Title: Crowded #1 Publisher: Image Writer: Christopher Sebela
Artist: Ted Brandt, Ro Stein
Cover: Ted Brandt, Ro Stein, Rachel Stott
Publication Date: August 15, 2018
Publisher’s Summary: “Ten minutes in the future, the world runs on an economy of job shares and apps, including Reapr: a crowdfunding platform to fund assassinations. Charlie Ellison leads a quiet, normal life until she’s suddenly targeted by a million-dollar Reapr campaign. Hunted by all of Los Angeles, Charlie hires Vita, the lowest-rated bodyguard on the Dfend app. As the campaign picks up speed, they’ll have to figure out who wants Charlie dead before the campaign’s 30 days—or their lives—are over. From Eisner-nominated writer CHRISTOPHER SEBELA (Heartthrob, We(l)come Back, Harley Quinn), RO STEIN & TED BRANDT (Captain Marvel, Raven: The Pirate Princess), TRIONA FARRELL (Runaways, Mech Cadet Yu), and CARDINAL RAE (BINGO LOVE, ROSE).”
Ever wonder what would happen if the world was run by apps? Enter Crowded #1: a social commentary on our online, plugged-in, and ever-connected lives. Charlie Ellison was just your regular girl, working numerous jobs to pay her way, when all of a sudden the world wants her dead. Now, to stay alive, she’s contracted the help of Vita, a professional bodyguard. As information is transmitted, shared, and downloaded faster than ever before, Charlie will need to lay low until Vita can figure out who wants her dead and why. But Charlie is not about to stand by idly as her life hangs in the balance.
Crowded #1 is a high-energy, action-packed first issue, with a solid narrative foundation. Christopher Sebela works the high-stakes action of this issue and balances it against a bit of mystery and dash of future-dystopian themes. The characters are unique and interesting, with blurry backstories. As for the story itself, Sebela is a master craftsman, working in flashbacks that weave together only a small piece of the story. The pace of the issue is spot on, Sebela is careful to hold back in this issue, creating a substantial amount of tension in the final page. However, it’s his characters that really shine. Both Charlie and Vita are unique and complex, really drawing the reader into the slightly futuristic world of Crowded.
Setting a slightly lighter tone for the narrative is Ted Brandt and Ro Stein’s art; Crowded #1 is full of bright colors and detailed scenes, which makes the reader wonder just how bad life is in this future. The art also works to build the personalities of the characters, Charlie with her wild, red hair and Vita with her brown, business pixie.
The Bottom Line:
Set in the very near future, apps have taken over our day-today lives, but it’s not all for the convenience and connection. Crowded #1 is a thoroughly interesting and exciting read that will leave the readers eager for issue #2.