CROSSED VOL. 7 (Avatar Press, 2013; Hardcover)
Collects Crossed: Badlands Nos. 29-36 (cover dates May- August, 2013)
Writers: Christos Gage and David Lapham
Artists: Christian Zanier and Miguel Ruiz
Colorist: Digikore Studios
This has been a brutal winter here in Metro Detroit, and for much of the rest of the country for that matter. It's bitterly cold all the time, with sub-zero windchills a common occurrence. It also seems to snow a few times a week. In short, it sucks. The best thing to do when it is like this is to blow off some steam, and what better way is there to do that than there is with escapist violent fun like the Crossed? No matter how shitty life seems in the dead of winter I felt much better after reading this book. After all, winter will end eventually, while the Crossed will never end. It helps put things in perspective.
This book contains two arcs: Quisling, a tale of a spineless jellyfish of a man who sells out anyone and everyone around him in order to survive. While I cannot say what depths I might sink to if the world went to Hell like this, I would like to think that I would meet my end with more dignity than this loser. It is fun to go through these types of mental exercises while the gore and mayhem ensue. The new development of the Crossed in this arc is most interesting indeed. The second arc is Breakdown, a sort of sequel to the Crossed: Psychopath mini-series collected in Volume 3 of the collected editions.
As always, there are no taboos or societal mores that are spared. Everything decent is raped or fucked during the course of these arcs and the body count is nearly incalculable. And as always, I am disappointed with myself as a father and a human being for enjoying this series so much. I have considered going to a counselor to talk about where I have failed as a human being, seeing as how no decent, moral, upstanding member of society could enjoy Crossed. Either that or it is just fun to read because it so over the top. Christ, people, it's only a comic book. That's what I keep telling myself, anyhow...
Junk Food For Thought rating: 4 out of 5.
The OCD zone- As usual, the cover image for the trade paperback is superior to the one used on the hardcover. The signed hardcover editions have a better image still. The hardcovers are now Direct Market exclusives, but truth be told, I have never seen Crossed on the bookshelf outside of a comic book shop anyhow.
DVD-style Extras included in this book: All are one page each.
#29 Reflection cover.
#29 torture cover.
#31 torture cover.
#30 torture cover.
#32 torture cover.
#33 torture cover.
#34 torture cover.
As you can see, there are many variant covers which have been omitted from this collection, at least 20 by my estimate.
Paper rating: 4.5 out of 5. Good weight glossy coated stock.
Binding rating: 4.25 out of 5. Sewn binding with the book block glued square into the casing. It is tight but loosens up as you read it.
Hardback cover coating rating: 5 out of 5. Avatar's super thick coating on their hardbacks remains the best in the industry. I have grown quite fond of dustjacket free books (I know, I know, blasphemy!) with the images printed directly on the cover.