First published within a single compilation volume back in February of 2012, the third instalment in the post-apocalyptic ‘Crossed’ series was entitled ‘Crossed Volume 3: Psychopath’ and was written by David Lapham with artwork by Raulo Caceres.  The compilation volume contained all seven of the original comics from the third series.

DLS Synopsis:
It’d been a year since Amanda, Rick, Claire and Darwin had last seen anyone without a cross emblazoned across their face.  The group of survivors had originally come from Denver.  Ever since then they’d been on the move.  Constantly staying one step ahead of the Crossed.  It was how they’d survived this far.

However that all changed when they stumbled upon Harold Lorre alone and nursing a broken leg at the bottom of a deep crevice.  Against the better judgment of the rest of the group, Amanda offers the desperately malnourished man assistance.  After helping him out of the hole where he’d been stuck without food or water for the last six days, the group start to discuss their options.

Taking Lorre along with them would undoubtedly be a risk.  He was not only incredibly weak from his time spent in the crevice, but due to his broken leg, he was also unable to walk.  Knowing his chances of staying with the group of survivors was weak; Lorre tells them of ‘The Mission’ in New Jersey where he’d been told a cure for the Crossed virus had been developed.

If Lorre’s story was true then this could be what they’d been looking for.  Somewhere to settle down.  To rebuild and begin a new life.   Lorre also had a keen sense of hearing which he’d developed over the last year whilst quietly watching and observing the Crossed – learning their movements and taking close note of their actions.  Through this he’d developed an understanding about them.  He could predict their movements and sense them coming.

On the strength of his finely tuned senses along with his knowledge of a potential sanctuary the group decide to take Lorre along with them.  They take turns carrying the crippled man as they head off in the direction of this supposed Mission.

However Harold Lorre has an alternative agenda.  His story of ‘The Mission’ was nothing but lies.  It was a necessity in order to convince them to take him along with them.  Instead he plans to go on a hunt.  He’s after the Crossed who killed his Lori.  And he’ll do whatever it takes to get back what belongs to him once and for all…

DLS Synopsis:
As if trying to survive in a world full of murderous sex-crazed savages wasn’t bad enough!  Now you’ve also got to contend with psychopaths who’ll do whatever they can in order to appease their crazyass delusions.  And that’s pretty much the plot of this third series.  We’ve got a sociopathic nutjob who’s manages to deceive a group of hapless survivors in order for them to take him along with them.  Of course he’s got his own hidden agenda.  He wants to get back a piece of the woman he’d previously been obsessively stalking.  And he’s clearly more than willing to do whatever it takes to achieve his goal.

Of course there’s a little more to it than just that.  Behind the fake façade of his sensitive and beaten-down appearance lies the cold-heart of a psychotic serial killer.  Than man’s dangerous.  He’s also pretty damn messed-up in the head.  In fact, it’s not long before we start to see just how disturbed this guy is – with Ed Gein meets Jeffrey Dahmer style traits gradually emerging.

Alongside the ‘psychopath’ storyline you’ve got all the usual extreme horror and ultra-violence that you’ve come to expect from the ‘Crossed’ comics.  In fact, if anything, writer David Lapham has upped the ante on the levels of violence in this third series – with scene after scene awash with some of the most graphically depicted acts of sadistic savagery to appear in the comics thus far.

Artist Raulo Caceres more than rises to the challenge of visualising these horrendous acts – laying down maddening scenes of sheer carnage that pull your eyes into the maelstrom of flying body parts and fountains of cascading blood.  Flesh is torn on pretty much every other page.  And when the madness kicks in, more often than not you’re treated to a full double-spread of the atrocities.  Not once does Lapham or Caceres shy away from showing the full graphic horror of what’s going on.  This is 100% no-holds-barred extreme horror plain and simple.

Furthermore, not only has the violence jumped up a notch, but the sex and nudity seems to have moved up a level too.  In previous offerings some of the sexually geared aspects were (admittedly very unsubtly) just implied, or genitals were always covered by a leg or an arm or something.  Here Caceres shows us everything.

As always there are of course a number of those stand-out ‘Crossed’ moments where the levels of sexually-driven violence just go berserk.  Some of the scenes of sex and mutilation are quite frankly mind-boggling.  The imagination on show (if nothing else) is downright impressive.  Garden tools are used in some of the most perverse and sadistic ways possible.  A female characters’ lips are removed and used as a secret sexual aid.  Another character (male this time) has his jaw broken so that he can be orally raped (if you know what I mean).  It’s all pretty messed-up stuff.

All in all what you get with this third volume is quite simply more of the same sick and twisted sexually-driven violence that you’ve come to expect from the ‘Crossed’ graphic novels.  Bloodshed and gore are splattered across pretty much every other page.  It’s business as usual.  The storyline itself is fast-paced and full of enough twists and turns to keep things interesting.  So at the end of the day, if you enjoyed the previous two series’, then I guarantee this third volume’s going to sit pretty darn well with you.

Although it’s probably the most messed-up, sexually-deviant and gore-drenched volume so far!

The compilation volume runs for a total of 176 pages.

© DLS Reviews

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