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You Missed That Issue? Crossed: Family Values #6

Welcome the series spotlighting some of the best single issues in comics from the past decade. You will not find Watchmen, Sin City, Dark Phoenix Saga or Action Comics #775 anywhere on this list. These are comics that, with a little effort, you'll find on the Internet or lost in the back issues of your comic book store. Because this article is not a review, and since these issues are not necessarily new, any surprise, cliffhanger or death will be spoiled in an attempt to show why the book shouldn't have been missed.

Crossed is a creator-owned series from writer Garth Ennis and artist Jacen Burrows. It all started with Crossed #0 on August 27, 2008 and all 10 issues have been released. The second series Crossed: Family Values is written by David Lapham and drawn by Javier Barreno.

On a pristine horse breeding ranch, the Pratt family lead a secure and somewhat secluded life style. The ranch and the family is lead by Joesph Pratt. A strong and God fearing man who is adored and feared by his family. Adeline Pratt is the third oldest of the ten Pratt children. She's smart, cunning and the lead protagonist. Coming to the aid of her abused younger sister, Addy calls her father out on the subject. As soon as she receives her answer, the Crossed invade the ranch and wreak havoc.

Many deaths and months later, Addy has found her place as a leader in her small group that she keeps moving to avoid the Crossed. With the burden of two new born, a fatigued and partly crippled group, she unknowingly waits for her Crossed infected mother to arrive with a small posse of her own. The journey of Addy's group has settled for a moment, got a bit conferrable and increased by two. Now nothing is left to do but enjoy the calm before the storm.
This is book is nothing short of brilliant due to the fact that it rewards the reader (as with the characters) with a little down time. There's time to take a breath and soak up everything. To appreciate what everyone has gone through and what's going to happen next. The addition of a two new born babies from mothers Hannah and Kate, an impromptu union and the mental and physical break down of a strong supporting group member in Liza. Even as a 7 issue mini, Family Vales is the essence of an outstanding narrative pace. In other words, it's the perfect beginning to the end.

The real treat is Addy. The reader finally gets to take her all in due to the fact that she is written in such a way that is allowed to grow in to this strong leader. From being able to stand up to an abusive father that the whole family worshiped, to becoming the corner stone of her traveling family. She shows so many sides by making mistakes, showing she's vulnerable, scared and still young. Most importantly of all she shows her feelings when dealing with the group. She's more that just the “hero”, she's flawed, she's human.

All of these in characteristics that Addy showcases are increased due to the fact that she's dealing with the Crossed. The Crossed are not zombies, they're humans that are tore down to pure animalistic insanity. There is literally a sense of intensity when the Crossed show up because no one is safe.

The balance that Merrily (Addy's mother) creates complements Addy's struggle perfectly. The daughter, who is now in the nurturing mother role with her group of survivors. Where as Merrily fearfully stood by and let her children be abused. Include the family members that Addy is trying to save versus the ones that she is loosing to the Crossed who seem to be following Merrily's slightest whim. There's a little role reversal that underlines the entire book. One of the reason Family Values # 6 Blood Ties is something special is simple. It encompasses the hallmark of pacing in a narrative. A perfect entry for the book's climatic finally to simply stroll in and entertain you.


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