I’ve not read a graphic novel for a long time. As a kid I enjoyed Slaine and Rogue Trooper as well as Judge Dredd. This book is nothing like those comics. Cross + One Hundred (volume one) is a crazy, violent journey into a world evolved one hundred years after an apocalyptic event. The artwork is first rate and the story is brilliantly told, as a mystery unfolds to a frightening conclusion.
Told through the eyes of Future Taylor, an archivist for the settlement ‘Chooga’, the story focuses on a new horror befalling a world still recovering from ‘the surprise’. This apocalyptic event saw civilisation destroyed by an infectious disease, turning people rabid and beserk, driven by the most base and foul desires. Yet, that was a hundred years in the past and few infected remain. Or so Future thought. On a standard recon mission, things begin to go wrong for her and her crew. Attacks take out two of her friends whilst odd and unsettling discoveries point to a very, very frightening scenario.
I won’t spoil the surprise (no pun intended) but suffice it to say, it’s a shocking and gruesome turn of events. What I will say, is that the storytelling is superb. The twist in the tale is far from obvious but gleefully unveiled and horrifyingly concluded. Similarly, the artwork is fantastic; detail and skill on full display. The dialogue, like A Clock Work Orange serves to show how this world has evolved and restructured itself in the post-apocalyptic context of survival. It’s a brave and intelligent piece of work for a number of its ideas as it springboards from a reality close to our current one and then bifurcates into a fiction beyond terrifying. Be warned, this is adult content but it is a riveting and well conceived book.
Published by Avatar Press