Crossed, Volume 3: PsychopathHardback Crossed
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- Publisher: Avatar Press
- Format: Hardback | 176 pages
- Dimensions: 170mm x 262mm x 13mm | 544g
- Publication date: 10 April 2012
- ISBN 10: 1592911536
- ISBN 13: 9781592911530
- Illustrations note: colour illustrations
- Sales rank: 449,526
A global outbreak has turned the populace to homicidal maniacs but some people were just born evil. A group of survivors is unaware that a calculating, lethal serial killer hides among them. In one terrifying moment, civilization crumbled. An outbreak of insanity swept across the planet, turning millions of people into the scarred homicidal maniacs known as the Crossed. For one small band of survivors, the discovery of a starving, injured man in the desert seems like an unexpected blessing. He knows where they could be safe: the location of the last holdout of the scientific community, where the military offers protection and the cure to the Crossed plague is being developed. But Harold Lorre is not the savior they hope him to be. He s a calculating, lethal man whose mind was dangerously unhinged even before the world went mad. Surrounded by marauding hordes, their nerves shattered by unending fear, the group fall victim to the manipulations and deadly perversions of a psychopath. Writer David Lapham, the critically acclaimed creator of "Stray Bullets," returns to the universe of "Crossed" with a descent into evil so far beyond what you could possibly imagine.
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Beginning his comics career as a freelance artist in 1990, David Lapham founded El Capitan Books in 1995 exclusively to publish his Eisner Award-winning crime comic book series, "Stray Bullets." In recent years, he has worked as a writer for DC Comics, Marvel Comics, IDW Publishing, Dark Horse, and finally Avatar Press, on three "Crossed" projects ("Family Values," "Crossed 3D," and "Psychopath") and 2011 s "Caligula."
By 365 Graphic Novels 01 Jun 2012
This is the latest in the Crossed franchise that was created by Garth Ennis. A world where humanity has succumbed to a plague that forces infected humans to act out their most sick and twisted desires on each other.
Lapham certainly has some great ideas, unfortunately the previous one (Family Values) was poorly executed. This volume, in which a genuine human psychopath hides amongst a group of human survivors, is better. This concept could have been realised in all sorts of clever ways that hid the offending character and made us guess at who was the rotten apple. But right from the start we know who the psycho is thanks to his point of view and internal narration. Rather than an anonymous slasher film killer we get to see inside his head and his madness in a similar vein to the novel American Psycho. Lapham puts in some effort to show us how warped his view of the world is.
There are some good narrative techniques but nothing overly complex. The story changes and unfolds very well, with our understanding shifting as we try and decipher what actually happened. The ending is also a tense affair and probably won't go the way you expect which is good. The Crossed are once again virtually mindless window dressing which dampens the terror of their initial cunning intelligence as seen in the first book.
The art is suitably sickening with the gore turned all the way up. It is an unfortunate requirement to always outdo the previous book. This reminds me very much of the Italian horror comics with their similar style. Unfortunately this level of sex and violence just becomes cartoonish. Gone is the visceral shock of real human suffering to be replaced by Itchy and Scratchy bloodletting. The colours are also very dark with lots of black shading and heavy outlines. There are very few pale colours used, evoking an oppressive and putrid feeling.
You can have fine, delicate meals expertly prepared or massive portions of stodge piled sky-high. Either can satisfy the literary diner. This is definitely in the lay-it-on-thick camp but it has firm foundations and earns its Thumbs Up!