An origin story for the Crossed universe – it's almost as if Ennis took Ellis's zombies (inhibitions stripped, mind still intact) and took them to the next level (no remorse whatsoever for the depravations they cause). Both writers are interested in "that black stuff in the back of our brains that we never act on", but while Ennis uses this to tackle ethical and religious themes, these only get an aside in Ellis's series (the stoic cop muttering "I stopped believing in God when I saw the mommies with black shit in their eyes eating babies").

Instead, Ellis turns in a Dr. Strangelove direction. Infection is harder to avoid in Blackgas, it's almost a kind of chemical weapon transmitted through any bodily fluid. When the zombies are blown up with grenades, the 'pink mist' caused by the explosions does the opposite of contain the threat – bombs just make more zombies. This catch-22 situation lends itself to several metaphorical interpretations, perhaps the most obvious one being that the war on terror creates more terrorists than it destroys. What's interesting is that Ellis grounds the political decision to nuke the horde in the rage, frustration and despair of (male) survivors of the apocalypse who decide to go on the rampage. The female survivor is only concerned with escaping the onslaught, but there are no options available when the (male) policy is to fight fire with fire. An interesting bit of gendering going on here (and almost everywhere in Ellis's work)...

1 comment:

  1. That's a cool insight. I've read it twice now and it completely passed me by. I guess because the thing that really sticks with me for the final part is just the kinda extravagant (if that's the right word?) end of the world porn: just panel after panel after panel of "look at how fucked up things are!" "look!" "look!" "oh my god - now this!" I mean - omg - there's even a bit where you see that a "Salvation Army" sign has been somehow changed to read "the Satanic Army" (I mean - who did that? and WHY?): but yeah - that cop's mother's eating babies line is kinda the whole book in a nutshell: just a little bit too much and a little bit too: "check out how fucked up I can be!!" etc etc