Ennis delivers a decent finale for this tale of an apocalypse most evil and vile. There is even a little hope – maybe – at the end. In between is a neat summation of all that has gone before. The Crossed are out in force, trying to hunt down the survivors we have followed over the last 18 months or so. How those survivors fare is well handled by Ennis and Burrows, with the gruesome and gory mixed with the moving and heroic. The two central characters, Cindy and Stan, become more likeable (and more human, more reflective) in this last issue – something I feel Ennis has not really infused into this story up to now.
One day I will go back and re-read this curious series (probably when the hardcover comes out in the spring). I think I will enjoy it more as a collection rather than the experience of the episodic (and infrequent shipping) nature of the single issues. I don’t think I have ever read a comic book that has shocked me and disgusted me more than this title. But there is more to Crossed than shock value. It is a story of survival against immeasurable odds, of the moral choices that have to be made in order to survive. It is also a story of a terrible enemy – a genuinely terrifying adversary, one that far more interesting and captivating than the survivors in the early issues. By the end, here at issue #9, some survivors have managed to make sense of the Crossed – of their evil, vile compulsions – and have therefore won a crucial victory. They know that the Crossed can be beaten. They can anticipate what they might do next, they can act to do something about it. They have to do it with violence, and through killing, but it shows that there is hope. However small.
Hope. I did not think that would be my lasting impression of this book. But I guess Ennis has surprised me with Crossed in a lot of ways. I am going to miss this title, because although we know Crossed is making a return (with David Lapham at the helm), it will not be Ennis’ & Burrows’ Crossed.