Review: Crowded #1

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.

Fun with a pop sense of style, that’s my general thought about Crowded #1 that feels like a spoof of both the action genre and the Uber-economy. Taking place in the future, Charlie is forced to have numerous jobs scraping together a living through a few hustles. She babysits, drives a car, rents her card, walks dogs, all through apps that enable her to hop from one thing to another. It’s the on-demand economy that’s front and center in the story written by Christopher Sebela.

Crowded feels like a brilliant commentary about today’s society and with Charlie being targeted for assassination, it also feels like it’s a statement how the Uber-economy needs to die. Sebela and team feel like they’ve put together a story that’s a subtle jab at the subject reminding me of classics like Robocop and Starship Troopers with satire and commentary throughout that needs, and deserves to be, explored. There’s of course something by issue’s end that may shake up that initial take but that seems like it’ll be part of the fun of this series.

Ro Stein provides the art along with color by Triona Farrell, ink by Ted Brandt, and lettering from Cardinal Rae. The style is one that has an Aeon Flux sense about it all mixed with bright colors that creates a pop feel to what is a gritty action story. It’s John Wick with lots of yellows and pinks, full of action and awesome to look at.

The first issue is a winner delivering humor and a flow visually and through the narrative that sucks in the reader and makes you want more. There’s a pacing that takes you through it all and gets you to the other end waiting for more action and wanting more humor as we explore this world and characters. And, with the shiny action outside, there’s an interior depth that begs to explored and debated.

Story: Christopher Sebela Art: Ro Stein
Color: Triona Farrel Ink: Ted Brandt Lettering: Cardinal Rae
Story: 8.5 Art: 8.5 Overall: 8.5 Recommendation: Buy

Image Comics provided Graphic Policy with a FREE copy for reviews