January 2015 has run its course and we here at The Escapist‘s Comics and Cosplay channel thought it might be nice to eschew our usual bi-weekly suggestion and hit you with one big list of the best and brightest comics that released over the past 31 days. With that in mind, we present to your our picks for the last month’s top 20 comic books.
This month Marvel scored with its new Star Wars comic, the launch of The Unbeatable Squirrel Girl and some excellent releases from its X-Men books. DC in turn delivered new entries to Grayson and Wonder Woman while other publishers impressed with books like Bitch Planet, The Dead and the Dying and ODY-C. Check out our pics and feel free to leave your own suggestions for recent comics that need to be read.
Star Wars #1
Jason Aaron and Marvel’s new Star Wars comic series was probably one of my most anticipated comic launches for 2015. Issue 1, in turn, didn’t disappoint. Picking up right where A New Hope left off, it felt like a natural extension of the movie in terms of content and tone. Aaron did a fantastic job of recreating the unique voice of each the key characters. Han oozes smarm, Leia commands and Luke is still a do-gooder with a streak of rashness that sometimes gets him in over his head.
Simply put, this book feels like it could be turned into an actual Star Wars film if the actors were only forty years younger. As an interquel property, it’s simply top notch. And this is coming from someone who was already quite impressed with Brian Wood and Dark Horse’s take on the same idea. Pick it up or check out my review if you’re still on the fence.
Favorite Moment: “If you have a shot at Vader, I order you to take it! Forget about us! Killing him is more important!”
Conan/Red Sonja #1 (of 4)
This limited series from Dark Horse Comics and Dynamite Entertainment brings together writers Gail Simone and Jim Zub to tell the story of how Conan and Red Sonja became comrades-in-arms. The series follows the characters over many years, with issue #1 focusing on the warriors’ first meeting, as they both try to steal a priceless jewel from a prince’s palace. Working in the background is a mysterious sorcerer, whose machinations will bring Conan and Red Sonja together over the four issue series.
Just flipping through the first few pages of this issue convinced me to pick it up and commit to reading the full miniseries. Dan Panosian’s art captures the brutality and strength of these two classic characters, with detailed backgrounds and a gritty, sword-and-sorcery feel. The art and style is like Panosian reached into my teenage brain and put to paper all the best parts of the fantasy novels that I devoured at that age from Tor and Wizards of the Coast. Even if you’ve never read a single Conan or Red Sonja comic, you can pick up this issue and immediately be comfortable in their world. All you need to know going in is that these two become legendary warriors.
Favorite Moment: “He’d have grown up to be a foul king anyway.”
The Multiversity: Guidebook #1
The Multiversity: Guidebook is a work of genius. It’s designed first and foremost as a introductory guide to the entire DC Comics multiverse, a feat in itself. But you could already find those sorts of guides online. No, what makes The Multiversity Guidebook special is that is fulfills so many other roles as well. It’s a companion story to leftover plot threads from Grant Morrison’s The Multiversity. It outlines the history of DC’s reboots and Crisis events. It even ties into comic that aren’t connected to The Multiversity, like why Darkseid’s name is feared in parallel dimensions. And all along the way you’ll stumble across plot elements DC retconned or forgot about long ago (Hypertime, anyone?). This is the stuff of internet forum fan theories and head canon, and DC actually printed it.
What’s more, all this is presented within the framework of two inter-connected Multiversity stories. On Lil’ Gotham‘s Earth-42, the Sivanas of Thunderworld Adventures have invaded and killed most of the Justice League, leaving Batman to find a dimensional escape route with his violent parallel self. Meanwhile, on Earth-51, The Last Boy Kamandi finds the hidden tomb of Darkseid, where inscriptions reveal the history of every major reboot in DC’s history. Meanwhile, comic books scattered across both worlds let Batman and Kamandi watch each other’s progress, while New Gods observe from outside of known space with plans of their own.
Guidebook‘s story only addresses loose ends and implications from earlier issues, but its best value is as… well, a guidebook. Unlike the limited interactive map on DC’s website, this volume details almost all of the 52 universes, and comic fans will love what is officially canon. Batman Beyond, Kingdom Come, Red Son, the Justice Lords, the Tangent universe, Stan Lee’s Justice League, and more. Even obscure stuff like Superman/Batman: Generations, which thrills me to no end.
Whether you want an official reference guide to DC’s worlds, or just want to see what The Multiversity goes next, this book is absolutely invaluable. Check it out.
Favorite Moment: Seriously, Superman/Batman: Generations is canon, how awesome is that?!?!
Amazing X-Men #15
Amazing X-Men is a decent, frequently fun comic series. The thing is, I can’t really say it’s ever lived up to its “Amazing” title. While the first arc did the (arguably unnecessary) job of bringing Nightcrawler back to life, the rest of the series since hasn’t delivered any story content that I’d call memorable.
And that’s not hyperbole either, I’m thinking back and I sincerely can’t recall much from the book outside of the most recent World War Wendigo arc. With the launch of its new plotline however, I’m feeling hopeful that the next few issues might have a bit more staying power. Dubbed The Once and Future Juggernauts, the opening issue sees the infamous Gem of Cytorrak (aka: Juggernaut’s power source) returning to Earth. The X-Men move to respond but Storm doesn’t trust Colossus and makes the decision to leave him behind.
What I liked most about this issue was the way it dealt with the equally valid feelings of Storm and Colossus. Colossus is frustrated with the team’s lack of trust in him, but their doubt is also somewhat deserved. After all, he did recently try to take over the world after being possessed by the Phoenix Force in Avengers vs. X-Men. Even so, it’s hard not feel bad for the poor guy, as he comes across as genuinely sympathetic in spite of his recent mistakes. Overall, it’s just a solid issue that hints at great things to come.
Favorite Moment: “You’ve lost your way, little brother. And everybody knows it.”
Matt Fraction and Christian Ward’s take on Homer’s The Odyssey continues to deliver. The first issue, which featured a grand 8-page fold out, introduced us to the sci-fi, gender-bent iteration of the classic Greek myth. Now, with issue #2, we see exactly how petty the gods on Mount Olympus can be, as Zeus recounts her fear of her children, knowing that she ascended to the throne of godhood by murdering Cronos, her father. Odyssia and her crew pause on their journey home, and Zeus contemplates their progress, and the threat that Odyssia presents. Zeus herself gives us some additional backstory on this reimagined mythology, explaining the origin of the new gender, Sebex, and role that Promethene played in their creation.
Christian Ward’s page layouts are brilliantly psychedelic, with panels that seem to slip off the edge of the page, giving the story a cosmic, ethereal, and almost insubstantial edge. Matt Fraction’s prose – written and shaped to complement the art – is always present but never oppressive. Its steady presence is like the drum line that lets Ward’s art play over it as all the other parts of the orchestra. It’s like a lucid dream set to paper. I want to throw myself into the page and soak up the colors for hours.
Favorite Moment: “I am Zeus, and I said ‘No.’ “
When is a comic about spies not about spies? Probably when a cyborg orca casually marches into view on the second page. But in the world of Grayson that’s not so surprising. In fact, it’s probably the least odd thing that happens in this issue, including technological hypnosis, teleporting doorways, and the seemingly other-dimensional masters of Spyral. Yet once again, the book centers on Dick Grayson’s ability to keep his head, even as it’s being pounded to mush by the Midnighter.
During a mission to retrieve the most important missing superpowered organ yet – a telepathic brain – Grayson is yanked away by Midnighter, who still isn’t happy with last issue’s events. Having decided that Grayson is nothing more than a Spyral lackey, he’s studied Nightwing’s martial arts moves and plans to end him once and for all. But Grayson has a few tricks up his sleeve. I was already impressed with how Issue 5 showed them (mostly) fight on moral grounds. Now the kid gloves are off, and it’s immensely satisfying.
Meanwhile, Helena uncovers evidence of a terrorist strike planned by old enemies at the Fist of Cain, while Spyral’s spymaster takes a rare moment to chat with the true otherworld power behind the organization. Sound confusing? Well, yeah, it kinda is, even for someone who’s read the series from the beginning. But the fact remains that Grayson is still engaging stuff even when you don’t fully grasp what’s happening, making it well worth your time.
Favorite Moment: “I’ll always be Dick Grayson.”
The greatest triumph of Magneto is just how thoroughly it persuades you that the title character is right. That’s something that’s not always easy when your book’s about a murderous, mutant terrorist using his powers to exact bloody vengeance on the bigots of humanity. That being the case, delivering empathy for the bad guy is something that this series has frequently excelled at and issue 14 does it with an effectiveness that’s, at times, almost haunting.
Delivering a hard and furious dose of righteous justice, the comic focuses on the Magneto revisiting the island of Genosha and remembering the day of his greatest defeat: the Sentinel genocide of the mutants that once lived there. His flashbacks play out alongside a present day attack by S.H.I.E.L.D. as the international force tries once again to bring him into custody.
While the battle itself is exciting and well done, the real power of the book comes from Magneto’s inner monologue as he remembers S.H.I.E.L.D.’s indifference to the death of millions and how it contrasts with their dogged pursuit of one man. Usually the good guys, the agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. come across here as simply another arm of a system that’s weighted horribly and often brutally against mutants. Ending on something of a cliffhanger, it’s one of the best single issues the series produced so far.
Favorite Moment: “For the lives of sixteen million mutants… S.H.I.E.L.D. could not be bothered. For the recovery efforts… they were too busy.”
Barbara Gordon has embraced Batgirl’s social media following, but not everyone in her life thinks it’s a good thing. Particularly her new boyfriend, Officer Liam Powell, who believes Batgirl needs to be apprehended. With a new relationship, a looming thesis deadline, a decaying friendship with Dinah, and a desire to prove that her newfound fame hasn’t changed her, Barbara’s under a lot of pressure when she decides to take on Burnside’s local celebrity bad boy, Jordan Barberi.
I really like the direction that writers Cameron Stewart and Brenden Fletcher are taking with this latest issue. The power of social media and the positive (or negative) reinforcement it provides can hugely exaggerate support or anger for a person. Seeing Barbara grapple with Batgirl’s growing popularity, and then struggle with being compared to social media butterfly and lawbreaker Jordan Barberi raises a lot of great questions about how a modern day superhero might handle that kind of attention. Should superheroes even be on social media, particularly a vigilante like Batgirl?
Adding Officer Powell to the cast adds an extra dimension to the discussion, with Powell able to share exactly how Batgirl’s interference in police work has caused more harm than good in some cases. Batgirl as a series has the chance to really dig into these themes of lawful behavior, fame, and “goodness”, and I hope the team pursues them. Batgirl has been finding its place with its new creative team over the last few issues, and for me, this one is the most promising so far.
Favorite Moment: “Privilege and celebrity aren’t excuses.”
Outcast Volume 1
Robert Kirkman is best know for The Walking Dead, his attempt to expand the zombie apocalypse into a long-form comic book epic. Outcast follows that same model, but instead of dealing with monsters Kirkman has set his eyes on demonic possessions. Imagine The Exorcist with the same personal struggles and a lot more demons, and you’ve got a pretty good idea what the first trade paperback looks like.
Outcast follows Kyle Barnes, who on two occasions in his life was able to purge demons from their victims without any religious assistance. It’s also a gift that’s left him with few friends or family, but his old minister still thinks it can still be put to good use. Demonic possessions are on the rise, and Barnes is the only hope to restoring the afflicted’s normal lives. As the first story arc unfolds however, it seems the demons know more about about Barnes’ powers than he does, and the implications could spell doom for human life on Earth.
Where Outcast really shines however isn’t its take on demon mythology (although it is sufficiently creepy). It’s the moments where Barnes feels alienated from his family, shies from strangers, or struggles with human interaction. He truly is the outcast of his own story, and his own inner demons feel more real than the outer ones. When his personal victories, like unlocking the bedroom where he was abused, feel bigger than facing down a demonic serial killer in an interrogation room, you know you’ve got a very special book on your hands. Here’s hoping it continues for many issues to come.
Favorite Moment: “This is Donnie.”
Silver Surfer #8
The way this series has been going I could legitimately recommend every single issue and have no qualms about it. In fact, I’ve actually to gone to lengths to avoid plugging the book, lest I start sounding like a broken record forever repeating “Surfer… Surfer… Surfer…” Issue 8 though? It’s something special. It left me sad, warm and completely and utterly impatient for issue 9.
The comic opens exactly as the past few have, with the Silver Surfer flying through space with his partner-in-adventure Dawn Greenwood. After some hijinks however, they land on a planet that, to the Surfer’s horror, is populated entirely by the survivors of Galactus’s planetary feedings. Immediately recognizing him as a herald of Galactus, the displaced aliens inform Dawn of the Surfer’s dark past and the trillions of lives lost as a result of his past work. Dawn is understandably horrified and immediately orders the Surfer to leave her alone.
What really impressed me about this comic is how genuinely heartbreaking it was when Dawn learned the truth. While their relationship isn’t romantic (yet), the series has done an excellent job of selling them as two people growing into a closeness that very much supersedes friendship. Simply put, they have probably the most wonderful chemistry of any two characters in a Marvel book right now and I couldn’t help but feel for them when their relationship hit this point of turmoil. As silly as it might sound, Dan Slott has made me truly want things to work out for these people. It’s a special book that has the power to do that.
Favorite Moment: “Space has no upside down! How are you doing this?”
Steve Jackson Games’ Munchkin arrives in comic form with three adorable and back-stabby short stories! Writer Tom Siddell and artist Mike Holmes deliver “What is a Munchkin?” and “Humans Got No Class”, and writer Jim Zub closes out the issue with “Ready For Anything”, illustrated by Rian Sygh. Throughout the issue there is also art by John Kovalic, the illustrator for the original card game and many of its expansions. Each issue of this series also includes a limited edition Munchkin card to add to your collection. It’s only available in the physical edition, however, so digital comics fans may want to pick this one up in stores.
The three short stories capture the zany joy of a game of Munchkin, with all the puns, in-jokes, and trashy table talk you’d expect. Familiar characters from the game appear, as well as famous weapons (Rat on a Stick, anyone?). There’s also a host of new characters built from the games’ mechanics and hilariously brought to life (my love for Mabryn the dwarf knows no bounds). This is a perfect companion to your Munchkin collection and for fans of the game of any age. Many of the jokes will fall flat for readers who aren’t familiar with the game, however, so if you’ve never played it’s a good time to start!
Favorite Moment: “You can’t spell adventure without killing a bunch of monsters!”
The Dying and the Dead #1
I’m not really sure what genre to place The Dying and the Dead in. The closest would probably be fantasy pulp, thanks to a larger-than-life action sequence, a cult of clones led by a Hitler archetype, and a World War II hero returning for one final adventure. But combined, the whole really does feel like something bigger than the sum of its parts. It’s also a great read, and certainly one of the more unique books produced in Jonathan Hickman’s career. And after stuff like The Manhattan Projects, that’s saying a lot.
In 1969, an entire wedding party is murdered by well-trained assassins with the intention of stealing a mysterious object from the groom’s vault. Two weeks later, retired Colonel James Canning is hired by an immortal secret society that was once his enemy to retrieve it for them. That’s basically the extent of Issue 1’s plot in short, but there’s a lot more happening between the lines – stuff like trips into a massive underground civilization, hints at a larger conflict with America, and the idea that these immortals are somehow responsible for everything good in human society…. even though they hate humans.
There’s a lot of mystery and unanswered questions in this opening chapter, and since Issue 2 gets into the hunt there’s no guarantee of what will come next. But even after the shootout scene (which you would’ve thought was the climactic part) you’ll find yourself pouring over every word to piece together what this imaginative world Hickman crafted is all about. It certainly doesn’t help that Ryan Bodenheim’s art is breathtaking, and really helps instill the grand sense of scope this adventure will entail. I have no idea what will happen next. I’m can’t wait to find out.
Favorite Moment: “I’m-sorry-Colonel-there-is-nothing-we-can-do-we-can-try-to-make-her-comfortable-manage-her-pain-but-she’s-beyond-our-abilities-now”
Issue 4 of Jason Aaron’s Thor is just a straight up awesome comic. In fact, looking at Aaron’s body of Asgardian-based work, I’d confidently peg it as one of the most entertaining single issues he’s done. And that’s saying a lot. The Thor: God of Thunder series that preceded this was, save for one brief spot, absolutely brilliant. For Thor 4 to rise so high is really impressive.
As the title of the issue (Thor vs. Thor) suggests, the main focus of this comic is a battle between the maimed and disgraced Thor Odinson and the new mystery female Thor. Smartly, the actual fight between the two only lasts a few pages. After that, the battle shifts more into more of an emotional one as the new Thor fights to prove herself and the old one struggles to accept that his strength and identity have been usurped by someone who might be even better at the whole “God of Thunder” shtick than he is.
Mix in some frost giants, a bit of the dark elf Malekith and Freya just kind of being awesome and you have yourself a fantastic comic that delivers not just action, but also the emotional resonance that makes action matter. If you haven’t picked up any of the new Thor, this would be a fantastic point to give it a try.
Favorite Moment: “Still think I am your mother?” “I… certainly hope not.”
Bitch Planet #2
After issue #1’s sudden twist, Bitch Planet starts to reveal more of what’s really going on in the life of its protagonist, Kamau Kogo, on Auxiliary Compliance Outpost. There’s much more to this place than just its role as prison. Kogo and her fellow inmates are about to be drawn into a much larger conflict, one that will put them within striking distance of the dystopic Powers That Be.
Valentine De Landro’s art is packed with deliciously expressive detail, particularly in the background of panels as Kamau Kogo speaks with other inmates. The dystopian, technologically advanced future is brought to life in Kogo’s isolation cell, with her surrounding shifting at the instruction of her captors, from clinical white to a hot, green, pixelated Georgia summer. There’s a depth and a texture to the art that gives Bitch Planet its distinctive feeling of being both modernly futuristic and retro sci fi.
Writer Kelly Sue Deconnick is crafting a violent and entertaining story that is equally able to explore complex feminist themes. Bitch Planet asks, what are these women’s lives worth? Who gets to decide that? When do you fight against oppression, and how? What if you can’t win, should you still fight? When does self-preservation take precedence over freedom? In addition to the story, each single issue includes an essay written by a prominent feminist writer. It’s an expertly crafted package that I highly recommend.
Favorite Moment: “If we wanted to drug you, we’d drug you. We’re not inclined to slip something into your tea.”
Gotham by Midnight #3
Why don’t more police procedurals have more ghosts, demons, and spirits of vengeance? Because that’s really working well for Gotham at Midnight. And somehow, letting the good guys have the Spectre on their team doesn’t stop the evil they face from feeling any less dangerous.
This time, the Midnight Shift faces a brand-new supernatural threat – a shadow that infects everything it touches with smallpox. The trouble is, the shadow is currently attached to a young girl in hospital quarantine, so letting Jim Corrigan release the Spectre will threaten lives. Not that he may have a choice when it wreaks havoc in the hospital, unless his teammates can come up with an alternate plan to slow it down.
There’s a lot to love about this issue, outside of the dark monster design itself. This episode’s flashback focuses on Drake, and her magical abilities that proved useful during undercover work. Szandor Tarr’s eccentricities also get a chance to shine when he pits his language skills against a murderous shadow. But my favorite character remains Jim Corrigan himself, who’s just as snarky as ever but genuinely fears for “innocents” every time the Spectre is freed. All told, it makes for a straightforward, standalone issue that will keep you hooked to the last page.
Favorite Moment: “No. No, you stay put. There are a thousand people in this hospital. You can’t come out here.”
Wonder Woman #38
Wonder Woman 38 is the first issue since the book switched creative teams a few months ago that I’ve really found the book interesting. Brian Azzarrello’s take on the series was one that worked hard to shift, change and mold the classic character into something new and more complex. The first few issues after his run finished meanwhile, felt somewhat staid to me. They were Wonder Woman kicking ass while feeling torn between her role in the Justice League and her life as an Amazon.
With issue 38 however, I feel the book might be reaching a new and interesting stride. Longtime readers of the series will likely remember that Wonder Woman, thanks to a bit of deific murder during Azzarrello’s run, is now the Olympian god of war. Whereas in the past that just seemed like a title however, it’s now being revealed that the position comes with some real and tangible consequences. Namely, being the god of war could have the potential to transform her from a noble peacekeeper into someone who actively and happily sews conflict and destruction.
While we’ll have to wait and see how this turns out in the longer run, this is an idea I can definitely get behind. Throwing Wonder Woman up against some spandexed villain she can defeat might be fun, but watching her battle the mounting demons of her own godlike nature is something the sort of concept that a good story can grow out of.
Favorite Moment: “You really haven’t given any thought to what it means to be the god of war have you?”
The Unbeatable Squirrel Girl #1
Squirrel Girl, aka Doreen Green, isn’t the most famous of Marvel heroes (even if she did once defeat Thanos with the help of her good friend, Tippy-Toe the squirrel). Her powers are granted by her partially-squirrel blood, giving her the proportional strength and agility of a squirrel, not to mention the ability to talk to squirrels and rally them to fight with her. This series is the first ongoing title to star Squirrel Girl. Writer Ryan North, well known on the internet as the man behind Dinosaur Comics, teams up with artist Erica Henderson as Squirrel Girl goes off to Empire State University. Adjusting to her secret identity is going to take Doreen some time, and it isn’t long before the villain Kraven the Hunter arrives on campus and starts causing trouble that only Squirrel Girl can resolve.
From the first page, The Unbeatable Squirrel Girl is a joyful romp. Her theme song is still stuck in my head as I write this. From knitting jokes, to Squirrel Girl’s reliance on her “Deadpool’s Guide to Super Villains Trading Cards”, to the impossibly small but hilarious annotations at the bottom of each page, this issue had me giggling throughout. If you read nothing else this January, read The Unbeatable Squirrel Girl.
Favorite Moment: “WHAT?! You got accepted into college and you’re not even gonna major in SQUIRRELS? “
Doctor Who: The Tenth Doctor #7
The Weeping Angels were first introduced during David Tennant’s tenure as the Doctor, and were considered one of the best modern Doctor Who villains. That said, we never actually saw Tennant and the Angels interacting – in fact, that was the whole twist of their first appearance. Thankfully, the comics are bringing Ten and the Angels back together with a surprisingly appropriate backdrop: The theater of World War I.
Having lost track of the Tardis in No Man’s Land, the Doctor and Gabby find themselves in a field hospital where they are treated as German spies. But the camp quickly realizes a far bigger threat has arrived – the Weeping Angels, who are using the cover of war and missing soldiers to mask their presence while feeding on everyone’s timelines. The Doctor quickly needs to find a way to secure the hospital before the Angels make meals of them all, trapping them in timelines they’ll never be able to return from.
As always, the Angels are absolutely terrifying. Robbie Morrison and Alex Sanchez wonderfully capture the tension of seeing an Angel statue in the background, and the shock of hem appearing where you don’t expect. What’s more, the World War I setting is a perfect fit for them, thanks to the confusion of rubble and destroyed buildings marking the landscape. We also get some great glimpses of where all the Angel’s victims are going, ranging from an anti-witchcraft 16th Century to an ancient Roman colliseum. The Doctor’s dialogue is also sharply written, especially as he’s casually demolishing the hospital’s commanding officer, which leaves me missing Tennant on Doctor Who all over again. All told, it’s the kind of episode you’d wish we’d seen on the show – although comic books are admittedly easier on the wallet than cable subscriptions.
Favorite Moment: Though strictly speaking, they’re not really yours. You appropriated them.
Captain Marvel #11
The two part Captain Marvel holiday story that started in issue #10 wraps up this month when Carol visits Earth, just in time for Christmas. She’s got twenty four hours to spend with her loved ones, but two supervillains get in her way. Grace Valentine and June Covington have teamed up, eager to gift themselves with Captain Marvel’s powers. Carol – with a little help from a holiday hero – shows them what happens when you try to capture an Avenger.
Carol is struggling, for the first time in this arc, with her homesickness. She went out into the galaxy to be an ambassador for the Avengers, and while it has been immensely rewarding, she is starting to miss home. Carol left because she felt she needed a new perspective, and her brief return to Earth brings her back to the side of the woman she cares for most, Tracy Burke. Despite being drawn back home by letters from her friends, lover, and biggest fan Kit, Carol spends her brief time visiting Earth at Tracy’s side. Carol hasn’t yet found her new direction, but she’s beginning to recognize exactly what’s important to her in the universe. Issue #10 marked 100 issues starring Carol Danvers, and issue #11 proves there’s so much more to explore with the Captain.
Favorite Moment: “Captain Princess!”
Crossed +100 #2
Crossed was Garth Ennis’ take on the zombie apocalypse, and it was insanely violent and profane even by his standards. The series has continued on under other creative teams, but I have to admit, after that first volume I have a lot of trouble recommending it. So why change my mind for Crossed +100?
Alan Moore, that’s why.
That’s right, Alan Moore is back in monthly comics with Crossed +100, taking the premise a century into the future. We begin in 2108, a hundred years after “The Surprise”, and the Crossed are rarely encountered. Archivist Future Taylor now travels the ruins of America with a salvage team hoping to piece together the lives of their ancestors when the apocalypse first began. But the farther they travel, the more it seems the Crossed are returning, although not quite in the mindless form they used to.
Unlike previous volumes, Crossed +100 isn’t a harsh survival story about mindless enemies. In Issue 2, the Crossed don’t even appear until its final pages, although that sequence is very memorable. The mini-series instead tracks changes – how human language has changed, how we process history differently, what culture signifies. Even something we take for granted, like The Lord of the Rings, baffles these people so much that we might as well be from different planets. And in a sense, we are. Viewing our society through the rubble of what we leave behind is a sobering notion, one that really helps Moore’s work stand out from his Crossed contemporaries.
Favorite Moment: “What? What, you’re going to mop me? Over a sexing smear?”