No Capes Allowed: Garth Ennis’ ‘Crossed’

by Ryan Rigley

Zombies. What could possibly be scarier than a walking corpse hungry for human flesh? Well, if “The Walking Dead” has taught us anything it’s that zombies aren’t the only thing to worry about during a zombie apocalypse. People tend to do some crazy things when pushed into a corner. Crazy, unspeakable things that they might not normally be capable of.

Imagine, if you will, a person that is perpetually stuck in that mindset. Fully functioning human beings without any inhibitions, morals, or emotional attachments to the world around them. Now take that and amplify it tenfold. Garth Ennis, the mad genius behind “Preacher” and “The Boys,” has done just that in his horrifying comic “Crossed.”

Named after the huge, cross-shaped scars on their faces, the Crossed are average people that have been infected by a mysterious plague. The symptoms of this plague? An unquenchable bloodlust that drives them to do the most depraved, vulgar, and inhumane things imaginable to any living being they encounter.

What makes the Crossed so terrifying is the fact that they are still living, breathing people. Unlike zombies, the Crossed are able to speak, run, climb, swim, and drive, making escape a task easier said than done. Also, once a person is infected, they are able to retain their memories prior to the infection. For example, if a mother becomes one of the Crossed, she will remember who her children are and deliberately hunt them down.

A while back there was talk of a “Crossed” movie in development with a script penned by Mr. Ennis himself. However, due to the fact that there hasn’t been any update on the project in over two years, we’re starting to fear the worst. There have already been a handful of similar horror movies that were box-office success stories right off the bat: “The Crazies” and “28 Days Later,” for example. We don’t see why “Crossed” would prove to be any different.

Plus, with the recent success of “The Walking Dead” on AMC, odds are that the vast majority of people are ready for another look into the human aspect of a world overrun by a deadly plague. Afterall, “Crossed” is very similar to “The Walking Dead.” (If “The Walking Dead” was on HBO, that is.)

“Crossed” is probably (probably?) too hardcore for a television series, but a faithful film adaptation could be one of the most horrific things to hit theaters in years. Between the Crossed’s tendency to rape, torture, mutilate and murder, it’s safe to say that some of the violence would likely have to be toned down for a “Crossed” movie. Then again, perhaps someone pulls the trigger on a hard NC-17 “Crossed.” Any other version just wouldn’t be the same “Crossed” we’ve all grown to know and fear.

Leave the masks and tights at home, kids — this is a No Capes Allowed zone. In this column, we’re highlighting all of the non-superhero comic books out there that are ripe for the big and small screen treatment. Leave us your No Capes Allowed picks in the comments section or on Twitter!