After escaping a brutal—and televised—attempt on their lives, Charlie and Vita abandon Los Angeles for the utopian desert paradise of Las Vegas. With the Reapr campaign against Charlie now worth over two million dollars, it’s more important than ever to find out who’s behind it and how to shut it down. But the journey is half the battle, and even if they manage to live through two states’ worth of killers, they’ll still have to survive each other.
Crowded is back! After a short hiatus (SIX MONTHS!), Crowded #7 takes the show on the road, specifically I-15N, as Vita and Charlie try to leave all the murder behind in La-La Land. What better place to fit in than Sin City? Weirdos all over. No one should even blink at the girl with pink hair, her tiny dog, or her bodyguard. They do have to get from one city to the other, and travel is proving a little sticky, especially since Charlie is still actively sabotaging Vita’s best efforts to keep her upright and breathing. Does Charlie WANT to die? Because it kinda seems like she wants to die.
Christopher Sebela did a fantastic job of pacing out the first story arc, just teasing out enough information to keep everything weird and awkward between the protagonists. A few pieces here and there, but generally, we only learned about characters as the other characters were also learning about each other. That carries into this second arc, where Charlie and Vita are starting to finally open up a little bit to each other. As they dodge bullets and nunchucks and tire irons and stuff. On a speeding train in a death tube.
On the visual end, Ro Stein, Ted Brandt, and Triona Farrell bring that signature cool and airy Crowded aesthetic into the second arc. The story is incredibly dark, but you wouldn’t know it from the art. Well, I mean, dudes are getting kneecapped and stuff, but in a really light and fun way. I don’t even know who to credit for those diegetic effects, but that integrated Ka-Boom in the opening sequence that starts as muzzle flash and ends as blood spatter? How about that fire stream that spells Woooooooosh? Dead brilliant.
If I’m counting correctly, we’re still in the first week of this REAPR campaign and the bounty on Charlie’s head is already over two million dollars. Things just keep nuttier as the stakes keep rising. Things could really go in any of a thousand different directions from here.
Crowded #7, Image Comics, released 03 July 2019. Line art by Ro Stein and Ted Brandt, colour by Triona Farrell, script/design by Christopher Sebela, letters by Cardinal Rae, edits by Juliette Capra, logo by Dylan Todd, flatting by Katie O’Meara and Holley McKend. Variant cover by Gaby Epstein.