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  1.  (10929.1)
    ...wot I dun wrote, is on shelves tomorrow.

    Very strange feeling, about that one. Slightly suspect it may be the most accomplished thing I've ever written, technically speaking, but it's also probably the most stomach-hurtingly horrible.

    Very very worth a punt. But don't say I didn't warn you.

    CONQUERS ALL

    Badlands 19
    • CommentAuthorDethklok
    • CommentTimeDec 11th 2012 edited
     (10929.2)
    Just read what you 'wrote' Si. You're a louse. The scum of the Earth. A deviant who will get his when the righteous overcome the foul heathens. You and Ennis and Lapham are gonna be pushed against a wall and shot when the time comes!

    Okay. Enough of my bullshit.

    Liked the preview a lot actually. Crossed who are focused are the worst. Horsecock comes to mind first and foremost. I would actually love to read a story that is from the POV of a Crossed the whole way through, from first infection and the pollution of the stream of consciousness, to the initial rampages and depravities, to the maybe random death of the Crossed, such as being grabbed to cook over a bonfire to feed the rest of your rapehappy comrades.

    I especially like that big shot in the preview of Mattias just walking down the street, Crossed as hell, but like the carnage does not faze him. He is all about Serena, definitely in a bad way.

    There seems to be a kind of deathwish maybe going on with Serena, or maybe she wants to be with Mattias again no matter what. I am reminded of Crossed vol 4, which is awesome, in the 'Homo Superior' arc. The last uninfected character, Steve, was just about to eat infected meat from her dead baby daddy and become Crossed.

    Thing that sticks out to me the most is Mattias's eyes. Sca-ree.

    Probably going to have to wait until close to end of 2013 to get this arc in a trade, cause that's how I roll. That sucks.

    And finally, I noticed that the title of this arc is 'Conquers All', or 'Crossed:Conquers All'. And that is the cold truth. Crossed conquers all eventually. I'm expecting to be amused, shocked, disgusted, and awed. Don't let me down.
    • CommentAuthorwishUwere
    • CommentTimeDec 12th 2012
     (10929.3)
    you managed to thoroughly disgust and entertain me..well done
    also having the art god that is Raulo Caceres on this arc made it all the better.
    • CommentAuthorpsibreaker
    • CommentTimeDec 13th 2012
     (10929.4)
    I've been finding the Badlands stories a bit hit and miss - this looks like a hit from the offset. Very much looking forward to this and the 2013 annual.
  2.  (10929.5)
    the 2013 annual story looks exceptional - I cannot WAIT to find out the backstory behind Jackson.

    "Conquers All" looks interesting so far. the way the Crossed series goes, once you start dipping into the whole "do they still have a mind in there, can they think and be rational" area, you're in danger of losing what makes Crossed so good in the first place. if it's done right it will be a very interesting story. (like in WYWH when Tabitha tells her story, and her student can only somewhat remember her, but he's still very much an insane-o.)
    •  
      CommentAuthorkzootron
    • CommentTimeDec 16th 2012
     (10929.6)
    I wish this arch was more than 2 ep. After reading #19 I am quite positive that this will be one of the best that badlands has to offer. Especially after "the golden road" arch by David Hine. It was pretty weak to be honest. I am in total agreement with @psibreaker as far as badlands being hit and miss. I didn't really dig "homo superior" either. The first arch was superb, and "yellow belly" was decent. However I see David Laphams next arch "livers" has Amanda from psychopath returning... Is it me but does it seem like Dave is kinda recycling? I mean the twist with having Lorre in yellowbelly was cool, at least as kinda a cameo, but bringing amanda back as a main character again...I'm sure im just raising a stink for nothing. I bet its gonna kick ass. But I feel i need to say that Si's take on crossed is completely up to snuff with the original Ennis tale. So far I feel like Ennis and Si do crossed like no others. I am so excited for the annual!
  3.  (10929.7)
    NFI where to put this remark, so it's going here in full cognizance that I might be howled down for my trouble: finally got hold of A Serpent Uncoiled last week, Kindle edition 'cos I couldn't find a paper copy anywhere in Sydney. Yes I'm old and I like paper books. So, Serpent, yeah? It's fucking great. If you're liking this Crossed arc, go get one. Nuff said.
    • CommentAuthorpsibreaker
    • CommentTimeDec 17th 2012
     (10929.8)
    'Conquers All' was darker than I was expecting, but all the more interesting for it. Following Mattias, seeing him having some sort of internal monologue (even though he verbally externalises it) was great - the idea that a Crossed would even consider he reacts when he sees the dog suffering... or the cops... or the woman he 'rescues'... were incredible insights into a different breed of Crossed that really freshened up the normal survivors slowly overcome by Crossed we're seeing in Badlands (very different to Wish You Were Here). I also really liked the fact that, to someone who only knows LA from TV and film, the Crossed outbreak seemed reminiscent of the events of the LA riots many years ago.

    The previous Badlands stories I've found hit and miss much like I've found previous collections hit and miss (loved the first collection, found Family Values and Psychopath less to my liking, really enjoyed Crossed 3D).

    I enjoyed what Ennis brought to the table in Badlands, perhaps because as a Brit it brought the horror to my doorstep, much as Wish You Were Here has. I also like the fact that his survivors seemed a lot more real.

    'Homo Superior' seemed a weird mishmash of over the top character types, characters bizarrely more concerned with their libidos in the face of the Crossed, of the three characters I felt any sympathy for one got killed 'off-screen', one gets turned 'offscreen' and the final one just seems to shrug and give up without any sort of moral dilemma. But I never really empathised with any of the characters (least of all the two sisters). I'm not against having strong female characters but it's nice if they actually behave in a realistic way.

    'Yellowbelly' I really enjoyed. The female characters in that demonstrated a way to be strong and yet understandably terrified. I loved seeing a situation where the Crossed outbreak slowly spread, with people fighting against an external threat rather than running from an internal one. Again, characters I cared about. And Crossed circus freaks was always going to be entertaining.

    The Golden Road somehow I found hit and miss within its own storyline. Some of the activities of the Crossed I really liked, though the whole 'retreat' thing seemed a little graphic just for the sake of being graphic - killing pigs, mass orgies, not really repulsive but not really insightful. It made a certain degree of sense by the end, a certain poetic justice, but there seemed to be a few things that didn't really get addressed. The girl escaping in the boat seemed almost as if she's destined to appear in a later story - otherwise her appearance and most of the events with the cop didn't really have much bearing on anything.

    I know Crossed has lots of people dying, apparently without rhyme or reason, due to the dictates of dumb luck in many cases. But, for the purposes of the story, the death of a character (other than the countless victims seen in the backgrounds of Crossed killing sprees) should resonate with the reader and show us something about the poor bastards forced to witness or otherwise be implicated in the characters' deaths. For most of Badlands I've found it did. In 'Homo Superior' in particular I found that lacking.

    Sorry, that was longer than I'd planned.
  4.  (10929.9)
    I doubt Mattias used his pen to kill the crossed (that was torturing the dog) in order to end the dog's suffering, but rather because he noticed an opportunity to upgrade to the dog-turturer's machete.
  5.  (10929.10)
    Weird how the freebie is awesome and the money-maker is "meh." I think Badlands would be better served by longer arcs with more likeable characters. Although the characters in the first series were thin, they still were good folks in a crap world. Family values was ok but hard to relate to for the average reader. Psychopath had the worst possible character the focus point and was probably the best at going at that direction.

    But pretty much every character with major screentime in Badlands is an unlikeable asshole. I think too many Crossed writers are going to the same well, which is weakening Badlands as a series.

    If anyone can write a good installment in Badlands, other than some guy named Ennis or Enis or something and Lapham , it's Si.

    Also, Lapham can be a divisive writer. I think his work in Stray Bullets and Young Liars was revolutionary, but a lot of folks never got into him. Plus, since he always is pushing the boundaries of creative storytelling some of his stuff can be terrible if it doesn't work.

    For example, Psycopath was both great and very difficult to read because Lapham in my view succeeded in capturing the perspective of a psychopath. Family Values was weaker, probably because Lapham was trying to conform his style with what Ennis had done in the original.
  6.  (10929.11)
    I'm enjoying every Crossed story so far, some more than others, but while I liked Jamie Delano's Homo Superior story, what I didn't understand were those several times the Crossed would non-violently parlay and offer a noninfected acquaintance a chance to voluntarily join them on the dark side, almost like a friend introducing another to a recreational drug. In prior stories, the moment a crossed sees a non-crossed, they go into this berzerker rage impulse and it's only the people who get splattered with bodily fluids on the periphery who end up getting infected and remaining able-bodied enough to continue the bloodletting.
    • CommentAuthorBadBeast
    • CommentTimeDec 22nd 2012
     (10929.12)
    I still can't get over Grant Morrison's cameo as "Gideon" Welles. Beautiful touch, that.
  7.  (10929.13)
    Isn't Grant Morrison from the Orkney Islands, too? What a coincidence.
    • CommentAuthorBadBeast
    • CommentTimeDec 22nd 2012
     (10929.14)
    Uncanny. Pure coincidence, of course . . . . . . . haha.
    • CommentAuthorBadBeast
    • CommentTimeDec 23rd 2012
     (10929.15)
    Well, I have to disagree with someone here, and I 'm afraid it's going to be . . . Mr Rocket. In your criticism of Psychopath. I think it worked on just about every level, both in it's portrayal of a Psychopath, and in the unique perspective of someone uncrossed, who more than mirrored the crossed in the depths of his madness.

    I mean, you might think someone with his particular penchant for cutting people up, rape, and relationship "issues" might jump at the chance of joining the Crossed, where he could possibly be as influential, well loved, and (almost) successful as Mr Horsecock was, leading his merry band of priapic butchers killing and raping across the Country, maybe even hopping across to France, and getting a bit of 'strange'.

    But no. Harold, psychopathic little monster that he is, still has a human quality that the Crossed just seem to lack. His ability to plan, while not unknown among the 'Georges' is certainly more devious and cunning than most normal folks, because he had to rely on subterfuge and duplicity in order to fit into his miserable existence in the pre-Crossed times. And he really doesn't want to lose that whatever quality it is .

    Also, I'd go as far as to say that his mental illness would actually be cured, if he became crossed. He would fit the dominant paradigm, and now that he has broken away from having to playact, in order not to stand out, he sure as hell doesn't want to be "Just another rape zombie, gurning it's mindless grin, as it rotted away from whatever fucking limb it last lost from infection, being fucked to death, malnutrition, or exposure just like the rest will, come Winter.

    But even as Harold arranges those putrid lips around his greasy cock , he is acting from the noblest of Human motivations, however misguided he may be. He just wants to be loved. To find the right girl, settle down, and be happy, and loved. Of course there isn't going to be a "right girl" for him. He's a complete fucking fruitcake, but his basic motivation is the same one that moves us all, and the thing that marks him as Human.

    I see some kind of redemption down the road for Harold, and in all the Crossed arcs, he is the only character that shows any potential at all for redemption. (Or Crossover)
    All the best stories have redemption as a main theme, to hang even the most disparate of characters around, that's what I totally loved about Freakangels. And until Harold, "Crossed" was unique in being utterly devoid of any redemption at all. Not for the two who had to kill those children,even as they walk off into the sunset holding hands. The relevant line being ( I think) in issue 6, "But we still murdered those children". There isn't going to be any redemption there.

    Or with that other mad cunt, Johnson, simply because he has to have been an utterly mental pre-crossed character, given his Special Services level talent for killing. Een his nasty habit of fucking sheep just provides what passes for a moment of comic relief in this dismal, hopeless scenario. I think Harold is going to work through his issues, and get a cap on his own murdering, and do something really memorable and Human. Maybe counsel that three legged Nun, Theresa into being the Girl for him. That would be awesome, because he might not be crossed, but his tenacity for survival relies on being able to second guess them, which shows a level of empathy that normal psychopaths just don't have. So you see, he's already getting better. On his way. Harold, uniquely, among Crossed, or normals, is in the enviable position of having a life that's getting better. Things are looking up for him. There was even a moment of lucidity when that girl asked him to kiss her. No matter how mad he might be, the hope of love still kindles in his breast.

    I cant believe how much depth I've just looked into the dynamic of a Comic that's basically Rape Zombies on Crack, but that's more a testament to it's quality, rather than any insight I might have, every one of which I fully expect to be brutally smashed in the next few issues. But hey, it could be worse. And I'm right about the nod to Morrison, I know I am.

    (Serves him right for organising that wankathon halfway through Invisibles. I'm still not sure if he was Trolling his readers or what, but it co-incided with a pickup in sales, so I'll give him the benefit of the doubt for now, because Invisibles was pretty good stuff) OK, Bye for now. I'm done.
    • CommentAuthorNo Fear
    • CommentTimeDec 23rd 2012
     (10929.16)
    Harold being a psychopath can never really be redeemed. A psychopath is a play actor, masking his/her true nature behind a facade of normalcy but has no empathy with anyone else and will only ever think of themselves. They will sacrifice whoever to get what they want. The fact he is able to second guess what the Crossed may do doesnt necessarily display empathy just cunning and manipulation. And maybe because the Crossed as a whole are just so darn predictable a person who observes human behaviour would be able to 'suss' things out. So I pretty much disagree with Badbeast on this one (sorry). Having said that I would like to see how Harold gets on (missed his cameo in the Yellow Belly arc) and how the writers (I presume Mr Lapham primarily) work his story out.
    I will say that having read the original series, Family Values, Psychopath, Wish You Were Here and Badlands up to issue 9 the only writers I really enjoy are Ennis and Spurrier.

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