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    • CommentAuthorShan
    • CommentTimeMar 11th 2014
    I could imagine the dogs running a mile at the merest sniff of them to be honest ...
    • CommentAuthorHardCory
    • CommentTimeMar 11th 2014
    Yeah, most animals are a bit sensitive to abnormalities such as infected, blood-soaked, cannibals. On the other hand I do think that the uninfected could use dogs to their advantage, and I am surprised that I havent seen an author use that angle like Max Brooks did in World War Z. Soldiers or hunters with hound dogs could train them to sniff out crossed from miles away, giving the survivors plenty of time to hide or start moving in the opposite direction. Although training the dogs to also stick around and not bite through their leashes and run for the hills would be difficult.
    • CommentAuthorHardCory
    • CommentTimeMar 11th 2014
    Going back to the Badlands poster of the archaeologists in the cave is a great one to dissect. There are so many little things to wonder about and guess as to what is going on and what is going to happen next. On the wall behind the terrified old man shows a cave drawing of a woman infected with the crossed virus, and mutilated animal corpses around her. This leads me to believe that the crossed from those days may not had had a lot of humans to rape and kill, but had plenty of wildlife to tear apart. Strangely enough below her there are people worshiping her as a deity. Must have done the praying from afar so as to not be raped and mutilated (and not in that order).

    Also did anyone notice that creepy pot on the bottom left corner with the pointy stake sticking out of it? It is possibly dripping with infected blood and is probably what pricked the infected guy in the back, since there are a pair of gloves discarded on the ground besides it.

    What the hell were these people doing thousands of years ago? Anyway its really interesting to think about.
    • CommentAuthorNo Fear
    • CommentTimeMar 11th 2014
    I think most of the covers are not meant to be taken as the 'literal truth' as to what has happened/is happening in the world, such as the cave paintings and the Aztecs/Incas. Good covers, none the less and they do spark some interesting ideas. Re infection, I thought that blood splatter on skin was okay as long as no wounds. The end of the first Badlands arc had the blood on the guys face but if memory serves it got in his eye. I thought that was implied as well in that preview shown above.
    I suspect the Patient Zero arc will answer some questions but not all.
    • CommentAuthorgragh46
    • CommentTimeMar 11th 2014
    Infection: Well, there was this guy in "the Mansion of the eccentric millionaire bastard arc that mentioned Poe's the Red Death" arc in badlands (maybe one day I should re-read some stories) that got turned after having either salliva or blood splat on his uninjured hand. Took him pretty long to turn though, enough for him and the main character to go back to the mansion from the town and then allow the main character to lock him in some room. More recently, in the gore angels/japanese arc, the hippie is turned several hours after being kissed by a crossed (wiping his mouth right after the contact). We've also seen that even if you are bitten, having your limb cut off quickly enough will prevent you from turning (latest WYWH chapter and Family values for instance). So I'm going with the Crossed condition being a virus that has a extremely high reproduction rate. Once you have reached a certain level of 'poisonous' stuff in your body, that's when you turn. The larger the amount of the virus and the easier it is to reach the rest of your body from the entry point of the virus, the faster you'll turn.

    -Being bitten in the neck: lots of blood= instantaneous turning
    -Spit in the eye: next to your brain, lots of blood here = pretty damn quickly
    -Spit in your hand that isn't wiped properly: it still has to go through your skin, then it starts flowing through your body from an extreme = slow
    -Kiss, wiped: if you've removed most of it and only a bit made it to your tongue, the remaining virus has to go through a pretty tough area of "skin" (saliva and all the digestive stuff corrodes stuff, the 'skin' here is tougher and probably has less pores than other parts)
    -Kiss, deep throat (the quisling arc): Faster turning, as the back of your throat doesn't have the same "tough" layer
    -Rape:it involves blood, but eh... it depends on how quickly the rapist is done?

    Now I feel bad for giving so much thought to this
    • CommentAuthor111111
    • CommentTimeMar 11th 2014
    @ driveler
    yes in crossed badlands #7 the redneck father after being turned still got the dogs with him but they get shot by one of the twins. but the fact that the dogs were still fallowing him and he didn;t kill/rape them makes you think.

    just occurred to me yesterday. why is nobody opening the cars trunks or inside compartments to look for things to use? every car has first aid kit. sterile bandages, painkillers and alcohol to prevent infections. also 90% of ppl have flashlights, lighters, matches or other useful tools inside their cars. many cars were used by ppl to flee the towns and got ambushed or whatever on the high way with their occupants killed or turned. that means when they ran away from home they got some provisions, guns and ammo. especially in US, probably are still in the car. nobody played rpgs before? you search everything!!!1

    also in crossed vol 3 ch 1 pag 8&9 theresa does not have the x on her face although gk marked her in the previous chapter
    • CommentAuthorShan
    • CommentTimeMar 11th 2014
    Look at this preview again, splash hit to skin and immediate turning into Crossed.

    Crossed Badlands 16 Sneak Preview

    If we look at what happened to Des, infective material that had been exposed to the elements for days? weeks? longer? and yet still instantly infective through an unbroken mucosal barrier (in this case the tongue). Usually even highly infective agents are destroyed in the gastrointestinal system.

    Whatever causes the Crossed, it's potent stuff. Here's hoping no-one ever keeps it together long enough to load a crop duster full of the stuff and start spraying surviving communities because then the human race will be having even more of a problem.
    • CommentAuthor111111
    • CommentTimeMar 11th 2014 edited
    somebody saw southpark "canceled" episode? for those who didn;t the earth is just a reality show for aliens. and some day the show has no more audience and needs to be canceled so they want to destroy earth.
    so maybe the virus was created by aliens who came long time ago an infected the earth with it. and from time to time just to spice thing up activate the virus to increase audience or have a laugh. would be funny as hell after being so realistic and serious the crossed comic to finish with a hilarious explanation

    anyway @ hardcory
    that can't be blood in the jar. coz it was in that cave for who knows how long time. blood coagulates and oxidizes very fast in a couple of hours is not liquid anymore. and you can see there are some vapors or fumes coming out of the red substance. that means is either hot or emits vapors in contact with air

    also a curious thing is that the crossed mark remains on the skull. there are plenty fungus and bacteria that can eat through bones but viruses? the question is does take time for an infected person to get that cross on the skull or it eats through the skull at the same rate you get the rash on the face?

    we see so many amputee crossed. who seals the wounds? for sure there is no crossed medic, or crossed having the tenacity and determination to seal wounds to stop the bleeding to save themselves. i mean that is their tread mark they just don;t give a fuck about anything than killing raping and having morbid fun.

    why the 4 english soldiers didn;t use some chemicals too kill the crossed in the surrounding area and live to fight another day? they could easily bring up some chemicals not biological weapons. something like sarin gas, mustard gas or some fancy chemical weapon. bring them up to the level the last one exits. im 999% sure in a chemical/bio weapon facility they had the necessary protective equipment to open the bottles safely. not release some super virus that will end all life in uk. just a couple of chemicals that kill every thing in a small radius. they were released at ground level so the spreading effect will not be that great but enough to kill the crossed that came by. they didn;t even needed to stay and watch or fight the crossed. release the gas, wait for the gas to fill the room/corridor/area, bam-bam shots fired to bring the suckers in, go back to the elevator shaft into the bunker, w8 a couple of hours, get out find 99% of the crossed dead, shoot the rest, get a coup of tea by 5 o clock
    • CommentAuthorNo Fear
    • CommentTimeMar 13th 2014
    Really interesting stuff, I concede the point re infection via the skin :-)
    • CommentAuthorShan
    • CommentTimeMar 13th 2014
    I wouldn't excessively ponder the part of The Fatal Englishman which involves Porton Down and its chemical weapons, it's probably best to accept that part of the scenario as is. If you want to get really technical, it's really hard to use them. The infamous Sarin Gas attack even with multiple points of attack with the concentrated form of the chemical confined spaces of the Tokyo Subway did kill 13 people but they didn't die straight away and that was out of thousands afflicted. In this scenario it would have been too slow, probably dispersed too much and be very dangerous to the person using it.

    I mean, you can certainly poke holes in the idea of the "self-destruct button" in any story, in this case, the idea there's one for the whole country. For starters, if such a thing were possible, you'd put it far away from people as possible in case of an accident. For example, like on an uninhabited island like ... say Cava - or probably even further out. I thought the same thing for The Day of the Doctor. If your special weapons storage had a nuclear bomb as a self destruct, you wouldn't put it in the middle of London.

    Anyway, I do get the idea it's for dramatic effect in this case. If we really want to get technically boring, given the relative difficulty of scattering viruses, bacteria and even chemicals, it may well be that an explosion would be lucky to trouble anyone past the parking lot to significantly useful effect. Once again, it does raise the question, if it were possible to scour life from the whole of the surface of the UK by blowing the place up, why on Earth would you build it in the first place? Accidents have been known to happen after all ...

    Like the Wolf Creek nuclear reactor, I'm putting that down to artistic licence and other things I don't know (the infamous known unknowns so to speak - or maybe unknown unknowns. I don't know for sure to be honest).
    • CommentAuthorhodengai
    • CommentTimeMar 16th 2014
    Just throwing this out there but what if the Crossed Virus is actually a latent gene? Perhaps it's a self destruct sequence in our dna that gets triggered when our population gets too big? Lets assume the earth's population was the same as it is now when the outbreak occurred, that's a lot of people. That might explain why, barring anything in patient zero, no one has successfully found an external cause for the virus. It would explain why, if certain covers are taken into account, why there are Crossed etchings on walls. When C-day happened it was sudden and on a global scale with no apparent focal point. Perhaps those who first succumbed to it were genetically predisposed to be more susceptible to the effects of the gene. The gene might have always been there manifesting itself in people like mass murderers, rapists, serial killers, etc. Just only now it's ramped up to 11 and now is wreaking havoc in a much stronger more contagious version. If you notice that everything the Crossed do isn't exactly something that humans haven't done at one point or other in lesser forms. We're prone to destroying things, have a tendency towards bizarre sexual kinks, and an inability to delay gratification in certain situations, just to name a few. Perhaps the gene short circuits that part of our instincts that's bent towards self preservation and makes it to where we try to spread the resulting illness in it's stronger form to those of us who, for some reason, have genetically resisted it in its base form. That would explain why the Crossed would rather go after normal people and not each other if they can help it.

    This mechanism will result in a 100% mortality rate to anyone who gets infected perfect for culling a species. We can already assume that most of the human population is either turned or dead. Save for some indigenous groups who may or may not have succumbed to the Crossed virus, there's pretty much no normal people left. With the world mostly now Crossed and regulars scarce, they'll have to turn on each other out of boredom and hunger. I think this will lead to one of two scenarios. Scenario A: The Crossed are reduced dramatically in number like normal people are but continue to evolve in intelligence like we've seen in a handful of cases in Badlands and WYWH. This creates two separate sub specious of humanity vying for dominance of the globe until one finally goes extinct. Scenario B: Evolution continues on with survival of the fittest and the normal humans continue to spread their genes while the Crossed eventually wipe each other out due to lack of desire for self preservation. It's all up in the air really and that's just my take.
    • CommentAuthorShan
    • CommentTimeMar 20th 2014

    It quite possibly could be a gene. The Hater series of novels by David Moody isn't entirely dissimilar to this one and there it was strongly implied it was a gene being activated over a relatively short time frame, leading those who were haters being driven to kill everyone who was not if they could see them. They were otherwise relatively sane in the absence of normal humans though as opposed to you know who.

    So that could be an explanation as to how it sprung up suddenly in a number of places including in the middle of plane flights and the light where everyone got on board normal and stayed that way well into the flight (easily well past the time it takes for something actively infected to turn someone).

    After the gene spontaneously turned everyone it was going to turn, it looks like everyone else who wasn't in the initial wave of spontaneous outbreaks was falling to the second form of infection, some sort of infective particle. The indirect evidence seems strong, get hit by a substance carrying it, become infected. Have a body part that came into contact severed fast enough, you don't.

    Given genetic variance and how it works with every other disease, you'd expect to have both people who are immune and also carriers who could still spread it but don't fall victim to it (potentially to varying degrees, like some carriers showing outward signs, face and voice, and being infective but otherwise remaining normal human beings exactly as they were before they got infected).
    • CommentAuthorHardCory
    • CommentTimeMar 20th 2014
    What if it is like the parasites in the insect world. They lie dormant until the exact time when they are able to be spread to the largest amount of creatures, in an attempt to infect the most, thus thriving as much as possible. Some parasites control bugs to climb trees to get eaten by a bird, to them get crapped out onto grass, to then get eaten by cows, or lambs to infect a greater variety of stronger beings.
    This could be an organism that looks for the strongest animal in the food chain, while simultaneously waiting for the best time to infect a wider array of people. That is why it waits until the plane lands in another land before turning crossed, in order to infect the populace in this new country. Or when people dont become crossed until they are in a more populated areas.
    • CommentTimeMar 20th 2014
    Man. I just finished issue #49 of Badlands and was left unsatisfied. I like some of Daniel Ways other works so I thought he would of done pretty good in the crossed universe but apparently not. Bummer. Thankfully I got Patient Zero coming soooo soon. Very excited about that. I have seen much discussion about some of the cover art providing some insight as too what caused the cross infection. As I recall Garth Ennis once said that he lets the artist go crazy on the covers, he is only very particular about the inside artwork. Wish I could find a link, sure its not hard to find. Point being, I don't think the amazing covers of this series we call Crossed are providing accurate info on how it all started. Many writers do the same as I understand, give artistic freedom to the artist concerning cover art. Which I think is VERY fucking cool. I like seeing Aztecs crossed, or the end result of the crossed "virus" in outer space.( Two covers have done this so far) Or even some archeologists in a cave finding markings on a wall centuries old, and finding out firsthand what they mean. Its all good fun, trying to think of all sorts horrific snapshots in one moment inside "a" crossed universe and not "the" crossed universe.
  1.  (11289.55)
    I too had some disappointment with the recent Badlands arc. I wasn't going to say anything... and I don't want to bash it, but it certainly wasn't the best Crossed arc. The story was a bit flimsy, which I can easily forgive if I'm given a few pages of all out bedlam... but that wasn't really delivered either.

    But most of all, aside from that, the biggest problem I had with the Captain Crispy arc is that I had THEE MOST FUCKING DIFFICULT time discerning some of the characters from others! It was so frustrating! With a few exceptions (Crispy, Wirejaw, Mustache Papa, Kimbo Slice, Crossed Capt. Cuntbeard), everyone kind of looked the same. With a cast that large, the characters need some distinguishable features or behavioral traits or dialects or SOMETHING so I'm not going back and tediously flipping back through the previous issues to figure out the name of the red head with the large breasts... or is this the strawberry blonder with the large breasts? Gah.


    I make comics (as an amateur, of course) so I understand how difficult this shit can be. I still enjoyed it, flawed as it was, just not fully.
    • CommentAuthorShan
    • CommentTimeMar 20th 2014
    Here's a question for all the regular Badlands readers. Going by all the summaries that I can find of all the arcs so far, can they all or mostly be summed up like this?
    The Most Evil Creature of them All (Futurama)
    Episode 3, "The Most Evil Creature of them All".
    Appearance: "Spanish Fry" (4ACV17)

    [Opening credits.]

    Announcer: You're on a scenic route through a state recreational area known as the human mind. You ask a passer-by for directions, only to find he has no face or something. Suddenly up ahead, a door in the road. You swerve, narrowly avoiding The Scary Door.

    [Scene: A scientist is in a Frankensteinesque laboratory mixing chemicals in a beaker.]

    Scientist: I have combined the DNA of the world's most evil animals to make the most evil creature of them all.

    [A pod reminiscent of the ones from the movie "The Fly" opens with a cloud of steam. It clears, revealing a naked human male.]

    Naked Man: It turns out it's man.

    It sounds like a recurring theme seems to be that the real monster is man and that it's only a matter of time before every surviving group collapses in an outbreak of treacherous backstabbing and acrimony. It's as if once the underpinnings of society are taken away, even the uninfected seem to abandon a lot of civilised behaviour and turn on each other.
  2.  (11289.57)

    You're not far off the mark. The "Humans Are Bastards/Humans Are The Real Monster" trope was already a regular staple in zombie apocalypse fiction, which Garth Ennis - ironically - tried to deconstruct in the original Crossed series. In Night of the Living Dead the survivors in the farm house basically collapse because of mutual mistrust and actimony, and the last survivor (a black man) ends up shot (mistakenly or on purpose) by his would-be rescuers. Then in Dawn of the Dead you have the SWAT raid on the barrio - with copious amounts of bloodshed - and the biker gang's raid on the mall at the end. And in Day of the Dead you have the people in the underground facility divided into scientists vs military, with John and McDermott trying to stay neutral, and they also get overrun, of course. Still, for me it didn't get truly egregious until Land of the Dead 20 years later, which had a lot of potential but got ruined by Romero's insistence in showing the zombies as the underdogs and a metaphor for the oppressed masses, or something. That's when I realized that the old man had finally lost the plot.

    Anyway, to get back to Crossed, in my opinion over half of the Badlands arcs have pretty much gone the way you describe it: Homo Superior, Yellow Belly (which was good before the requisite diabolus ex machina ending), The Golden Road (the one with Gideon Wells and the Poe orgy), Amanda's arc has her going nuts and preying on other survivors (and all of that pretty much sucked, in my mind) and the recent one. The Badlands arcs that seem to go against this flow are Ennis' first two arcs (the Scotland one and Fatal Englishman), Si's Mattias and American Quitters arcs (only when the Mexican chick's hubby shot Errol did things go to hell, and he wasn't part of the group), Quisling (seeing as it just followed Oliver leading the Crossed to other survivors) and Gore Angels (Emiko's group was holding on until Al the Chemist barged in and infected her parents, Cody and Nathalie). It's no coincidence to me that four of the aforementioned six arcs were written by either Garth or Si. Of course, the "Humans are the Real Monster" trope was already pretty much established in the original series with Stan's famous musing that the Crossed do nothing that ordinary humans haven't done. FWIW, my opinion in all this is that even a cataclysmic event like the Crossed plague does not give the non-Crossed a license to abandon all morality. Unlike the Crossed, the non-Crossed still have a choice: they can either be evil (like Joseph Pratt, Harold and others in the series) or they can choose to help their fellow man as well as they can (Harry, Paddy, Jock and Taff, Jackson, Addy Pratt, the soldiers in Crossed 3D...)
  3.  (11289.58)
    As for the most recent arc, I too am a tad disappointed in it. It had an interesting premise, and the island that they went to (Fort Jefferson) had the potential to be an American Cava. However, as was previously mentioned here, the resulting story seemed to be a mishmash of previous arcs, and I agree that it was occasionally difficult to tell the characters apart from each other. And the penultimate page (showing the Crossed in front of the tower) seemed to be only half of a page spread, with the other half missing. And what happened to the last two teenaged girls? Was their fate left purposefully ambiguous, so that they can be brought back in a later arc like Amanda?

    Of course, this arc also had to have the requisite downer ending, with the survivors well on the way of wiping themselves out even without the Crossed invasion. It wasn't the worst Badlands arc - the Captain character was interesting, if only because of his sheer determination (gotta hand it to him, willing to walk through an inferno in order to prevent infection requires a heck of a pair) - but not the best either.
    • CommentAuthorMrBogey
    • CommentTimeMar 21st 2014
    @VoteForDuvall- "I too had some disappointment with the recent Badlands arc. I wasn't going to say anything... and I don't want to bash it, but it certainly wasn't the best Crossed arc. "

    Word for word my exact sentiments. My assessment is the same as yours as well. The characters had a hard time being established because not only was there physical similarities but the time hopping made changes in the unestablished characters hard to follow. The characters really had no chance to develop and the story suffered tremendously because of it.

    Tropes aren't bad. Anyone will tell you every story has been done. The challenge is to make it interesting and capture the audience. The latest arc didn't do a good job and I would keep it away from anyone just getting into the Crossed series.

    As to the Crossed infection vector. I suppose it could be a cellular cancer, a nanomachine of some sort, a new class of reproductive molecule, divine plague, or even an extradimensional "virus".

    It doesn't strike me as bacterial in nature due to the way in which it is transmitted so readily upon contact and seems to instantly infect all cells. No bacterial agent can really do that so fast. It behaves like a virus but it's so targeted and seems to have such a wide transmission vector that even simple contact causes rapid spread. Viral definitely describes the characteristics. Which I suppose covers the other possibilities I mentioned as they'd all behave the same. I suppose if there was a new catalyst, some molecule, that could cause a rapid and self-replicating genetic switch because as someone else mentioned, its effect seems to be highly targeted on humans and only humans. The response of the victim seems to depend upon the location and amount of infected tissue they come in contact. Which I suppose indicates the payload quantity is a factor in the switch.

    I mention extradimensional "virus" only really in jest but there was a story I once read about an agent that could alter matter on a level beyond our known understanding of physics and was transmitted by simple contact. So I throw it out there as a WAG.

    Like everyone else, it'll be nice to see patient zero.
    • CommentAuthorNo Fear
    • CommentTimeMar 22nd 2014
    Just read Yellow Belly and Quisling arcs (I'm catching up slowly) which were pretty darn good imo, then you get stuff like the Amanda stories which are just awful.

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