Title: Crowded #2
Writer: Christopher Sebela
Artist/Cover: Ted Brandt, Ro Stein, Skyler Patridge
Publication Date: September 12, 2018
Publisher’s Summary: The million dollar Reapr goal on Charlie Ellison’s head keeps going up, drawing more unqualified and overarmed users to try and kill her and her bodyguard Vita, who’s desperately trying to keep her only client alive. When the sanctity of Vita’s home is invaded and they have to find a new safehouse, they’re dragged through some dark corners, and begin to uncover who started this campaign.
How do you protect a person, who doesn’t understand the meaning of “laying low?” That’s Vita’s struggle this issue as Charlie Ellison seems to bring more trouble down on Vita. First a bunch of would-be assassins show up at her house, then Charlie drags her out to a club where things take an unfortunate turn, and finally, instead of being home tucked away in her comfy bed, Vita is stuck in a motel with a girl who is destines to drive her insane.
Crowded #2 is slow burn of exposition and action. Christopher Sebela kicks off this issue with another life or death showdown that quickly spirals into a another harebrained adventure. In between the action this issue, Sebela peppers in plenty of background on the world of Crowded, bringing the readers up to speed on the crowdfunded anarchy that runs the towns and people in this series. Sebela also teases at a reason for the million dollar girl campaign, but leaves plenty of room for this to develop further in later issues. Perhaps the best part of this issue was the scene at the comic book shop, it was a little cheesy, but it lightened the tone, providing some relief from a very dense issue.
Ted Brandt and Ro Stein’s art this issue remains edgy, with just a hint of grit, broken up by the contrasting colors. The depiction of the straight lined and angular Vita is brilliantly contrasted by the curvy and softer Charlie, further emphasizing their own character traits and differences found in the script. As for the world itself, Crowded continues to resemble our world, but with colors that highlight the tone of the series.
The Bottom Line:
Crowded #2 is an excellent follow-up to the action packed first issue. Now that many of the general questions about the world of Crowded are answered, I’m looking forward to delving deeper into the reason behind the crowdfund campaign and the identity of its originator.