What I thought of Crossed +100 #18

Thoughts about #1#2#3#4#5#6#7#8#9,#10#11#12#13#14#15, #16 and #17.

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Here it is, the final issue of Crossed +100. That confrontation between Robbie, the Crossed who passed as human and Future Taylor, the person who Robbie betrayed as well as her town who were massacred by the Crossed. In the middle is the Crossed child Future was bringing up as her own.

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Spurrier has a lot of plotlines to wrap up in this issue, which he does while letting the narrative flow but there’s still a feeling while reading this issue that things are a bit cramped, that in fact he’d planned a few more issues and this is cramming everything in. It doesn’t matter though as it works as we get Robbie’s history, as well as the raid on the Crossed stronghold playing out next to each other.

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We find out what Salt was planning for; a hybrid human/Crossed who just happens to be the child Future has been protecting. As all this plays out, Future’s lover, Mustaqba is sitting there with a knife in his guts slowly dying.

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As for the end, there is an ending, there’s also an opening for Future’s story to continue, should of course Avatar want that to happen but right now they’ve not revealed their plans for the Crossed AFAWK.

Crossed +100 has shown that these stories don’t have to be just tedious exercises in gore. rape and violence. That with a skilled writer at the helm a dark science fiction story can emerge with those elements there but they’re not what the story is actually about so there’s not a case where the story beats are just there to take us to the next grotesque moment. They’re there to help drive the story which in this case for now at least, is over.

What I thought of Crossed +100 #17

Thoughts about #1#2#3#4#5#6#7#8#9,#10#11#12#13#14#15 and #16.

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Here we all are at the penultimate issue of Crossed +100. Things moved quickly last issue as it felt like Si Spurrier had to compact some storylines up so #16 felt amazingly fast paced and #17 starts with Future leaving her friends and having a daydream..

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Future has some guilt issues to work out.

So, while on her way home she’s intercepted by Bailey, who knows that Future knows the location of Salt’s followers and would quite like it so he and his men can raise it to the ground.

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Future reluctantly gives Bailey the information he needs, but in telling him the details she reveals her own talent for war and that scares her.

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Future spends her remaining time returning home trying to work out exactly what it is that she’s missed, which seeing as we’re coming up the final issue will be something enormous and terrible.

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War is coming but Future has her own drama to live out as the uninfected take on the Crossed for what may be the final battle one way or another. Next issue is the final issue then Avatar are being coy about what’s due next from them in regards Crossed. There’s still a Garth Ennis story due (which I’d presumed would be in Crossed:Badlands #100 but it isn’t) so the idea isn’t going away but it does need some quite serious quality control, Crossed +100 excepted.

Next issue is the final issue. By then we may have a better idea.

What I thought of Crossed +100 #16

Thoughts about #1#2#3#4#5#6#7#8#9,#10#11#12#13#14 and #15.

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Wait ages for issues of Crossed +100 and they come along like buses full of psychotic rape-monsters.This issue starts right after last issue’s cliffhanger where we were led to expect a showdown between Robbie (the intelligent Crossed who helped doom Future Taylor’s settlement) and Future, but from the off Spurrier makes it clear this isn’t going to happen, in this issue at least.

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It turns out the captive Crossed is one of the graduates of Salt’s school of intelligent Crossed, and is seemingly offering Future and her group the location of Salt’s followers.

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It seems this Crossed is divulging lots of information that confirms what Future’s already found in Salt’s journals and is offering to help.

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It seems the group’s new allies, the Tribaladies are not as they seem, and work for Salt’s group mopping up stupid infected to ensure that evolution favours the smarter infected, and that Salt is going to somehow return from the dead.To find out answers Future  finds out more about Bethlehem, a settlement of remaining Christians mentioned by their Crossed captive.

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It turns out Bethlehem was wiped out at the same time as Chooga was six years previously, and that leads Future to discover where the Crossed are hiding as Spurrier presses on the accelerator in this issue which seems to go at 200mph after the more sedate last couple of issues. With only two issues to go there’s a real sense of urgency to get to a satisfying climax and if it’s anything like this issue, it’ll be superb.

What I thought of Crossed +100 #15

Thoughts about #1#2#3#4#5#6#7#8#9,#10#11#12#13 and #14.

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Firstly I was sad to hear that this series is coming to an end as it’s clear the Spurrier issues aren’t selling anywhere near as well as the Moore issues, nor does this series wallow in the pornography of violence including rape to give readers kicks anywhere near as much as certain arcs on Crossed: Badlands do. As for this issue it picks up with Future Taylor being introduced to a band of human Crossed killers who hunt and kill them.

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This group is more literate and more like the way humans spoke English before the time of the Crossed broke civilisation down and this clearly fascinates Future who at first glance clearly considered them brutal savages but they provide her with the idea to finish off translating Salt’s journals.

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Future discovers Salt’s final chapter in his journal is encrypted so only a few chosen Crossed will be able to read it after being give a keyword. In the meantime Taylor is distracted by a Crossed captive captured during a raid who has asked to see her personally..

This issue is about building up the plot and although characters who are introduced seem to be being set up to be important in the future this issue builds up to a confrontation that’s been brewing for all of Spurrier’s run. As part of a whole this is a good issue, but those looking to access this without having read any of the previous issues will be lost, so that added to the fact that you have to work to read the languages created for the comic is probably contributing to it’s poor ongoing sales. That’s a pity because this is a very good work of science fiction with horror laced through it and it’ll be a shame if it goes.

What I thought of Crossed +100 #14

Thoughts about #1#2#3#4#5#6#7#8#9,#10#11#12 and #13.

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Last issue revealed that Future Taylor has a Crossed child and is protecting it. This issue starts with some darkly comic scenes that reveal where the child came from and how Future rather than kill it,took care of it and are bringing it up like a normal human baby with the aid of Mustafa. With a few precautions of course.

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As Taylor plans to leave Murfreesboro for an archivist trip, Spurrier reveals how much more the human survivors have become in the years since the end of his first arc with a working railway system between settlements. It’s on one of these trains where Future updates her journal to tell us how she’s getting on decoding the latest Salt book found with the last group of Crossed they found.

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At the Grapple settlement Future meets up again with Cautious, whose got her own story to tell since they last met.

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This issue further explores the realities of the developing world, not to mention Future’s new family means that during a Crossed raid she’s reluctant to take up arms against the infected, which is something that bodes badly for the future. However it seems that there’s a more stable world yet there’s the untranslated section of Salt’s journal still dangling around like a twitching severed limb. What plans lie in there?

Spurrier is doing a great job building up tension slowly again. while at the same time throwing in a major twist in terms of Future’s infected adopted child that it’s impossible to predict what exactly is going to happen. And anyhow, who are those mysterious strangers at the end of this issue?

What I thought of Crossed +100 #13

Thoughts about #1#2#3#4#5#6#7#8#9,#10#11 and #12.

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At the end of Si Spurrier’s first arc of Crossed +100 humanity had started taking the fight to the Crossed. This new arc picks the story up five years later with Future Taylor back to being an archivist, and Bailey (the stranger that led the fightback against the Crossed) now a captain in the survivors army, going from settlement to settlement clearing out not just the Crossed, but those humans that have become slaves of the Crossed.

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The settlement being liberated is Kingstenn, the same one that tried to offer Future up as a tithe to the Crossed, and they’re destroying the Infected’s archive.

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Finding a shrine to Salt (one of the first intelligent Crossed from the initial outbreak a century ago) Taylor and her apprentice are shown what else the Crossed have left behind: an infected child.

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Also discovered is a coded journal left by the Crossed that Future can’t translate when she’s back at Mursfreeboro which has become an armed stronghold since we last saw it. Though it is safe, and Future’s lover Mustafa is still there so for now it’s somewhere that’s free of the Crossed yet there’s a secret to be revealed…

This is simply about placing all our characters in the context of five years later. There’s a lot of exposition but Spurrier makes it easy to get through, even though much of it is just people standing around talking  and filling in the gaps. There’s not much in the way of character development, but this is a plot issue and as for the final page it’s setting up a very, very interesting second arc from Si Spurrier which if it’s as good as his first post-Alan Moore arc, will be very good indeed.

What I thought of Crossed +100 #12

Thoughts about #1#2#3#4#5#6#7#8#9,#10 and #11.

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At the end of this first arc by Si Spurrier the settlement of Murfreeboro is threatened by the Crossed unless they give up people for them to rape, torture and mutilate, or are they looking to do something else with these people they’re getting from towns? Fortunately Future Taylor has some totally unexpected allies in the shape of refugees she presumed to be Crossed disguised as normal people.

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Sadly the Imam is set upon a peaceful settlement so calls upon people to pray which is not going to stop the Crossed from cutting your balls off and wearing them for earrings. Sadly after a coup upon the Imam’s regime (aided by Future) it blows up in her face as her fellow insurgents aren’t going to take the fight to the Crossed, but instead give them what they want.

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After seeing Cautious escape in the balloon Future loses much hope of the future, and for the first time in this series, we’re made to fear for the fate of someone that’s become essentially a hero in the world of the Crossed. Especially when Spurrier has her drop the narrative Alan Moore established in his first issue.

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From here on in it’s about survival as the Crossed come to take their ransom.

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Though things don’t go as expected as Spurrier plays with expectations, so the end of this arc doesn’t end as expected, In fact, it’s horrible and hopeful at the same time as humanity may just have found a way to take the fight to the Crossed rather than let them come to us.

I’ve found Spurrier’s first arc after Alan Moore a little bit harder to get into, but it’s hit a head of steam outwith of the dodgy art in the last couple of issues, but I’m happy to say Fernando Heinz is back for half this issue as I feel he suits Spurrier’s story well, plus his vision of the Crossed is vastly different from any previous version I’ve seen.

All in all this is a vastly satisfying final issue of this arc that promises more from the next one. Spurrier’s really getting into his stride and I hope this quality continues next issue.

 

What I thought of Crossed +100 #11

Thoughts about #1#2#3#4#5#6#7#8#9 and #10.

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At the end of last issue things were looking pretty crap for our gang of survivors, and this issue starts off with Future Taylor taking a bollocking from the Imam.

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It turns out that refugees are pouring into Murfreesboro as the Crossed aggressively tear across the formerly growing human communities with the same demands for sacrifices of people, and it’s always seven women and three men every year.

The other problem is that Future has serious doubts over some of the refugees, thinking that they may be Crossed that have learned how to act more human and less Crossed in order to infiltrate communities like Murfreesboro.

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After an argument with Musta about the refugees, and indeed, who might or might not be Crossed, it should start dawning upon people that this is Si Spurrier commenting upon the current refugee crisis in Europe, and the idea (spread mainly by the hard right parties like UKIP) that in among the refugees are ISIS terrorists, so here’s a little horror comic making a nice point as both Musta (who thinks they should show mercy and compassion to all the refugees) and Future (who thinks some of the refugees are suspicious) both have valid points.

But to make any progress Future has to convince the Imam..

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The Imam doesn’t listen believing that peaceful means are the way forward, then all of it falls apart as the Crossed finally arrive at Murfreesboro with the same offer they’ve given other settlements.

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Everything Future warned might happen is happening, and the settlement now has a week to decide to go along with the Crossed plans or die.

This issue consists mainly of people talking but it’s a fantastic issue because it’s dealing with the different moralities in the new world, and there’s simply no room for mercy or religion, as if the Imam had listened to Future earlier they could have mobilised the other human settlements to make a stand against the Crossed, or even taken the fight to them.

They didn’t, and now they’re trapped in a situation that could see them wiped out. It’s a stark ending to Spurrier’s best issue yet which is let down only by Rafa Ortiz’s art. In places it’s dreadful and coming after the marvelous work of Andrande and the more cartoony, but interesting work of Heinz, this comes as a disappointment.

Still, this is still the best of the post Alan Moore issues and is highly recommended for an exceptionally good script that sets up the next issue perfectly.

What I thought of Crossed +100 #10

Thoughts about #1#2#3#4#5#6#7#8 and #9.

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At the end of the last issue Future and her group had encountered a gang of  what they thought to be Crossed but where in fact, humans being kept by the Crossed, and once they’d been discovered all hell broke lose.

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Except everything isn’t clear at all as these humans/Crossed can pull back the more feral Crossed just by shouting at them.

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From here it seems there’s been experiments at human/Crossed hybrids, and even controlling the wild Crossed that’s worked, so these creatures can develop though it becomes clear these are the results of Salt’s ‘seven dwarves’ and that things are actually worse than Future thought.

Then it kicks off…

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There’s a battle and people are lost in the most action orientated issue of Spurrier’s run so far, and there’s one moment that’s just brilliant in it’s insanity, however this is leading to something larger as the scale of the Crossed threat becomes very clear to Future. Her job now is to convince the Imam of it and then gather an army to take these more organised Crossed on which leads into next issue…..

What I thought of Crossed +100 #9

Thoughts about #1#2#3#4#5#6#7 and #8.

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Last issue Future Taylor realised the smarter Crossed were holding human settlements to a horrendous ransom rather than just go piling in torturing, raping and killing as the human race have got used to the Crossed doing. This issue picks up shortly after the ending of last issue with Future back in Mursfreeboro and having to deal with religion in a post-Crossed world.

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Spurrier treats this modified version of Islam well, but the issue remains in that Cautious is acting erratically and Future needs to try to convince the people of her current settlement to take the fight to the Crossed, something they’re reluctant to do.This sparks a bit of a domestic and some interesting use of profanities in this new world.

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This helps Future get a group together to scout the Crossed town she found previously to help get the proof she needs to convince the Imam that there needs to be a war to wipe out the intelligent Crossed, but the town has been wiped clean as if it never existed. The Crossed have cleaned up after themselves.

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Future doesn’t give up and decides to kick on to see what she can find, and what she finds are the Crossed. However they appear to be scared or at least wary of Future Taylor.

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But it becomes clear these aren’t Crossed, in fact Future works out what they actually are.

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There lies one more horrible twist in this issue which makes it clear just how long the Crossed have been using humans in their plans, and that makes things all the more scary as these aren’t mindless animals Future is facing. But smart, ruthless and totally immoral creatures that will wait if need be to get what they want which is to inflict pain and suffering where they can.

This issue doesn’t so much close on a cliffhanger but it does make one desperate to see where this story goes from here, but there’s definitely something huge Spurrier is building up to.