Crossed: Badlands – Garth Ennis & Jamie Delano

Great, you think. Garth Ennis has returned to the Crossed universe he created for a nine issue extravaganza. Not quite. Only the first three issues are written by him in a sort of Crossed novella.

It is astoundingly good. Ennis at his most thoughtful crafts a technically superb story with a strong message and plenty of emotional investment. Jacen Burrows also returns bringing the distinctive style that launched the Crossed universe. He has a great time mixing blood and snow and evoking real atmosphere.

The second, standard length, tale doesn’t try and compete or blend in, or even become a shock and gore fest like previous stories. It has a bunch of very quirky characters and achieves a really unique dynamic. Rather than a group of survivors who tell their origins through flashbacks we cut between three sets of unconnected people who enjoy their own separate storylines before meeting.

This fresh approach and some indistinct narration is a little weird at first but you soon embrace it. The story twists and turns unexpectedly and you might not predict the ending, leaving you with raised eyebrows.

The art for the second story is similar enough to the Burrows template not to feel out of place but makes more use of bright colours. There is also more nudity in this story than any other so far.

Both tales are very good and really different from each other. It is nice to see Ennis return to his creation and have fun with it too. The Crossed themselves haven’t evoked real terror since their first outing and this book has them talking a little too coherently.

Overall a good read and a strong Thumbs Up!


Tomorrow: Pride of Baghdad – Brian K. Vaughan

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