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Comic Review: FTN reviews Crowded #1

October 27th, 2018 by Dave Bowling Comments

The gig economy doth provide.

Writer: Christopher Sebela
Pencils: Ro Stein
Inks: Ted Brandt
Colouring: Triona Farrell
Lettering: Cardinal Rae
Publisher: Image

It’s the near future. The Western World now runs on automation, to the point where the majority of Americans eke out a living through the gig economy. In a world where even McDonalds serves its burgers from a vending machine, if you need someone to do something for you, there’s an app for it.

That’s where Charlotte Ellison, our sort-of heroine comes in. She’s a shallow LA party girl with dyed pink hair and a multitude of jobs through a multitude of apps. She’ll walk your dog, drive you to work, babysit your kids, tutor your teenager in maths, even rent you her apartment for a weekend, all at the tap of a smartphone. But there’s another app in this near future, an app named Reapr that lets you crowdsource assassinations on people you don’t like. The more people contribute, the bigger the hit and the more likely it is someone will take the job on. And Charlie has somehow managed to run up a bounty of more than $1.2 million. The solution? Well, as with everything, there’s an app for that…

Charlie is terrified, so gets herself a bodyguard from an app called Dfend. The only bodyguard who’ll take her job is Vita Slatter, a dogged professional who is unfortunately also the lowest-ranked bodyguard on the app. It’s your usual Odd Couple territory, but married with extreme violence as any amateur with a gun tries to cash in on a bounty that might let them retire. So, fun then.

Issue 1 sets the premise up nicely. Ro Stein and Ted Brandt’s artwork illustrates the sheer confused hell of someone that considered herself nothing but another brick in the wall being dropped into the spotlight in the worst way. Chris Sebela’s script is sharp and the dialogue punchy enough to keep you interested and ready for the next issue. Which, in all honesty, is even better.

4 out of 5 nerds

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Dave was born at an early age to parents of both sexes. He has been a self-confessed geek for as long as he can remember, having been raised through the 80s on a steady diet of Doctor Who, Star Trek, Red Dwarf and (sigh) Knight Rider. Throw the usual assortment of Saturday morning cartoons into the mix and we have something quite exceptional: someone with an encyclopaedic knowledge of utter tosh; a love of giant robots and spaceships fighting; and the strange desire to leap tall buildings in a single bound while wearing his underpants over his trousers. The death ray is currently in the works and one day you shall all bow to him, his giant space station and fleet of funky orange space shuttles...