The salient series from Avatar Press is generally known for being created by comic book cult hero Garth Ennis. Since the first issue shipped several years ago that’s been a tag line used by comic shops and the publisher itself in order to spike sales. Despite that, long time readers have come to associate a different writer with establishing the Crossed universe, and his name is Si Spurrier.
Since 2012 Spurrier has been writing the Crossed web comic Wish You Were Here and several Crossed one-shots. A common theme across all Crossed-universe titles “there is no hope,” but in the recently released 2014 Annual, Spurrier offers up something that many readers aren’t used to seeing across the blood soaked pages of the Avatar title.
The story centers around a young man named Isaac who, through quite the set of circumstances, finds himself high up in a stone tower in the English countryside. The clever monologue and masterful panelization (by artist Rafael Ortiz) show us that Isaac has become removed from his group and is stuck in the tower. Quite literally stuck, as we quickly learn he has a busted leg and can’t catch his breath due to an asthma attack!
Isaac tries to calm his nerve by having a conversation with an old woman who is standing at the base of the tower and keep murmuring the same sounds over and over to the young man. It’s only a matter of time before a murderous herd shows up (this is Crossed ya know) and Isaac has to find a way out of the tower. Regular readers will note that the Crossed show different “levels” of being infected, a dynamic which is being explained in the current Crossed: Badlands storyline written by series creator Garth Ennis.
Spurrier also adds to the depth of the story by adding several prose pages in the book which clue the reader in to the backstory of the characters in the issue. Unlike most, well, all Crossed stories, the ending to this one will leaving you with some questions. Crossed is known for being edgy and gory, but the series also provokes a lot of questions about survival and how far we are willing to go to survive. This particular story offers a truly unique take on the series and is perfect for regular readers and anyone looking to be introduced to the wild world of Crossed!