Crossed Plus One Hundred 6

Crossed Plus One Hundred No.5 cover by Gabriel Andrade

Crossed Plus One Hundred No.6 cover by Gabriel Andrade

Below are annotations for Crossed Plus One Hundred, No. 6 “Foundation and Empire”  (24 pages, Cover date: June 2015, released July 15, 2015)
Writer: Alan Moore (AM), Artist: Gabriel Andrade (GA)
>Go to CPOH annotations index
>Go to CPOH timeline
>Go to CPOH language/glossary
>Go to CPOH background, cast of characters

Note: some of this stuff is obvious, but you never know who’s reading this and what their exposure is to any given reference. If there’s stuff I missed or got wrong, let me know in comments, or email linton.joe [at] gmail.com

SPOILERS! HUGE SPOILERS!

General: Basic annotations up – I will continue to refine these – more later. Haven’t updated glossary, map, yet.

Cover

  • The central Crossed is Bashful, the youngest of Beau Salt’s initial six promising disciples.

Page 1

panel 1-3

  • Moore and Andrade employ a clever misdirection here. The voices are Future Taylor, Archie Keller, and Cautious Optimism Kriswyczki, who don’t actually appear on-panel until Page 4. Readers may recall that those three are on horseback at the end of CPOH5, hence, for just a moment, panel 1 appears to be Taylor or Kriswyczki (a close look, of course, reveals it’s a Crossed rider – from bone implements, etc.) . In panels 1 and 2 the reader can’t see the faces of the riders, then panel 3 reveals they are indeed Crossed.
  • The word balloons don’t have tails, indicating an off-panel voice-over. Moore has used voice-overs often, including in Watchmen, Providence, etc.
  • The date is July 27, 2108.
  • There is some ambiguity regarding the time of day. It’s possible that the word balloons take place at the same time as the images (in a different location.) From the dark sky on Pages 1-3, the initial images of the Crossed forces (at Chooga) take place at dawn on the morning of the 27th. The word balloons setting (many miles northeast of Chooga in the Appalachian Mountains) is first shown on P4 below and appears to be roughly mid-day on the 27th. For these annotations, the narrative’s (July 27, 2108) “present” time will be that of Taylor and crew. So the siege of Chooga images are “earlier” in the day.
  • This issue has a masterful pacing, full of great suspense and reveals. The full 2-facing-page-spread scenes alternate between two formats. The start (earlier) is mostly 3-horizontal panel pages depicting the siege of Chooga. These are largely “silent” – with no local noises depicted, though including the faraway voice-over. The Chooga spreads alternate with (present) mostly 5-6 panels/page spreads depicting Taylor and crew riding toward Chooga. The Chooga 3-panels pace feels slowly ominous. The Taylor and Crew mostly 6-panels pace feels fast, scary, frantic, near panic.
    The two time-threads converge on P14, but the alternatingly-paced spreads continue.
    Here’s a list of the issue’s alternating scenes:
    – P1-3 Chooga – earlier – Crossed arrive (panels/page: 3, 1, 3)
    – P4-5 Taylor – present – riding (panels/page: 6, 5)
    – P6-7 Chooga – earlier – bus arrives (panels/page: 3, 3)
    – P8-9 Taylor – present – riding (panels/page: 5, 6)
    – P10-11 Chooga – earlier – siege (panels/page: 3, 3)
    – P12-13 Taylor – present – riding (panels/page: 6, 6)
    – P14-15 Taylor arrives Chooga – earlier and present converge (panels/page: 1, 3)
    – P16-17 Taylor at Chooga – exploring (panels/page: 4, 5)
    – P18-19 Taylor at Chooga – Greer reveal (panels/page: 3, 3)
    – P20-21 Taylor at Chooga – Keller’s charge (panels/page: 6,6)
    – P22-24 Taylor flees Chooga (panels/page: 3,3,1)

panel 2

  • As Moore often does, including in Watchmen, the voice-over from elsewhere pertains to the image depicted. Taylor and Keller are commenting on the tracks they’re observing in the mountains. The panel depicts the “army” causing the “horse-tracks.” The next panel reveals the “heavy peoples carrying something.”

panel 3

  • July 27, 2108 is, to the day, one hundred years after the Surprise – the first Crossed infection outbreak in 2008, as dated in Beau Salt’s diary on P12,p5 of CPOH5. This, of course, nails down the Plus One Hundred in the series title. See also CPOH timeline.
  • The Crossed in the tent is Bashful, one of Beau Salt’s initial six promising Crossed disciples shown on CPOH5 P18,p4. Per CPOH5 P18,p3-4, Bashful was 3 years old in 2029, so he’s about 82 years old now.

Page 2

panel 1

  • The face on the banners is Beau Salt, the phone book killer, whose story is told in CPOH5. The banners are painted in blood, similar to the Salt image at the altar in CPOH5, P11.
  • This issue’s title “Foundation and Empire” references the science fiction novel Foundation and Empire by Isaac Asimov, mentioned very briefly in CPOH4. There are a number of parallels between Foundation and Empire and this CPOH issue: a 100-year gap in a revenge story, a mysterious embedded traitor. (I’ll try to elaborate on this more soon – xxx)

Page 3

panel 1

  • Chooga’s perimeter wall is visible to the left. Moore and Andrade are careful to consistently show the Crossed army approach Chooga from the left of the panel.

panel 2

  • Bashful’s hand is signaling the Crossed forces to wait, until Greer’s ambush is completed.

Page 4

Crossed Plus One Hundred No.6 P4,p1 - art by Gabriel Andrade

Crossed Plus One Hundred No.6 P4,p1 – art by Gabriel Andrade

panel 1

  • These are Future Taylor, Archie Keller, and Cautious Optimism Kriswyczki.
  • The pictures and words are now both the July 27, 2108 mid-day present.
  • This panel is a good guide to the way each of these characters thinks. Taylor is making the broader big picture connections. Keller gets the immediate situation really well (he’s pointing out the horse hoof prints.) And, unfortunately a somewhat underdeveloped character, young Kriswyczki isn’t really getting much.

 

Page 5

panel 1-3

  • Kriswyczki (referring back to what Taylor said on P3,p1) thinks the worst is everyone killed, but Taylor knows that people could be tortured, become Crossed, which would be worse.

panel 5

  • The bird is a bald eagle, the U.S. national bird. It’s perhaps some symbolism about nature persisting after America has ceased to.
  • The transition from P5,p5 to P6,p1 is clever. Kriswyczki mentions the buses, then we turn the page and a familiar steam-bus appears.

Page 6

panel 1

  • As with P1-3, the time is earlier the same day.
  • As on P1, the tail-less word balloons are voices are the Future Taylor, Archie Keller, and Cautious Optimism Kriswyczki.

panel 3

  • This panel is a very similar view to CPOH3 P2, though without any armed guards in sight.
  • This is the same steam-bus as introduced in CPOH1… which is odd, because Greer and crew departed in a different “produce-bus” (see CPOH4 menton P19,p1 shown P20,p1.) Anyone want to suggest why/how?
  • “If you can read this…” – see CPOH1 P4,p4.

Page 7

panel 1

  • Left to right are Oldwoman George, Laura Taylor, and planbosss Churchy John Monroe. George and Monroe represent the leadership of Chooga.
  • “Some kingdom to come after” sounds like Christ’s “thy kingdom come” echoing the religious language describing Salt in CPOH5, see P11, 12, 16, and 18.

panel 3

  • The prior five panels were oriented in a standard way, when Greer and other Crossed come out of the bus (not shown), the view goes diagonal symbolizing Chooga’s stability going out of whack.
  • This panel sets up what could be called a “false page-turn reveal.” Oldwoman George sees something; the reader turns the page but doesn’t see what George saw.

Page 8

panel 1

  • The pictures and words are now back in the July 27, 2108 present.

Page 9

panel 1

panel 4

  • Black and white panels indicate the past. This is a flashback to CPOH2 P19,p1 – but from Kriswyczki’s point of view.

Page 10

panel 1

  • Again, the time is earlier the same day.
  • As on P1, the tail-less word balloons are voices are the Taylor, Keller, and Kriswyczki.
  • The image of present-day panic contrasts with Kriswyczki’s sentiment about violence being from a hundred years ago.
  • Action in comics is read from left to right (as text), so the humans moving left is read as retreating – and sort of up against a wall, because the reader can’t conceive of them as exiting panel-left.

panel 2

  • Bashful gives the go-ahead for his Crossed forces, probably based on hearing sound from Chooga… though the reader is “hearing” Taylor, Keller, and Kriswyczki. This whole page is sort of eerily quiet.

Page 11

panel 2

  • It appears that the Crossed are deliberately killing the men, while capturing women and children alive.

panel 3

  • Humans left to right are Laura Taylor, John Monroe, and Oldwoman George, who is being tortured.

Page 12

panel 1

  • The pictures and words are now back in the July 27, 2108 present.
  • Taylor’s crew now goes by foot. Taylor’s progression over the course of the series has been: battle-bus to steamboat to horse to foot. She’s getting less mechanized, less armored. This is somewhat similar to the protagonist in Alan Moore and Oscar Zarates’s A Small Killing. If I recall correctly, he goes from airplane to car to bike to foot. (Check this xxx)

panel 6

  • Long shadows indicate it’s late. (too late!)

Page 13

panel 2

  • Black and white panels indicate the past. This is a flashback to CPOH2 P19,p1, this time from Taylor’s point of view.
One of Crossed Plus One Hundred's many page-turn reveals. Kriswyckski sees something shocking, which isn't revealed to the reader until the page is turned. CPOH No.6 P13,p6 - art by Gabriel Andrade

One of Crossed Plus One Hundred’s many page-turn reveals. Kriswyckski sees something shocking, which isn’t revealed to the reader until the page is turned. CPOH No.6 P13,p6 – art by Gabriel Andrade

panel 6

Page 14

panel 1

  • Full page and a half bleed reveals Crossed have vanquished Chooga. The sunset is a metaphor for the end of Chooga’s “day.”

Page 15

panel 2

  • Black and white panels indicate the past. This is another flashback to CPOH2 P19,p1, zooming in on Taylor’s point of view.

Page 16

panels 1-4 and P17,p1-5

  • This two page spread has a slightly different format/rhythm than the rest of the comic (see annotations for P1 above.) Rows alternate between one and two panels. The one-panel row (P16,p1 and P16,p4 and P17,p3) have the “quiet” (ie:wordless) horizontal format – similar to P10-11 (and the following P18-19.) In between those horizontal one-panel scenes are smaller, busier, two-panel rows, with dialog. The new format accentuates the unevenness of the chaos that Chooga has become.
Regnum Congo illustration

Brothers de Bry cannibalism illustration

panel 4

  • This image is similar to an African cannibalism illustration by the brothers de Bry from the 16th Century book Regnum Congo. The book and image appear in Moore’s Providence No.3 P7-8.

Page 17

panel 5

Page 18

panel 1-3 and next page

  • The character with his back to us is Robbie Greer, not entirely clear until P19,p5.
  • Page 18 panels 2 and 3, and P19 panels 1 and 2 are all close-ups of parts of P18,p1 – more or less a type of zoom sequence, similar to what Moore used in earlier issues, and other comics, prominently P1 of Watchmen. As with the horizontal panels on P10-11, P16-17, these six panels are “quiet” (ie:wordless.) The reader is inside Taylor and crew’s head, taking in the scene as they glance at various aspects of it.

panel 3

  • The body being burned/roasted is Oldwoman George, identifiable due to the stakes shoved up her nostrils on P11,p3 above (the reader also gets a closer at her on P20,p5 below.)

Page 19

panel 1

  • In the foreground are Laura Taylor, Nudie Wales (now Crossed), Morning Addison (now Crossed), and John Monroe (fallen down.)

Page 20

panel 1

  • Coming soon

panel 3

  • Laura Taylor calls out for “George” who is Oldwoman George, her lover/partner.
  • “When she’s done” apparently means when she’s cooked enough to eat.

panel 4

  • Archie Keller and Nudie Wales were lovers – see CPOH4 P21,p1-2.

panel 5

  • The reader gets a close look at Oldwoman George.

panel 6

  • “Sleepy and Sneezy went elsewhere” first confirms (by a process of elimination) that the elderly Crossed is the one named Bashful. Beau Salt’s initial six promising Crossed disciples (shown on CPOH5 P18,p4) are all named after dwarves from Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs.

Page 21

panels 1-2

  • Future Taylor witnesses Keller shoot and kill her mother Laura Taylor.
  • Greer mentions Bashful’s name for the first time.

panel 3

  • Keller has the presence of mind to lie in order to help Taylor and Kriswyczki escape. Keller asking “how did the gang get infected?” shows he has not yet grasped that Greer has been a traitor for decades. Keller probably still thinks that Greer, Wales, and Addison were attacked by Crossed, become infected, then joined the Crossed forces.

panel 4

  • The reader and Keller learn that Robbie Greer is Jokemercy, the young Crossed who was first successful at speaking like a human see P19-20 of CPOH5. A few commenters suggested this twist after CPOH5, but it was a surprise to me.

Page 22

panel 1

  • Mixed case captions are Taylor writing in her journal, later that night “halfway to Murfreesboro.” For Page 22-24, Similar to earlier (P1-3,P6-7, etc.) the action depicted is taking place earlier than the text.
  • “No AFAWK” replaces AFAWK (as far as we know) – the siege has confirmed the date definitely.

panel 3

  • “He [Greer] was twelve maybe” is based on Greer’s statements from CPOH P3,p5 and P7,p4. Greer was born roughly 2060-63, passed his speaking test (P19-20 of CPOH5) around 2070-72, and arrived in Chooga in 2073, where he was an undercover Crossed spy for 35 years.

Page 23

panel 1

  • Coming soon

Page 24

panel 1

  • “No more later” is in contrast to Taylor’s usual “more later” sign off.

>Go to Crossed Plus One Hundred No.7 (first issue by Simon Spurrier and Fernando Heinz)
>Go to Crossed Plus One Hundred Annotation Index

Advertisements

17 Responses to “Crossed Plus One Hundred 6”

  1. dvn61 Says:

    A few surprises at the end but WOW! that was a very satisfying run.

  2. col1234 Says:

    whoof. well, that was an optimistic ending…yikes. Amazing stuff. Def. Moore’s commentary on, among many things, SF utopianism and American “pioneer spirit.”

    And kudos to the commenter back on the discussion of issue 4 (I think?) who pegged Greer as being suspect. Man 35 years in deep cover is a hell of a long game. Well played, Jokemercy.

    Curious if “Sleepy and Sneezy went elsewhere” implies they’ve had sleeper agents in all of the settlements.

    • col1234 Says:

      also in re the different bus on p 6: maybe implication that Jokemercy & infected crew killed the other bus crew, then took theirs?

      • Joe Linton Says:

        There are certainly ways to explain it – yours makes a lot of sense. I guess my question is why Moore chose to do it that way… maybe throws the scent off Greer for a few more pages?

  3. col1234 Says:

    some more thoughts:

    1) the Beau Salt plan was horrifically masterful. Why waste time and energy picking off isolated settlements every year or so when you can cultivate, over 40 years, a huge “sanctuary” of victims that you’ll reap at the right time? Essentially raising a generation of “cattle” (as the Crossed in #5 says) who have few survival instincts and will just submit to power (as seen with the poor women & kids in the pens). Recall also the ridiculous “crunk” generation who sported crossed tattoos as affectations.

    I suppose Spurrier will show how widespread the plan is. Mustapha mentioned settlements in New York and Boston—could the same thing be happening up there, or is this an Appalachian-only move?

    2) need to check the earlier issues but are the flashbacks Taylor recalls suggesting that Jokemercy nearly broke his cover? That he nearly killed Hoho because she was gunning down infected? It now seems Jokemercy definitely set her up, but it’s odd– did he view here as a potential threat? Taylor was the one he should’ve been watching.

    3) Having control of Chooga gives the Crossed an arsenal of guns and at least one vehicle. It’s odd that they let the balance of power stay this way for so long—you’d think they would’ve gotten guns and bombs at some point in the long game.

    4) I am grateful that somehow poor Cautious Optimism survived. I figured she was a goner.

    • Joe Linton Says:

      1) I was surprised not to see any of the Crunk youth. Possible future plot: Crunk human survives the siege of Chooga, as his disguise fools Crossed?

      2) It’s not clear to me how deliberate Greer killing Ho-Ho was – it’s possible that it was accidental, but my skullbaby is that maybe he expected that her father was a hot-head and would call for revenge, helping set up the big mopping sweep.

      4) I thought Cautious was a goner too – see CPOH2 P23 panels 3-4 – it looked like foreshadowing her death.

  4. Eric Says:

    Yeah, when I read the comments from the last annotation about Greer being Jokemercy, I knew at that moment that it couldn’t happen any other way. It was telegraphed really well in that, “why didn’t I think of that?” sort of way. Shame I spoiled myself, but the first arc follows to a logical conclusion. I bought two of the New World Order covers which seem hard to find, so I should send those to you. They aren’t revealing as much as they are indulgent, torture porn, but I need to get photos of them at least and send them to you.

  5. Angel Says:

    I’ll put this here again – if the sequence with 12-year-old Jokemercy being ‘tempted’ on Crossed +100 #5’s cover happened in 2025, how the hell old is he meant to be in 2108 as of #6?

    Still, it is nice to re-read the whole thing and watch how he was elegantly playing all the rest of them – e.g., his subtle hints and advice. He was the one who emphasised to Oldwoman George the importance of going on further runs, and the one who told her about the supposedly stolen Ostriches…

    • Joe Linton Says:

      I think the 2025 cover can’t be Jokemercy – who wasn’t born until c.2060. It’s an earlier kid.

      Definitely spotting Jokemercy/Greer’s subtle manipulation on re-reads! It’s fun to see how carefully it was set up.

      • Angel Says:

        You sure? It definitely looks like him…I just thought they’d gotten the date wrong.

      • Joe Linton Says:

        The young Crossed look very very similar – too similar – as do the crossed to their right. But the 2025 cover has a different person behind (left) of the young crossed (compare to CPOH5 P19,p4 where attendant has a beard – on the 2025 cover it’s a woman) – so it’s different times in the same cave.

        (I wouldn’t be super super tight over the covers. The cover art is drawn months before the issue – some things – like Mustaqba – don’t match up exactly with the interior art.)

  6. Netley Says:

    I was the guy who predicted the Jokemercy/Greer twist in the comments following issue five’s annotations, and I regret doing so. I hate having a good plot twist spoiled for myself, so in hindsight I think I should have kept that theory to myself. (I would have regretted reading that theory had I not thought of it.)

    Even though it was obviously just a guess on my part, I apologize to any readers who I ruined the surprise for (as well as to Moore and Andrade). Magicians don’t need audience members shouting theories of how the trick is done while the trick is being performed.

    That having been said, what a great ending to this storyline! I really hope Moore and Andrade collaborate again soon!

    I’m not familiar with the creative team that picks up in issue seven, but I’ve heard good things about Spurrier’s Six-Gun Gorilla, and knowing that Moore hand-picked him to continue the story from Moore’s notes gives me a lot of confidence.

    Incidentally, I read A Small Killing for the first time recently and have it here in front of me. You’re correct regarding the protagonist’s technologically-regressive series of vehicles. Specifically, it’s airplane, train, taxi, car, bicycle, then walking. The subtleties contained in that book are monumental (heh), and it’s quite different than anything else Moore has written. (I love the background crowd line “the ambiguity has to be clearer.”)

    Thanks again for the excellent annotations! I see that you’ve also started annotations for Providence, which I look forward to devouring soon (as I have no knowledge of Lovecraft outside of that one Cthulhu South Park episode).

    • Joe Linton Says:

      Good to see your comment. I don’t think that your comments went so far and wide that it was any big deal… it was a good guess. I am curious how Spurrier does on CPOH – I don’t know his work, and I am not expecting full-on Moore – but I think there will be some good Moore-momentum that Spurrier can coast on for a bit.

  7. dvn61 Says:

    Continuing on with the Robbie Greer subject. It has been pointed out through the Crossed series history that no matter how many times uninfected humans try to pass themselves off as infected Crossed they always fail. it is as if the Crossed can sense their own. The irony of Robbie Greer posing as an uninfected while waiting for the anniversary/attack is not lost.

  8. Seigor Bolskan Says:

    Just when I have my brain in Providence, I’m knocked out by this awesome work…

    Thanks.

  9. pandrio Says:

    One question I had is connected to Keller asking Greer about the gang getting infected: would it make sense to ask the average crossed a question like this? I haven’t read any other Crossed books, so I don’t know if there is much chance of productive communication between non-infected and infected. At least from the crossed in CPOH, it would seem like, were Greer not an exceptional case, Keller wouldn’t have much expectation of a productive answer. I think this opens up the scene a little bit: maybe Keller simply hasn’t realized Greer has been crossed for decades, or maybe he is stalling or something along those lines. Could the question itself be seen as evidence that he expects Greer to be particularly articulate for one of the infected? Just a thought!

    • Joe Linton Says:

      Interesting. I haven’t read a lot of other Crossed, but you’re right that there’s not a lot of “productive communication” between them and humans. I think that this basic conversation is plausible, and that a Crossed would like to boast about folks, but mostly I suspect that this is just Alan Moore trying to economically tie up a plot thread.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s


%d bloggers like this: