You cannot predict this book, and I cannot predict my reaction to it. On first reading, issue 5 left me cold. Despite the hideous tease of the gruesome cover art, all the focus was on the suvivors, who I have no particular sympathy for in the main. So, Crossed without the 'cross'. The whole point, I thought, of 'Crossed' was to be shocked and outrages by the appalling destruction and death wreacked by the infected sadists with the 'cross'.
I re-read it, and I think I get it. Although it is not fantastically engaging and gripping, there are some characters - Cindy and Patrick in particular - who I want to get through okay. There were some nice little touches showing the quiet ruthlessness that has been borne out of neccesity (such as giving a broken man a gun to 'look after'), and it all made sense. A lull before the undoubted upcoming storm. This issue was about hope, and that was neatly encapsulated in a great final 4 pages. Ennis is letting us believe there may be some hope. Whether he allows the characters the chance of happiness is debatable, but the change of pace did work. Crossed #5 gets a 7 out of 10.
The Stand: American Nightmares #3
I can sum this up very quickly. There will never be a better Stephen king comic adpatation than this. The art is outstanding, the writin faithful to the book. It really does the fantastic source material justice. The highlight of this issue is the journey through the Manhattan Tunnel - one of the centrepieces of the book, here handled with a flourish. The Stand: American Nightmares #3 gets a 9 out of 10.