Crossed + One Hundred By Alan Moore & Gabriel Andrade (Avatar Press)
A recent horror thread here on the forum got me thinking about how much I enjoyed the original Crossed series by Garth Ennis so I decided to start rounding up subsequent Crossed series.
The first one I picked up was a six issue mini called Crossed + One Hundred by Alan Moore and Gabriel Andrade. As one might guess from the title, this series takes place 100 years after the events of the first Crossed series. The world of Crossed is one in which most of the population has been infected with a virus that turns them into subhuman animals who gleefully pursue all the worst, most deranged impulses imaginable. It’s probably not necessary to read the original before reading this sequel but I think the +100 experience is probably much more rewarding if you have read it.
With Crossed + One Hundred, it’s pretty clear that Moore has studied Ennis’ story in great detail as everything here has been painstakingly extrapolated from the original story. The overall level of detail here makes for a very satisfying read. The story is very dense and expertly plotted and constructed. Moore makes a clear commitment to a theoretical “future-slang” that is spoken by all the characters. It takes some time and effort to decode the syntax but eventually that effort pays off as you begin to feel like you “speak the language.” Some of the language theory is pretty interesting. For instance, in this future society, the “F-word” has evolved into a common part of speech perhaps separated from it’s original vulgar meaning whereas the word “sex” has evolved into an expletive as in, “you sexing sexer!” This makes sense if you consider that we seem to become more comfortable with some words and less comfortable with some others over time.
The art by Andrade is just as rich and painstakingly detailed. He works in a very realistic style similar to that of Mark Schultz or Al Williamson with a European influence. He’s a throwback to a more classic style of illustration.
In many ways, this series reminded me of Schultz’s Xenozoic Tales. It’s post-apocalyptic drama at it’s very best and I found it to be as enjoyable as anything Moore has done.