The creator returns. And you had forgotten just how wordy he is. There is no Crossed action here and minimal gore. Ennis continues his subtle streak of speaking out against modern politics and being nostalgic about the military of yesteryear.
This is an origin story. Oh no you cry. The scary part of all monsters is what you don’t know about them. To have the curtain pulled back or see the wires is always a let-down. But although we meet patient zero and see where it all started the how and why is still satisfyingly vague.
Think of this as the comic book version of Prometheus. It’s the tale Ennis wanted to tell but might not be what you wanted to or expected to read. It is a lot of talking heads. Some famous talking heads. But it is still dialogue. We see the early days of characters we have met before and have a lot of amusing one liners.
If you were going to miss out any book in the Crossed series it could be this one. Not because it is worse than many of the stories that have come before but because it is irrelevant. It does not advance the Crossed mythos. It answers some questions but we really weren’t that eager to ask.
Ennis’s original Crossed book was perfect as it was and is still one of the best stories. Ennis knew that concealing the details in this book made the Crossed a far better read and by spilling the beans now it diminishes the potency and fear of the Crossed as much as over exposure to their violence.
The art is fantastic. This series has been extremely lucky in that every incoming artist has been able to embrace the ultra-chromatic vibrancy of the genre. This is no exception and Zanier does an amazing job. The panels, the composition, the characters and military hardware are all perfect, which for talking heads feels a waste. It is a real joy to see a story set in Britain actually look British.
This is an unnecessary read that adds little to the franchise but it does it faultlessly.