Page 45 Review by Jonathan
Of CROSSED VOLUME ONE I often tell customers that it was the sickest thing I read in 2010. And I mean that in a positive way! It is perhaps inevitable in the switch in writer from Ennis to Lapham with this volume, that Lapham was always going to try and take things even further. At this point I should therefore say he certainly succeeded as this is truly, truly vile. It might even, just possibly, be too much for me in the sense that in ramping up the shock element even further, it does begin this time around slightly to feel as though it's all being done purely for effect. And that's even allowing for the fact there was a man shouting "Horsecock!" whilst waving around a horse's cock in volume one!
It's just that whereas in volume one there was always an undercurrent of extremely dark humour to offset the sheer, mind-melting horror of this particular corner of post-apocalyptica, in volume two I didn't find any humour at all. And that, perhaps, just tips things over the edge for me personally. A good comparison in my mind would be that the first Saw film, and arguably also the second, had an intriguing storyline that justified the extreme gore, whereas films three onwards were pure torture porn for the sake of it, and thus for at least unwatchable rubbish. I don't know, I mean Lapham is a really talented writer who does love to go places other writers wouldn't ever think of going e.g. YOUNG LIARS, and granted if there is one series in which a writer is entitled to be completely let off the leash it is this one, but even so.. I suspect then, as I am rather broadminded and most definitely do enjoy a good dose of horror and / or violence in my entertainment, that this volume will divide those who enjoyed volume one. I'm genuinely looking forward to hearing from customers who read this particular volume as to what their opinions are.
So... once again, it's not the actions of the Crossed which are the most shocking, but the survivors: in this case Joe, the family patriarch whose relatives and also several other survivors look to for leadership and guidance, in the relatively idyllic valley hideaway they've managed to establish for themselves. Unfortunately for all concerned Joe isn't adverse to abusing his position whenever the mood takes him, which seems to be pretty often. Eventually one family member finds the courage to stand up to him, then add the Crossed into the mix at the most inopportune moment and, of course, much carnage ensues.
I actually preferred the storyline in the CROSSED 3D short, also penned by Lapham, as there was some genuine plot to it compared to here, though even that also did stretch the realms of plausibility a touch too far towards the end of the story. I haven't read any of the issues for volume three yet, also penned by Lapham, so I can't make any comment on where things go after this volume... though judging by the covers I've seen as they've been coming in one dreads to think...