Crossed volume 2: Family Values
Medium: comic
Year: 2010
Writer: David Lapham
Artist: Javier Barreno
Keywords: Crossed
Format: Crossed: Family Values #1-7
Website category: Comics
Review date: 15 August 2023
It's pretty good. I'd been sceptical, but David Lapham understands how to turn Ennis's disgusting universe into worthwhile (albeit gross) stories. Some of the living are arguably worse than the Crossed. You couldn't commit worse deeds than them, admittedly, but the infected don't have a choice. Get that cross on your face and you're no longer really yourself. You're a crazed sick freak.
Some of this story's cast are bastards without being crazed. They know what they're doing. Sometimes they even claim that it's God's will.
This story's basically a modern Western. Horses are more valuable than cars. Our heroine is Adaline, an 18-year-old girl and the third of ten children in the American South. Daddy rapes his daughters. Mummy says "yes" a lot and isn't around when it's important. When the Crossed appear, Daddy's your saviour because he's big, mean and nearly unstoppable when a gun's in his hand... but this makes everyone even more dependent on him. (Even though dissenters will be lynched.) Anyone expect this to end well? People will break in unexpected ways, which in a Crossed situation generally means something more horrific than you could have imagined.
There will also be shitheads. They're just ordinary shitheads, not infected or anything, but their victims will be as dead as anyone else's.
There's a theme of family relationships, explored in evil ways. The Crossed are only half of it (although their half is as sick as anything you're likely to read this week). It's pretty good, actually. This is the collection that got me buying random Crossed volumes, as well as the ones by Garth Ennis or Alan Moore. I'd recommend this one, albeit obviously only to... well, you know who you are.