David Lapham hasn’t has much luck with his Crossed stories but Garth Ennis is a tough act to follow. This story is actually one of the better ones and certainly his best Crossed work so far. It has a very relatable and sympathetic character, who definitely doesn’t have the skills needed to survive, but through good characterisation you keep rooting for him. There are a couple of clunky names of people and places that are quite intrusive but mostly this ticks along just fine.
The Crossed are the Crossed and while there is occasionally a new depravity they rarely shine. We do meet a character from another book for the first time ever and it will make you smile if you have been following the whole series. The ending has quite a lacklustre twist but if you look carefully all may not be as it seems.
Art is by series stalwart Jacen Burrows who is really in his element drawing clear faces, plenty of detail, and using great angles to show the action.
The next story is by David Hine and is quite a cerebral work. One of the tools of fiction is to act as a mirror for the human condition and Hine lays it on thick here raising very profound questions. He references quite a few literary works and the comparison between Crossed and Edgar Alan Poe’s Masque of the Red Death is definitely intriguing. The Crossed are almost an afterthought here yet do have a role to play. A secondary storyline fades in comparison to the main one leaving you wondering if this was a pitch Hine had before being invited into the Crossed universe.
Certainly one of the better volumes in the Crossed canon and a Thumbs Up!