Review: Crossed: Badlands #1

In 2008 writer Garth Ennis and artist Jacen Burrows redefined horror comics with the release of Crossed. The concept was simple; a virus begins infecting people worldwide and causes them to lose all inhibitions and act upon their most evil thoughts. The book became an instant success due to its violent, disgusting and often disturbing imagery, and fans loved it.

After a series of Crossed book written by David Lapham, Ennis and Burrows have finally returned to the sick and depraved world he created to write the initial story arc of Crossed: Badlands, a new bi-weekly ongoing series. In this incarnation of the book, we are introduced to group of Scottish survivors that have managed to survive the Crossed outbreak by heading to rural countryside. This misfit band of survivors, which includes a book store employee, a pregnant woman and a disfigured sharpshooter who claims to be who claims to be Prince Harry, are scavenging for supplies as the Crossed close in.

Crossed Badlands Crossed Badlands #1
Avatar Press
Written by: Garth Ennis
Art by: Jacen Burrows

Ennis and Burrows are masters at setting the tone for a book, and here they set it up perfectly by stressing the characters sense of desperation and sheer hopelessness. This is a world devoid of happiness and a world where every minute is a fight for survival and the creative team successfully convey that to their audience.

Jacen Burrows artwork has really evolved since that initial Crossed series in 2008. The double page spread in the middle of this issue depicting the carnage of Glasgow literally burning to the ground is simply awesome. A few panels later, a baby being is being thrown from a speeding vehicle exploding upon impact and somehow Borrows makes it look both disgusting and visually stunning at the same time.

Crossed: Badlands doesn’t pull any punches, it’s the most vile, disgusting and violent comic on the market today. Crossed is in fact, bloody disgusting (just the way we like it), and it doesn’t get any better than this.