This issue picks up directly from #52 with Dr. Chopra briefing the Labour Prime Minster Gordon Brown as to the scale of the Crossed infection, while Harry, the head of Brown’s security, briefs what soldiers have managed to protect the lab they’re all stuck in as society falls apart around them.
Ennis returns to the theme of the dithering Brown that’s run through this story and with things getting increasingly worse very, very quickly, it’s something that runs through this issue very strongly indeed as it becomes clear this is a problem not confined to the UK.
Countries around the world start to report a similar situation with the cause in each country being a single Patient Zero which makes it seem like this is one massive coordinated attack against all the countries of the world, though the question is (assuming this is the case) then how can all of them be placed at the same time worldwide? This is a question Ennis throws out not only to his characters but the reader who may be thinking this is a supernatural infection along the lines of [REC] and is instead something that’s been made by humans to attack other humans. It could also just be Ennis pulling a fast one, so we’ll have to wait to see what the cause of the Crossed is as it’s not going to given away now while there’s still a few more issues to come.
Much of the rest of this issue is set in Brown’s makeshift control room set up in the lab, which means fans of gore are going to be horribly frustrated as there’s a lot of people standing around talking, and often spouting big chunks of exposition, but Ennis keeps the dialogue flowing quickly especially during the argument between Harry and Alistair, Brown’s spin doctor.
Then the shite really hits the fan.
Harry then continues to question Patient Zero to get any clue how he became infected before we catch up with the aircrew from 617 Squadron who are in a bit of a mess but escape from the Crossed due to a bit of heroism which seems cliched, but is addressed in such a way to make it not so in a page which is genuinely quite affecting.
Which leads the story to giving Gordon Brown the sort of choice he wouldn’t ever have wanted as the situation gets even worse as 40 Russian bombers are heading towards American airspace with the British being the only ones with any possibility of shooting them down before they initiate a total nuclear war. Before Brown does anything though he wants to speak to the American President which seeing as this is set in 2008, will be George W. Bush.
To find out what happens in the conversation between Brown and the President buy the comic from a shop or download it from Comixology. Needless to say things are now heading towards the end of the world in full pelt but Ennis is maintaining a load of interest in all these little character studies that form the background to this story which by the way, really isn’t going to end well for many, or indeed, any of the characters but the restraint shown by Ennis in building these characters up is to be admired in what is normally a pretty poor to average horror comic.
I will wonder though, will Ennis really turn Brown into one of the Crossed? That might be, well, a tad controversial in the British media. We’ll see soon enough….