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  1.  (11278.1)
    It's Thursday! It's mid-afternoon in London! It's another wrongheaded morning in Mericky! Everyone in Australia is dead from spiders and snakes and poisonous accents, apparently. And it's time for more Crossed hideosity!

    Episode 78, live and free-to-air.

    Remember: Not safe for work, not safe for minors, not safe for people of a nervous disposition, not safe for the wrinkly woad-coated scrotum of William Wallace.
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      CommentAuthorddavie
    • CommentTimeFeb 20th 2014 edited
     (11278.2)
    As much as I used to love Areola - in the frames where she totally snobbing-off Shaky, I kind'a think she's been a bitch...probably for a while now. (She's still hot though, with a yummy nun-rack.)

    WHOLE LOT of story being told, even without word balloons this week! Wonderful stuff here Mr. Spurrier - always, always wonderful! Gracias.

    (I do know her name isn't actually quasi-nipple real estate...I'm just being sarcastic because she's being such a butt hole!)
    • CommentAuthorBig Sven
    • CommentTimeFeb 20th 2014
     (11278.3)
    I'm trying to figure why, if Aoileann wants Shaky turned, she doesn't just have her goons simply rush him and spit on him? I figure it's because she wants him safely turned, and an assault risks Shaky injuring or killing himself. It's interesting that the journal ends "it could be that these are mine" (last words) and then there are no more journal words. Perhaps there's no more journal, ever.
    • CommentAuthorgragh46
    • CommentTimeFeb 20th 2014
     (11278.4)
    @Big Sven That would make this an extremely short volume, though, since I don't think you can have too many chapters with no narration at all. And we still don't know how did Shaky and Teresa get separated, nor how did shaky arrive into Cava (I expect that to be the flashback story ending, with Shaky turning or dying as the parallel ending). In my opinion, it talks about how those could be his last words as well because Shaky wrote that entry before heading to the stones, where he expects to be rape-killed by Aoileann.
    •  
      CommentAuthorcurb
    • CommentTimeFeb 20th 2014
     (11278.5)
    The Gamekeeper is still a Gamekeeper, then.
    • CommentAuthorinjunjoe
    • CommentTimeFeb 20th 2014
     (11278.6)
    I think, atleast in this arc, that if you turn of your own volition you retain more of who you were. Perhaps this is what the nun wants for Shaky. Kind of like thinning the herd and a sort of evolution? ps: Mr. Spurrier, my comic store buds were hella psyched that you called me "a bit of a cocknugget". What is that btw?
    •  
      CommentAuthorddavie
    • CommentTimeFeb 20th 2014
     (11278.7)
    @gragh46 - almost literally (like, word for word-ish) I said nearly the exact same thing to myself as I finished this volume. So few words, possibly no more diary and whatnot - yet Shaky is (outside of still being lucky as fuck at the moment) a "dead-man walking"! But we have wrap up to get to yet, and I'm certain some flashbacks, just as you mentioned. Kind'a creepy how in-line my train of thought was with what you wrote.

    (I posted about being 'pissed' at Aoileann and the continued excellence of the story even without a lot of verbiage, simply because it IS in fact so good - regardless of a lot of chatter...I was thoroughly impressed this week, more so than some previous chapters because of what was pulled off this week. Additional speculation and such skipped my keyboard this time.)
    • CommentAuthorDilo
    • CommentTimeFeb 20th 2014
     (11278.8)
    Dagnabbit! Week after week I'm waiting for the week after! This is too brilliant - dragging the inevitable out the same way time would drag its sorry arse if we were Shaky. He really has become a sad git the way he has nothing for even a small distraught girl. Either way it has to end for him - he has nothing left.
    • CommentAuthorShan
    • CommentTimeFeb 20th 2014
     (11278.9)
    @ Dilo

    I have the suspicion that the end of this episode has the feel that a break for an interlude tends to have. Not complaining mind you, we're very lucky to get such a high quality work for free (I promise I will buy it when I get my finances in order).
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      CommentAuthorkzootron
    • CommentTimeFeb 20th 2014
     (11278.10)
    I haven't commented in a while cause im just at a loss for words on how good WYWH is. I know that a long form crossed arc has never been done before this but I couldn't even begin to imagine another long form crossed story as good as this one. That being said, as I watched shaky leaving the house alone with a horde of crossed armed to the gills all around him, I couldn't help but think that this is NOT the coward that we new at the beginning of WYWH. Matter of fact, I can't think of any non infected person from any of the crossed stories that would have the balls to do that. Not Cindy, Adeline, Lorre, Amanda, Steve, any of the brave men from The fatal Englishman or any other bad ass non plussy people I forgot to mention. Oliver walked among them but only under Smoky's massive wings so he doesn't count. The fear he must of been feeling as he walked past them all must of been indescribable, yet he pushed it aside and kept going. This is character development at its best. Thank you Si, for giving us more than a horror comic.
    • CommentAuthorShan
    • CommentTimeFeb 20th 2014
     (11278.11)
    Here's a bit of fun:

    Spot the sniper

    From the context of the Crossed Universe, I'd like to think there's at least a few military trained people this skilled who manage to survive by hiding like this. It could even make an interesting "A Day in the Life" feature where there's no big stakes and no big dramatic ending, just people going on with their (new adjusted) life in the world as it is today and surviving in spite of a big new hazard out there.
  2.  (11278.12)
    Here's something of interest, a preview from Badlands #54:

    In the opening days of the Crossed infection the world reels beneath the onslaught of maniacal insanity. And yet, between the heartbeats of the maniacs loosed on unsuspecting humanity, a deadly endgame of nuclear war is playing out. With Russian nukes inbound to the east coast of the United States, the English Prime Minister must make a daring decision to avoid all out human annihilation while trying to determine the cause of the Crossed plague tearing through his country.

    I think this detail will be particularly interesting to Shan and others who are interested in the global implications. If NYC and the East Coast does get nuked, that would kinda relegate Crossed 3D into "Expanded Universe" territory, as NY clearly wasn't nuked in that story.

    Also: Gordon Brown deciding humanity's fate? Yowza. It'll be interesting to see how Ennis handles him, considering his iconoclastic attitude towards things. Then again, considering how unpopular and ridiculed Brown was IRL, Ennis may surprise us with a different portrayal. There's a hint of that in the Patient Zero Ashcan, where Brown is clearly shown to be exasperated to hear of yet another mass shooting in the US.
    • CommentAuthorShan
    • CommentTimeFeb 21st 2014
     (11278.13)
    Bear with me, part of my background is Public Health and Microbiology, so I do like speculating about the big picture and the ultimate endgame of this universe with the rules we've seen so far. So, without further ado, here's my take on World War Crossed (sorry).

    (I know I've said a lot of this before too but I've added a bit and it's presented a little differently).

    Scenario 1:

    Hypothetically, if all the Crossed were the disinhibited maniacs we see at the start of Shaky's adventures in escaping London, those that didn't die straight away from trauma and bleeding to death would mostly be felled by any number of the following in fairly short order: exposure to cold, wound infections, respiratory diseases, diarrheal diseases (believe me, the lack of toilets and sewerage systems kills quite fast in much of the world that doesn't have it), cholera, typhoid, typhus, measles, whooping cough, resurgence of polio (in certain parts of the world where it's currently contained) and so on. It's a long list with the end result death in short order. Malaria's another good example, it's making a big resurgence in Greece since the Public Health system and monitoring collapsed.

    The human race would be pushed to the margins, but there would be survivors in the long run, especially where people have never contacted the modern world (Sentinel Islands, the Amazon) or are extremely difficult to access (parts of Siberia, the Gobi Desert, various small islands).

    End result, from a population of about 6 billion, I think somewhere between 300,000 and 6,000,000 at least would survive in scattered pockets around the world even twenty years from C-Day and eventually the Crossed all die out. People will have to watch out if they ever go back into abandoned parts of the world for things carrying latent infection though. The world would never be the same but it would still go on and rebuild at least a little.

    Scenario 2:

    Well, we do know there's Crossed who have their heads screwed on better and can keep the others in check somewhat. They're still all going to be more susceptible to a harsher environment and some of them will die from it. Even the groups that stay cohesive (and avoid nature, which has always been very harsh and will be more so without modern medicine) and actively seek out surviving groups of humans won't get all of them; after all there's going to be ones that are too hard to access which had minimal contact with the modern world in the remotest parts of the world - and they'll have home ground advantage (once again, tundras, deserts, mountains). Some may be overrun but a few would make it. Then once again, there's the ones most people wouldn't even know about unless you're an anthropologist so may never be looked for (once again, the Amazon, Sentinel and other small islands, where uncontacted tribes live).

    Most Crossed from what we've seen would still die in short order. Maybe in this case the less crazy Crossed and especially those with leaders, some (but not all) may even last decades but pockets of humanity would still be around, at the bare minimum, I would guess 100,000 to 300,000 at the very least and possibly more. They may have to remain perpetually hiding and engaged in a cat and mouse game (kind of like our Cava-ites, but better at it) but some of them would make the long haul.

    Short version of the above, apocalypses such as zombies, infected (like 28 Days/Weeks Later) and so on tend to frame the effects on a modern, usually urban population but humanity is so varied with some people living in much harder to access, harder to survive environs with little or no contact with the rest of the world who would keep on going, even with their lives largely unchanged in some cases.

    So, I guess the super grim version is "no hope" and humanity goes extinct but I think a surprise/twist ending would actually that humanity does not, not because of any magic bullet solution but because of how varied (and resilient) we are. A "World War Z" type look at the world down the track (maybe Badlands is heading that way). Unlike World War Z, there may be no fightback under way, if anything, humanity could be bottled up into corners of the Earth but society in some fashion could still be going and above that of just bare survival too.

    As for the nuclear bombs and how New York could survive, I have an answer for that but I'll leave it for another post lest this one get too long.
    • CommentAuthorDilo
    • CommentTimeFeb 22nd 2014
     (11278.14)
    @ Shan

    Yeah I expect that too. Draw out the whole Gameskeeper piece of the puzzle for another agonising week. Still this free offering beats the living shit out of Freeview TV which isn't really free and offers steaming crap I couldn't care less catching up on!!
    • CommentAuthorShan
    • CommentTimeFeb 23rd 2014
     (11278.15)
    @ Babu Dhakal

    Found this on the TV Tropes page: "In Crossed #2, a survivor mentions what's happened to Texas and New York in the months since the Crossed showed up. Both are realistic depictions of what would probably happen following the abandonment of either state; Texas's oil refineries eventually overloaded and exploded, and New York City flooded without the continuous pumping of its subways and sewers."

    Since Garth Ennis did the original series and this upcoming one, I'm guessing they take it into account. Even if it was different people writing those stories, I'm sure there's some kind of series bible for everyone to keep track of what's going on where, especially since there's the occasional character crossover from one story to another from what I hear.

    The simple explanation would be that not every nuclear missile fired hit its target and/or failed to detonate, since I imagine that would have rated a mention over sewers flooding. There's a lot of real life precedent for malfunctions, I guess probably in the delivery system. In fact there's a lot of absolutely terrifying stories about bombs lost in accidents and potentially near miss detonations including one I saw in the Guardian recently about how we came much too close for comfort in having an accidental trigger of a bomb in North Carolina.

    I would imagine the world's nuclear arsenals are generally run well (or at least well enough) given the lack of accidental explosions so far but there have been a lot of stories big and small which could keep us awake at night even more than this series.
  3.  (11278.16)
    Fuck Si. This episode was brilliant. There are no words for those three panels when shaky walks by a crying child and the sonuva bitch doesn't even say the three words. "He loved you." Heartbreaking. Brilliant. Look forward to reading next week.
    • CommentAuthorShan
    • CommentTimeFeb 23rd 2014
     (11278.17)
    Here's a hypothetical for everyone:

    Since the timeline of the various stories moves around a lot, would anyone like to see a story where Jackson crosses paths with the main cast of The Fatal Engishman? After all, believe they all travelled the length and breath of the country a lot.

    Maybe it would be best as a one page sight gag where they just walk past each other in opposite directions after meeting by chance and just acknowledging each other with a brief nod or a few words, something quite nondescript and understated which fits with them being military men (for all the unconventional behaviour and weird comedy Jackson in particular, I imagine they can all be really serious especially when the situation really demands it) and contrasting with the surrounding ongoing insanity.

    On the other hand, I'm sure at least some of us wouldn't mind the two teams having an adventure, especially filled with some off the wall black humour and other surrealism that wouldn't normally be seen in the more straightforward tales in the Crossed universe. Just speculating a what if of course.

    Any thoughts anyone?
  4.  (11278.18)
    @Big Sven - I don't think the boss crossed are created by any special way they were turned, it's probably just they are the top 1% that originally excelled at impulse control and self-discipline. For whatever reason, they seem to have a disproportionate ability to influence other Crossed -- probably because they are the ones to think of "fun" things to do when everyone else is standing around bored.

    It therefore would make total sense that a priest and nun are now leading the crossed as their professions involved a lot of denial of impulses in pursuit of a higher calling, with the priest less prone to self control than Aoileann as he didn't deny himself the occasional drink. The minions are mostly Nato soldier who appear to have been extremely well-trained and disciplined. They presumably keep the rest in line or thin out the herd.

    It's kind of a depressing thought because it would mean that many of the admirable people in society would become the most lethal Crossed if they survived the first wave of carnage.

    Shaky is far less likely to be anything other than a normal crossed because while he is very contemplative he seems to have weak impulse control. Shaky has many times endangered himself and his group because of feelings of guilt or boredom.

    My guess on why she went the envelope route is because she cannot control the crossed when they are let loose. She can keep them pretty much under control before they initiate but once they get their hands on someone she has no control. It would be too much of a risk for her to order a group to grab Shaky and infect him, they are just as likely to slit his throat as they are to turn him. Plus, she may want Shaky undamaged for some reason. I don't think Crossed Aoileann, however, is looking for a life partner.

    @Shan - cool idea for a cameo but I remember reading that Garth doesn't want any of the other authors using any of his characters in any way.
    • CommentAuthorShan
    • CommentTimeFeb 23rd 2014
     (11278.19)
    @ JohnnyRocket324

    I remember reading an interview with Garth Ennis when they asked if they could use his Crossed Universe, I think at the time, he was referring to his original miniseries characters (he said words to the effect that he'd only come up with an idea or two at most for a sequel series) and also at the time, I don't think he'd expressed any intention to do anything else with the Crossed Universe with new characters at the time he said that.

    Also even if he does now mean all his characters including ones he created after he gave that interview, it wouldn't necessarily rule out the possibility of Garth Ennis doing another story and have Jackson make an appearance. An adventure with them all full of droll humour and wacky hijinx could be fun, though I guess the two parties just walking past each other and only saying "evening" or something equally low key in complete contrast to the world outside (especially given such normal events would now seem to the rare and absurd ones given what's going on) would be more appropriate.

    As an additional point to ponder, does that possibly mean that only Garth gets to use Gordon Brown?
  5.  (11278.20)
    @Shan

    Yeah, it's always a possibility that the bomb aimed for New York didn't make it to its target, though that doesn't mean that the other missiles headed for the East Coast failed to hit their targets. In 2008 there was no ABM system in place for the US to even intercept a few missiles headed their way, and with the Crossed I doubt there would be any forces available (or willing) for such a task. And the survivors in 3D were holed up in some mountains around Connecticut, so they certainly would have noticed any Russian nukes hitting the rest of the East Coast, like Boston, Providence etc. Naval Submarine Base New London in Connecticut is the US Navy's primary East Coast submarine base, known as the "Home of the Submarine Force", it would be a primary nuclear target in any scenario.

    As for a crossover involving Jackson and Harry's team, I'm all for it. However, those characters were created by Si and Garth respectively, so they'd have to come to an agreement about it somehow. I've read that Garth does like Si's Crossed stories a lot, though, which would help.

    @marsrover21

    Actually, I think Shaky did relay Des' last words to Chanice (his daughter) as he's shown to stop his walking long enough to say something. It's just that such words have been said so many times (both on WYWH and other Crossed stories) that there literally was no need for speech bubbles, by now the reader can pretty much fill out the space in his mind. And of course Shaky's words were of no help to her. Though it was touching seeing Miranda kneeling down to comfort her. It shows that even in such a desperate situation human decency need not go by the wayside, and that she's a far better person than Skip, who disowned his step-son a couple of chapters ago.

    @kzootron

    About none of the other characters from Crossed having the balls to walk in and out of Crossed-infested Kirkwall, I'll go one further and say that not only would Harold Lorre not have the balls to do what Shaky did, I consider him to be one of the most cowardly characters in the Crossed-verse, in addition to him being a psychopathic monster. Notice how he only committed his deeds when he was absolutely sure that he could get the drop on his victim and overpower them. His strategy for surviving the Crossed was to be completely still for days and weeks on end, and a single Crossed was almost enough to kill him, he survived only through pure luck. A guy like Jackson, the Gamekeeper or Des would have broken him in two like a rotten twig. Not to mention his spectacular failure when he tried to "awaken" Lori in Amanda... and its no coincidence that he considered Edmund the Yellow Belly as some kind of kindred spirit. He saw his own cowardice in him, only Edmund eventually learned to overcome his cowardice, not that it did him any good...

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