Story By: Garth Ennis
Artwork By: Jacen Burrows
(Not for the easily offended)
This is not the zombie apocalypse, this is not the Mad Max wasteland future (or past given theories), this is a “global cluster f%&;k” as termed by one of the survivors. One of the most messed up, perverted, eye opening comic books I have ever read (and I’ve read alot) takes place in an apocalyptic world where the infected get turned into psychopaths (with burned crosses on their face, hence the name to the comic and to what the survivors call the infected) without inhibitions and all they want to do is tear you apart, eat you and do all sorts of perverted things to you while you are alive. I first discovered this comic run at my local hobby store and asked for a “different comic with great writing”, remind me to thank the employee for the suggestion.
Garth Ennis has an incredible talent for putting a new spin on well explored topics, and Jacen Burrows has a way of making you enjoy the artwork and pages, even if they have content that is unsettling. The creative team keeps up the feeling of this sickening survivor story along with the captivating art that makes it clear the only option for those not infected, is to just survive, there is no fight back or saving cure. The gore and graphic detail that fills the panels, is needed as much as it is cringe worthy.
Issue 0 makes it clear that as a culture we have become desensitized to the extreme, thinking that we have experienced everything that could possibly shock us. In the opening days of this disaster (that has no explanation or evil corporate persona to take the credit) that mindset was almost our downfall. Issue 1 takes place ten months later, again making it clear that it is a terrible new world where their surviving party has lost members as well as taking on a few. Just when you think there is a bright light at the end the tunnel (one that is metaphorically represented by the tunnel they currently hide in), that hope is perversely ripped away, closing out the beginning of the end. There is alot more to explore in the following chapters as there are even more messed up and gut wrenching events to follow as well as a memorable “crossed” character with a name and weapon that justifies his unique notability, which becomes the signature identity of this comic, one that left a lasting impression for me (for better or worse).