First published back in April of 2011, David Lapham continued with the ultra-violent ‘Crossed’ series – this time utilising the anaglyph 3D effect to create volume one of ‘Crossed 3D’.  The graphic novel came with a pop-out set of cardboard 3D glasses which are to be worn when reading the comic.

DLS Synopsis:
Before the entire world went insane, Dr Denise Tang had been a paediatric doctor and research scientist at the centre for children’s health on the east side of Manhattan.  However when the Crossed outbreak hit, Dr Tang, together with a couple of nurses and an orderly managed to get themselves and eight of the young kids bundled into a van and out of the city.  From there they’d made it up to the mountains around Connecticut where they’d stayed hidden away for the past two years.

But it was only a matter of time before the sick kids they had with them ran out of medicine.  And while going back into the heart of Manhattan wasn’t necessarily the smartest of moves, it was one place where Dr Tang knew she could get what she needed.  What the kids needed.

But the blood-soaked rubble that’s what’s left of Manhattan is now an open warzone for the infected.  Bands of the Crossed roam the dead city, burning buildings and destroying the once towering skyscrapers.  Always on the lookout for the next victim.  For the next kill.

And so when Dr Tang and her helpers are spotted by the infected it appears it’s the end for them.  Luckily the radio waves are being scanned for any such distress signals.  And with the lives of young children at stake, SWAT Veteran Lt. Hunt MacAvoy (aka ‘Mac’) knows that he has no choice but to take his band of loyal ‘Handymen’ into the remains of Manhattan in order to do what needs to be done.  But for them they had nothing else.  It was all about making a difference.   And to die under Mac’s command was a one way ticket to paradise…

DLS Review:
I’ve not read a graphic novel in 3D before.  The whole idea seems like a bit of a novelty – but one that I must admit to being quite keen to try out.  I have to confess that the idea of having all those dismembered body parts and splatters of blood bursting out of the page sounded like an absolute blast.  And so I put together the cardboard 3D glasses that come with it and sat back for what I hoped would be another gore-soaked roller-coaster of a ride – only this time jumping out at me!

From turning the first page with 3D glasses now firmly in place I realised the somewhat obvious limitations of the set up straight away.  One of the most entertaining aspects of reading ultra-gory graphic novels like the ‘Crossed’ series is with the bold and in-your-face artwork that accompanies the story.  Scanning your eyes across the images of manic violence and sadistic debauchery, in all their brightly coloured glory, is one of the main parts of reading these graphic novels.  The splatters of crimson red that adorn the piles of corpses are essential ingredients to the Crossed cocktail.  Without all the visceral gore and bursts of bloodshed it would be like breaking open an egg to find nothing but dust inside.

However fear not – ‘Crossed 3D’ delivers the violence and the gore in absolute bucket loads as per usual.  But what’s different here, what’s missing from the get go, is the impact of the blood-pumping crimson, the so-easy-to-tear pink of human flesh, the bright white of fiery explosions, and all those other wonderful colours that flood your senses when reading this comics.  With the classic blue and red 3D specs on you’re instantly reduced to a blur of murky bluey-red colouring that dilutes down the impact of all of those stark scenes of visceral gore.  Splatters of bloodshed threaten to blend in with the background, and everything just comes across as that little bit washed out and brown.

Nevertheless, on the plus side writer David Lapham and artist Gianluca Pagliarani offer up one hell of a high-octane beast of a tale – with the post-apocalyptic violence and sadistic sexual depravation on show at its usual high (or low depending on how you see it).  At times the ‘jump-out-of-the-page’ qualities of the 3D comic do come into full-effect – with jaw-dropping moments of fierce brutality seeming to reach out at you and pull you into the mayhem.  To be fair when it works it works damn well.  But sadly, because of the limitations of the blurred colouring and the ambiguous haziness surrounding some of the further back images presented, these failings start to irritate and subsequently outweigh the small positives gained from being in 3D.

Furthermore the volume is also a heck of a lot shorter than the other ‘Crossed’ instalments – with their being only one main storyline with no surrounding subplots or substories.  But for a twenty-to-thirty minute indulgence into the blood-drenched ‘Crossed’ post-apocalyptic world in my opinion it’s still well-worth a read.

The graphic novel runs for a total of 48 pages.

© DLS Reviews

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