Crossed Plus 100 #2
Alan Moore & Gabriel Andrade
Two issues in and this series is already feeling very much like a grocery list of survival comics, but like the grocery list that you make for yourself after the new year, when you're still pretty committed to only buying healthy food. There's lots of veggies that you just kind of stare at, hoping that at some point you'll take a bite out of that spinach salad and it'll taste like a plate of ribs. Or actually, maybe it's more like when you eat vegan "ribs." It's not that bad on its own, removed from context, but you wish that it didn't have the misguided audacity to call itself "ribs."
This is the kind of comic where you appreciate the thought and the craft that must have gone into the making of it, but in the end you put up your hand and politely decline. The art is pretty typical of an Avatar comic, which is to say the storytelling is clear enough, but it's just so so ugly, but that's actually not so bad seeing as how you probably expect everything in the world of Crossed to look like it has a layer of filth over it anyway. The best ideas in here – survival and social dynamics 100 years after The Crossed plague, future dialects, climate change – are interesting, but not in that viscerally exciting way that you'd really want from a comic that was released with like four different covers boasting some kind of extreme violence or some foreboding poses with guns. This is the kind of interesting that I imagine someone who's into hard sci-fi nodding along to, but even then that hard sci-fi fan is only going through the motions. It's got the ingredients of a violent survival horror comic, but it's lacking that suspense, that big sigh of relief when the characters manage to get themselves out of danger. Instead of suspense, the connective tissue of this comic is more in line with anthropological/sociological inquiry, which is interesting in its own right, but not interesting enough to keep me excited about checking it out every month.