Reviews

Review – Crowded #12 (Image Comics)

  • Writing - 9/10
    9/10
  • Art - 9.5/10
    9.5/10
  • Overall - 9.25/10
    9.3/10

Crowded #12

Writer: Christopher Sebela
Artists: Ro Stein & Ted Brandt
Colorist: Triona Farrell
Letterer: Cardinal Rae
Publisher: Image Comics
Maturity Rating: T+
Release Date: March 25th, 2020

Crowded #12 brings us back to Charlie and Vita and the insane task they have at hand: keeping Charlie from being murdered by the millions of people who want a lot of cash.

Overall
9.3/10
9.3/10
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Cultists, Loyalty, and Tension in Crowded #12

It’s safe to say that Vita and Charlie have been having a rough go of it. That is a fact that will not change in Crowded #12. After all, we’re talking about a woman who has an ever-increasing sum available to the person that kills her, and the bodyguard hired to protect her.

This is a world where technology has hit new levels, and along with it has come several new types of social media and crowdfunding. For example, you hate your neighbor? Start a Reapr campaign to take care of it.

Crowded #12 (Image Comics) main cover by Ro Stein, Ted Brandt & Triona Farrell
Crowded #12 (Image Comics) main cover by Ro Stein, Ted Brandt & Triona Farrell

Unfortunately, Charlie’s life isn’t that simple. She wasn’t (simply) a bad neighbor, so the people who crowdfunded her death are much higher in number, and have much deeper pockets. That leaves Vita constantly fighting to stay ahead and keep their charge alive.

Writing

Crowded #12 was such a unique and brilliant reading experience. Christopher Sebela delivered something new and interesting here, from start to finish. It was exactly what fans have been hoping for. No, it was even more than that.

The perspective shown in the first part of this issue was completely unexpected. Yet, it worked, adding layers to the depth and tension of what is occurring. It also added a hefty layer of foreshadowing for later. That might not have been possible with any other storytelling style, at least, not without a huge break in the show-versus-tell department.

The growing tension between Charlie and Vita has been obvious since the first issue. Yet Sebela has grown their relationship in unexpected, yet organic, way. That being said, Crowded #12 has done so much both to and for their relationship, providing a sense of organic drama.

Honestly though? The best part about this issue is just how painfully human Vita read. This is a character who has a lot of flaws, and yet they are arguably a better person than almost any other character we’ve seen. There’s an important lesson to take from that.

Art

If you’re looking for an issue with lots of creative artwork, then be sure to check out Crowded #12. Everything from cerebral scenes to clever color palettes is utilized to make this issue feel larger than life. And it shows.

Ro Stein and Ted Brandt were the lead artists, providing us the sometimes tense, sometimes comical foundation for this issue. The characters in this series have huge personalities, but if not for the artwork, that fact wouldn’t shine nearly so brightly. It felt like their emotions were clearer than ever in this issue, and I loved it.

Triona Farrell provided the colors, and they did a fantastic job. The color palette, in the beginning, made it immediately clear whose perspective we were seeing from. It sold it in an instant and really brought the whole concept home. Likewise, the more tech-oriented scenes were clean and bright, which is perfect.

Finally, Cardinal Rae was the letterer for this issue, and they had so much to work with here. We’re talking about multiple monologues, viewpoints, and foreshadowing to fit in the pages. Yet they did so with finesse.

Conclusion

Crowded #12 was a fantastic and highly entertaining reading experience. It kept me on the edge of my seat while reading, and I sincerely hope that I’m not the only one. It was full of drama and tension, naturally. But it also went a long way in reminding us of the humanity and past of the characters we’ve come to love. And don’t forget all of that foreshadowing dropped at the end of the issue!


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About the author

Cat Wyatt

Cat Wyatt is an avid comic book reader, as well as a reader of novels. Her favorite genres are science fiction and fantasy, though she's usually willing to try other genres as well. Cat collects Funko Pop figures, Harry Potter books (different editions), and has more bookshelves than she's willing to admit.

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