Comic review: Crossed - Psychopath / Writer: David Lapham / Illustrator: Raulo Caceres / Format: Paperback / Publisher: Avatar / Release Date: June 1st
In 2008 Garth Ennis and Jacen Burrows gave us Crossed, a horror comic about a plague that turns humans into raping, murdering maniacs, distinguishable by the ‘cross’ that marks their face. Reading like a more extreme version of The Road (or most zombie/dystopian plague style stories), it was bleak yet very popular.
The separate sequel Crossed - Family Values was written by David Lapham and drawn by Jacen Burrows, following a similar storyline but a bit sicker, including an incestuous father character. Crossed 3D followed (again written by Lapham but with Gianluca Pagliarani drawing) before the arrival of Crossed - Psychopath.
By the time Psychopath arrived, Lapham had entered the realm of torture porn along with new artist Raulo Caceres. The drawings are brilliantly detailed with graphic depictions of rape, murder and torture being the norm for this 7 part series. Lapham manages to make Garth Ennis look tame, which is an achievement in itself, as we follow loner Harold Lorre befriend an unfortunate gang of survivors. Harold pretends to be injured after the loss of his family, and depends on his new friends to help him survive. Unbeknownst to them, he is a sociopath who is tracking down a group of Crossed responsible for killing a woman he was in love with, and whom he forced into a relationship when the plague hit. Lapham described the story as a ‘kissing cousin’ to The Killer Inside Me. A very gory, slutty cousin.
You feel guilty if you enjoy it, questioning at what point you became so dead inside, but at the same time are acutely aware why a lot of people find it to be one of the sickest comics ever produced. The ending is somewhat disappointingly inconclusive, but any fans wanting more Crossed can enjoy Ennis and Burrow’s have returned to the saga with Badlands. A movie is even reportedly in the pipeline, one of the producers being none other than Kevin Spacey. Lapham, meanwhile, has taken his torturing and raping over to Caligula for all your sicko needs.
Recommended, if you like the thought of Bambi’s mum being shot or Brooks hanging himself.