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.

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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 Cry Havoc #1

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Si Spurrier’s new comic from publishers Image Comics and drawn by  Ryan Kelly is about a lesbian werewolf going to war. That should grab your attention.

It’s not as simplistic as that as you’d expect from Spurrier. The plot focuses round Lou, a young woman in London who has a partner looking after the hyenas at the zoo, and this allows some nice character building not to mention some foreshadowing.

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From here the story jumps to Afghanistan where Lou is in an American army helicopter full of ”private contractors” who are not ordinary mercenaries.

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From here the story flashes back to Lou’s life back in London where she’s attacked by a werewolf while busking near The Old Bailey before returning back to Afghanistan where Lou’s squad are further developed, and their mission revealed.

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We also find out that Lou has agreed to help track down the rogue operative in return for help with her condition, but that means she needs to embrace her condition to do so meaning she may lose her humanity.

This isn’t a straightforward war comic, nor is it told conventionally as different colourists are used to distinguish different times in Lou’s story, so her time in Afghanistan  uses hard, stark colours compared to her time in London which uses warmer colours. It’s a nice touch that’s not totally successful, but it’s trying something to help tell the story which is interestingly enough told by Spurrier who really is carving out a name for himself as a top quality writer from the UK. This could be a big success for him. The main character is engaging, there’s a lot of promised action and mystery to keep people happy, not to mention Ryan Kelly’s art keeps it flowing nicely along.

I’d recommend this if you’re a fan of smartly written stories about lesbian werewolves….

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.