The more of David Lapham’s work I read, the more I am in awe. Crossed: Family Values #1 hit the stands this week, but like it’s predecessor series, it is not family friendly. Still, with covers as graphic as they are, I doubt there will be any misplaced sales.
This series promises more than simply a derivation of zombie-plague sweeping across the world. (If anything, the disease is more like Rage from 28 Days Later.) We are greeted with what on the surface is a good god-fearing middle-American family, but very quickly the surface is scratched to reveal a history of both violent and sexual abuse performed by the father, making him a character to hate. Unfortunately he is also the strongest and most driven character and ensures that under his protection, the rampaging plague-bearing mob only managed to consume or infect four members out of a family of thirteen. He becomes the hero of the hour, his surviving daughters (and sons) now reliant on him for their survival. Euwww!
The story focuses on one of his daughters, one who up until their ranch was invaded by the Crossed, was starting to take a stand against her father’s excesses. With a minimum of so-called ‘extended’ story-telling, Lapham engages the reader with the many emotions going through her head and heart. Thus later as the Crossed infect the less lucky members of her family, you feel her pain as one of them, twisted by this plague, utters a comment that you can feel cut right through her heart.
The previous series showed how the Crossed are twisted in their minds, but nothing I had seen so far so clearly showed the devastating impact on a victims loved ones. I really felt for her, yet somehow felt it was a form of mercy. To say I felt uncomfortable would be quite the understatement.
This is not bed-time reading, you won’t feel good after reading it, but believe me, if you want an issue that would put much of the Vertigo line to shame, then you cannot miss this.