With lots of bloody gore and excessive violence thrown in, “Crossed: Badlands” #46 is unafraid to intensify the shock value. From the mind of Garth Ennis, this is an unflinching and gruesome take on the survival of the fittest. If you want to prove to yourself that you have a strong stomach, then go right ahead and pick up the “Crossed” series.
WRITTEN BY: Daniel Way
ART BY: Emiliano Urdinola
PUBLISHER: Avatar Press
RELEASE: Jan. 29, 2013
A group of survivors make their way across the seas to protect themselves from the infected. They have to stay hidden from the psychotic plague-infested Crossed. The reason behind how these carriers get their name is because of the cross-like rash on their faces. As the plague turns off their conscience, the Crossed succumb to their evil most desires. Now, Captain Barnes and his uninfected crew must make their way through land to find hope. The captain has to keep everyone alive, even when everything seems lost.
Though the Crossed universe succumbs to depravity, writer Daniel Way presents a strong moral message about how human nature struggles to hold onto its last remaining values. Though Captain Barnes takes advantage of his own crew members, he knows there is a much bigger reward at the end. Though his acts may be questionable, Barnes is actually thinking about saving the innocent children onboard his ship. As he continues to make some horrible mistakes, to a point where he cannot redeem himself, Barnes is trying to save the last best hope of humanity.
What I really enjoy about the narrative is how Way builds the tension with conflicting personalities. The entire crew is at a boiling point where they are planning to betray Captain Barnes. But the crew fails to follow through on their plans because they know Barnes is a leader who fulfills his promises. They believe Barnes wholeheartedly when he says he will keep them alive. Because Barnes knows his crew will eventually turn into traitors, how long will he let them live is a better question.
In the opening pages, artist Emiliano Urdinola presents an apocalyptic vision of New Orleans. In their depraved version of Mardi Gras, the Crossed-partygoers are celebrating the end of the world. Through a wide shot, Urdinola illustrates the fallen city burning from its tallest buildings. Urdinola captures a sadistic and brutal atmosphere, which enhances the bleak tone of Way’s storyline.
Urdinola lets loose on the gore when Captain Barnes and his crew have to fight for their lives. In a shocking two-pager, the Crossed-partygoers arrive for a full frontal assault in their pirate ship. In just about every angle to see, Urdinola decorates the pirate ship with chopped body parts. Like frenzied barbarians, the Crossed-pirates have attached skulls to their spikes and lit the bones on fire.
Any fan of extreme gore and excessive violence should get their hands on “Crossed: Badlands” #46. A shocking and visceral take on the zombie genre, the “Crossed” series shows no mercy as it pushes the envelope.
Reviewed by – Jorge Solis