Crossed is a concept that shouldn’t have lasted as it should have, but with Alan Moore’s Crossed +100 set in the future of the Crossed and now this arc by Keiron Gillen partly set in humanity’s prehistory it shows there’s some legs on the idea.
Here’s the synopsis from Avatar.
Superstar writer Kieron Gillen (Uber, Wicked & Devine) is launching a new story arc that will take the horrors of the Crossed back to the ancient past! 75,000 years ago was the closest humanity has ever came to being purged from the Earth. There were as few as 2000 humans remaining. This is historical fact. Why it came to this is generally blamed on super-volcano Toba causing a minor ice-age. But that’s not the full story. That is not the history of the Homo Tortor, i.e. Man The Toturer. This empire before the beginning of time, that sends raiding parties gathering other Homo species and enormous mega-fauna, invented cruelty, refined domination, perfected killing. And they think their power will last forever. Join the hunt for historical answers with this issue that kicks off C-Day events worldwide as fans celebrate the grueling world of Crossed at comic shops everywhere. There is no help, there is no hope. There is only the Crossed.
It’s a nice idea, and how Gillen frames it is with a survivor of the modern day Crossed outbreak trying to find a college professor who had some radical ideas.
So this story takes place in three time periods: the present day, just before the outbreak and 70,000 years ago. It’s a pretty daring bit of storytelling on display here as he details how Professor Nelson manages to have not only successfully worked out what happened in the past, but predicts the future. Sadly, nobody believes him.
Then the Crossed outbreak happens and the student that dismissed him, Washington, leads a team to find what information Nelson actually knew.
The story then flashes back 70,000 years to tell the story of Lion, a young man trying to kill a prehistoric alligator so he can impress Sun, a young girl in the tribe.
Unluckily for Lion, the ‘Blood Men’ (prehistoric Crossed) have attacked his village, killed Sun, and are now going to do the same to him.
But The Blood Men don’t kill him, they have something far more terrible for Lion on board their vast ships of the sea.
This issue is a sort of mirror to Alan Moore’s future of the Crossed, and it’s just a fantastic bit of horror. The fact that so much is going on doesn’t hold Gillen back and he and his artist Rafa Ortiz do a marvelous job in telling something so depressingly horrible in such a good way without being as exploitative as possible, something this series is extraordinary guilty of.
It’s only one arc Gillen is doing but I’m sold on it. I’ll be back next issue to find out wait horrible fate awaits poor Lion….