Written by Christopher Sebela
Art by Ro Stein
Inks by Ted Brandt
Colors by Triona Farrell
Letters by Cardinal Rae
Charlie has a huge problem and she needs the best help she can find to help her with it. Unfortunately, she can’t afford that and has to take the only Defender that will agree to meet her, Vita Slatter. After agreeing to meet with her potential client, she makes her first kill of the series and the back story of Charlie Ellison. As the reader is treated to a walk into the world of future social media and crowdsourcing apps, we find out that Charlie has a crowdsourced bounty on her head of over a million dollars. As the pair negotiate whether or not Vita will take Charlie on as a client, a group of citizens decide that they are going to cash in, but they are unsuccessful.
After taking her potential client to her safe house, Vita tries to find out more about who Charlie is and who would want her dead. She lays out the rules of her home and does everything she can to make sure that the young woman is safe. It’s a task easier said than done when it turns out that Charlie has some secrets of her own. Secrets that just might get the both of them killed.
Crowded starts off with an interesting concept and does a really good job of drawing in the reader as a witness to the story of Charlie and Vita. Their interpersonal dynamics are another interesting part of the story. You find yourself empathizing with Vita as Charlie, her life and her secrets become annoying and tiresome. It’s a testament to the writing that I was able to have such a visceral reaction to a character from the first issue. Sebela draws the reader in with these characters and sets up some really intriguing mysteries to come.
Ro Stein’s art was great in this issue. I really loved the panel composition and the camera angles used in the action scenes as well as the background details. My favorite shot in the issue is the cut away scene of Vita’s house as she gives Charlie the tour. It’s a brilliant idea and works really well with the scene. The entire page was full of rich detail that caught my eye. Definitely interested in seeing where this story goes next from the ending.