories. To me, they are one-trick ponies. And Crossed is about zombies – or zombie-like beings: out to kill anyone not converted and, more often than not, eat them.

“Badlands” is written by Garth Ennis and drawn by Jacen Burrows. It’s set in the wilds of Scotland and follows a small troop of survivors – one of whom may or may not be a member of the Royal family – as they flee from the Crossed, looking for sanctuary. Do they make it? I’m not telling. Despite my reservations about zombies, I have to say that this tale worked quite well, and I liked the way that Ennis recognised that in order to survive the humans have to make some harsh decisions. Ennis also includes a nice little scene of black humour when the group argue amongst themselves – to go this way or that way and getting no where. The artwork is fine if appearing a little static at times. The artist enjoys depicting gore – as does Rizzo in the next story.

“Homo Superior”, by Jamie Delano (story) and Leandro Rizzo (art) is the longer story of the two. Here, the events are back in the USA where we follow the adventures of a couple of cyclists in one thread, and a family of survivalists in the second. Needless to say, their paths cross with the inevitable intrusion of the zombies and its bloody consequences. And again, do the humans survive? An added problem is that one of them is pregnant and needs to find somewhere safe to give birth to the next level of Homo sapiens. Like Burrows, Rizzo’s art is more than adequate for the tale; and in “Homo Superior” we also get much nudity and sex.

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