Cover of Crossed Volume 1 by Jacen Burrows.
|Publication date||September 2008 – March 2010|
|Number of issues||10 (of 10)|
|Colorist(s)||Greg Waller (#0)
|Editor(s)||William A. Christensen
Crossed is a comic book written by Garth Ennis and drawn by Jacen Burrows for the first ten issues, and published by Avatar Press. Following volumes Crossed: Family Values, Crossed 3D, and Crossed: Psychopath were written by David Lapham. A new series, Crossed: Badlands is written by Ennis and drawn by Burrows. A web comic, Crossed: Wish You Were Here, has also been produced.
To be honest, there was never really going to be a volume two- William [Christensen, editor-in-chief/publisher of Avatar] would ask me regularly about the possibility, but apart from one or two vague scenes I pretty soon realised I had no more Crossed stories in me. I didn't want to force the issue, either, because I'm very pleased with Crossed and don't want to dilute it with a sequel that I hadn't the ideas to sustain. That said, it's pretty obvious that what you have with Crossed is a ready-made fictional world with a good deal of potential for further development, and the Crossed themselves seem to be strong enough villains to maintain an audience. So when William suggested other people doing more I said I wasn't averse to it, so long as a) I thought the creative teams were up to scratch, and b) my own story and characters would be left alone. Which means no sequel, no more Stan, Cindy, Thomas or Kitrick (or Horsecock, Face or Stump, come to that)- just fresh stories set in the same world. As for David, who better? I think you'll see right from his first episode that he knows exactly what he's doing with the Crossed.
The story follows survivors dealing with a plague that causes its victims to carry out their most evil thoughts. Carriers of the virus are known as the Crossed due to a cross-like rash that appears on their faces. This contagion is primarily spread through bodily fluids, which the Crossed have used to great effect by treating their weapons with their fluids, as well as through other forms of direct fluidic contact such as rape and bites, assuming the victim lives long enough to turn. A major difference between the Crossed and other fictional zombie or insanity-virus epidemics (i.e. in the film 28 Days Later), is that while the Crossed are turned into homicidaly violent psychopaths, they still retain a basic human-level of intelligence: thus they are still capable of using firearms, tools like bows and arrows, and of setting complex traps.
The contagion spread across the entire world, with the Crossed killing, raping, engaging in cannibalism and maiming for fun, with governments and military overwhelmed; friends and family butcher each other with anything they lay their hands on, and cities are turned into vast charnel houses. Egypt, Israel, Lebanon, Syria, and Jordan are wiped out when Israeli Crossed detonate every nuclear warhead. The last organised act by the US government is to shut down as many nuclear power plants as possible and then kill the nuclear scientists & technicians to prevent them from reactivating the plants. Soon human civilization is all but gone, and mankind is an increasingly endangered species.
The speed of the outbreak differs from story to story. In the original story, Badlands #14-18, and Wish You Were Here, the infection erupts suddenly across the United States (sunset/night) and Britain (afternoon), giving nobody any time to respond. Badlands #10-13 has the Crossed tearing through small towns without being noticed, getting more and more numerous over the course of a week. Badlands #26 has a British soldier say he's been aware of the Crossed for "the past three days" by the time the outbreak is public.
The first story (Volume One in trade) takes place ten months after the outbreak, with flashbacks to those events, as a small group make their way toward Alaska in the belief that its low population before the outbreak will mean there are fewer Crossed to be avoided, and that the Crossed's gleeful bloodlust hampers their ability to look after themselves. However, they encounter a small group of Crossed who have a degree of self-control and subsequently begin a hunt for the survivors.
In Family Values, the story centers on a religious family who escapes their Utah ranch to survive in a mountain compound led by the protagonist Addy's father, who, while being a strong leader against the Crossed, is a sexual predator who has routinely raped his daughters.
3D was written with the 3D effect in mind and is not available in a 2D format. The story follows SWAT veteran Lt. Hunt MacAvoy as he leads a rescue mission into the middle of Crossed-infected New York City to rescue a stranded doctor.
In Psychopath, the story follows a group of survivors who pick up a man, Harold Lorre, who understands the way the Crossed think, and is tracking a specific group of Crossed. Lorre is the titular psychopath, and is killing members of his group of humans as they discover his true nature, passing them off as the grisly acts of Crossed. The Crossed group they are tracking killed a woman Lorre had stalked prior to the outbreak, and subsequently forced a relationship upon her as they survived. After she was turned into a Crossed and killed, Lorre kept a fragment of her breast in a plastic bag.
The first Crossed Annual spins off from Wish, featuring the lifestyle of the psychotic SBS marine Jackson. He appears to be tracking down the scientist who created the Crossed virus, an earlier version of which drove Jackson mad; this is simply a delusion of his, he'd always been psychotic and the 'weapon' does not exist.
Badlands features shorter story arcs of varying length, by different authors. Issues #1-3, by Ennis and Burrows, follows a group of United Kingdom survivors traveling across Scotland as the leader of the group, Ian, relates his introspection on the purpose of survival when there is no hope. By the end of the third issue, the entire group is killed and/or turned.
In issues #4-#9, by Jamie Delano and Leandro Rizzo, the story follows individual survivors in the Everglades banding together, only for their individual psychosis to ultimately cause them all to become Crossed, the last survivor coming over willingly.
In issues #10-13, by Lapham and Burrows, a teenage survivor, nicknamed Yellowbelly, relates his experience of being at a carnival where the clowns and other workers become infected in the early hours of the outbreak, turning fun times into depraved terror. In issue #13, he crosses paths with Harold Lorre, the main character of Crossed: Psychopath who encourages Yellowbelly to use the Crossed-infested world as an opportunity to obtain power by force. Ultimately though, he is killed by a biker woman he fled with, when he confided his cowardice that resulted in the death of her sister in arms.
In Issues #14-18, written by David Hine, the story again takes place just prior to the outbreak in Stableford, Wisconsin, colloquially known as 'Stumptown'. The town residents participated in a mass insurance fraud by deliberately causing themselves to have loss of limb accidents to collect insurance payouts, only to have their scheme exposed by famous writer named Gideon Welles, who used the town as inspiration. To add insult to injury, Welles built his massive estate, Samarkand, in the area. The story centers around aspiring writer Clooney, and his girlfriend Tabitha, who are to spend time at a writer's retreat at Samarkand. Unfortunately, Welles is a sadist pig and a train full of Crossed has just pulled into the train station in town. Emasculated and humiliated by Welles' debauched sex orgy with his girlfriend and other guests, Clooney uses the Crossed to turn on his fellow writers, all being killed or turned by the horde. Only Philly, niece of town cop Lorna, escapes by boat, her aunt becoming infected when a dead Crossed fell over her, forcing Philly to kill her.
Issues #19-20 start a new arc by Si Spurrier (Crossed: Wish You Were Here) and Raulo Caceres (Crossed: Psychopath). The story involves a former criminal who was turned into one of the Crossed, but still retains a level of self-control and rationality compared to the other Crossed. The criminal, Mattias, a paroled enforcer for a local mobster, fell in love with his parole officer, Serena, and they had a relationship that ended due to the conflict between their duties and their love. Mattias, having become Crossed, travels to the Police station to find Serena, only to find she had taken her own life days earlier. Flying into a ketamine enhanced rampage, he passes out in a parking lot, only to reawaken with no memory of his search for Serena, and repeats his journey...
Issue #21 starts a story following Amanda, the survivor of David Lapham's Psychopath arc. Having been scarred by her experience with Lorre, she no longer trusts anyone, and uses whatever means at her disposal to survive. Her paranoia of others causes her to kill anyone who takes her in, 'before they get her'. During the course of the story, Amanda encounters a tribe of "Rat" Crossed and finally falls in with The Livers, three survivors that have formed a close bond, despite their insanity and occasional cannibalistic tendencies.
Issue #25 is the third Ennis story and is set five years after C-Day. The last four British Army soldiers (representing each nation of the United Kingdom) go on a suicide mission to break into Porton Down and release the biological weapons, hoping it will wipe out the Crossed but leave enough humans alive for Britain to rebuild and go on an offensive war against the infected. Along the way, they become guardians of a group of children and a Catholic priest.
In the webcomic Wish You Were Here, written by Si Spurrier and drawn by Javier Barreno (Vol.1) and Fernando Melek (Vol.2), former writer 'Shakey' (short for Shakespeare) writes in his journal of life on the island of Cava off of the coast of Scotland, where he and a handful of other survivors try to have some semblance of society while desperately trying to keep the wandering Crossed at bay. They learn that the Crossed plague can be transferred from carrion feeders who consumed the flesh of deceased Crossed, as a young boy became one of the Crossed after eating fish that consumed Crossed flesh; they also discover the Crossed can remember parts of their former lives if shown something that triggers a memory from their past, as a Crossed who finds a self-portrait of himself was able to slowly remember his life before being torn to pieces by other Crossed.
|Volume||Author(s)||Pages||Originally Published||ISBN (Paperback)||ISBN (Hardcover)|
|Crossed: Volume 1||Garth Ennis||240 pages||April 20, 2006||ISBN 1-59291-090-4
|Crossed: Volume 2 - Family Values||David Lapham||176 pages||October 4, 2011||ISBN 1-59291-124-2
|Crossed: Volume 3 - Psychopath||David Lapham||176 pages||April 10, 2012||ISBN 1-59291-152-8
|Crossed: Volume 4 - Badlands
-Collects 1-9 of Badlands Series
|240 pages||November 6, 2012||ISBN 1-59291-174-9
|Crossed: Volume 5
-Collects 10-18 of Badlands Series
|David Lapham||240 pages||March 5, 2013||ISBN 1-59291-185-4
|Crossed: Volume 6
-Collects 19-28 of Badlands Series
D. Lapham & S. Spurrier
|256 pages||September 3, 2013|
|Crossed: Wish You Were Here - Volume 1||Simon Spurrier||160 pages||September 4, 2012||ISBN 1-59291-170-6
|Crossed 3D||David Lapham||48 pages||April 19, 2007||ISBN 1-59291-108-0
Crossed: Dead Or Alive
The first series was originally optioned for an independently-funded film, with Ennis writing the screenplay. It was going to be financed by Trigger Street Productions and produced by Michael De Luca, Jason Netter and Kevin Spacey.  But, in the end of 2012, Ennis announced he and Avatar got the media rights to Crossed back. The plan is set to launch a series of webisodes to see if they can turn that interest and experience into a feature film. In March 2013, Crossed: Dead Or Alive was announced. DOA is the title of the upcoming live action filmed webisodes that will be written and directed by Garth Ennis. DOA will also have Ennis penned tie-in web comics that will expand and further develop the concepts of the film series and characters. The web comics will be unique original works that together (with the webisodes) tell a richer and more complete tale of the characters and concepts introduced. The goal is to film all Crossed: Dead or Alive season 1 episodes in early 2014.
- Robb Orr (2011-05-26). "Review - Crossed: Badlands Opening Salvo". Comicbooked.com. Retrieved 2012-06-02.
- "A Free Webcomic And Series of Print Comics And Graphic Novels | Crossed Comic from Avatar Press". Crossed Comic. Retrieved 2012-06-02.
- Furey, Emmett (June 12, 2008). "Double-Crossed: Ennis & Burrows talk "Crossed"". Comic Book Resources. Retrieved February 26, 2009.
- Arrant, Chris (August 11, 2008). "Ennis & Burrows Talk Avatar's Crossed". Newsarama. Retrieved February 5, 2010.
- Lapham, David (February 16, 2010). "David Lapham On Writing Crossed Volume 2: Family Values". Bleeding Cool. Avatar Press. Retrieved February 16, 2010.
- Haaland, Aaron (March 25, 2010). "David Lapham Takes FAMILY VALUES to Horror Book CROSSED". Newsarama. Retrieved March 26, 2010.
- Johnson, Rich (February 16, 2010). "David Lapham To Write Crossed Volume 2: Family Values". Bleeding Cool. Avatar Press. Retrieved February 16, 2010.
- Johnson, Rich (February 16, 2010). "Interview: Garth Ennis Talks About Crossed". Bleeding Cool. Avatar Press. Retrieved February 16, 2010.
- Graser, Marc (April 16, 2010). "Ken F. Levin has fingers 'Crossed'". Variety. Retrieved April 16, 2010.
- Barton, Steve (April 16, 2010). "Apocalyptic Comic Crossed Adaptation Coming". Dread Central. Retrieved April 16, 2010.