Trotter’s Master Plan Unfolds In Crowded #5

by Brendan M. Allen

Things go from bad to oh-crap as the Reapr-shaped net of bad hitmen and desperate civilians begins to close around Charlie and Vita. As their library hideout comes under assault and the campaign rolls past two million dollars, the Million Dollar Girl and the 1.4-Star Bodyguard have to make some hard choices. And quickly.

Charlie almost caught a bullet at the end of the last chapter. Vita walked in on a scene that almost settled the whole REAPR issue, and probably would have lowered her DFEND rating even further, if that’s even possible. Tension is building in Crowded #5, and everyone’s cracking, except that Circe. Trotter’s meltdown is either going to end brilliantly for him, or completely and literally blow up in his face. Either way, it’s going to be spectacular!

Christopher Sebela dials the explosions, car chases, and more explosions back up in this chapter. Despite all that, we get to see a little bit more of the softer sides of Charlie and Vita. They almost even have a tender moment, fleeting as it is. Sebela continues deftly weaving between light satire and extremely dark comedy. The whole thing flows ridiculously well. 

Ro Stein, Ted Brandt and Triona Farrell carry the light and airy visuals into chapter five. Cinematic angles, insane spreads, and a rose-tinted palette give Crowded its signature look. Deceptively simple and sexy, while all hell is breaking loose.

This is the penultimate chapter of the first arc, which means things are going to get buck nutty in the next chapter, AND there’s at least a second arc. I have questions. Where in the world can we go from here? Crowded never slows down. It’s one insane escalation after another. At some point, the whole thing has to collapse, right? What happens if Charlie survives the REAPR campaign? How could she, possibly? Who gets the money? Charlie? Vita? Me? Is it me? I could use $2.5 million.

Crowded #5, Image Comics, released 05 December 2018. Written/designed by Christopher Sebela, pencils by Ro Stein, Inks by Ted Brandt, color by Triona Farrell, letters by Cardinal Rae, logo by Dylan Todd, variant cover available by Paulina Ganucheau.

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