By Brian Wood, Danijel Zezelj & Dave Stewart
Gavin Cruikshank is now neck-deep in the dark decadence that is the hit show, Starve. His rival Roman wants nothing more to discredit and ruin the former ace chef. As the finals begin, Gavin is thrown a curveball, which forces him to return to his past and truly see the bleak state of the world…
This issue definitely has a more expedited pace than the debut, but that makes sense. Now that readers know who Gavin is, and what the conflict and the setting are, Brian Wood throws the audience into the meat of the book. He makes it no secret how he sees the possible state of society in the future and it’s not pretty. What is refreshing is that this isn’t just some run-of-the-mill post-apocalyptic or dystopian future that has been depicted in the past. The fact that it is set in the near future really grounds the material. Danijel Zezelj and Dave Stewart’s Manhattan has an edge and grit that actually matches how some parts of the city look today. Going through this book, it almost feels as if one is looking through a skewed mirror….chilling.
Wood brings Roman to the forefront as one of the main antagonists and the character’s Kingpin-esque physique is a great contrast to Cruikshank. It’s fascinating to see how Gavin is forced to live in both worlds of society. His appearance, actions and words reflect this as well. Wood and his co-creators have developed what looks to be an intricate protagonist. The social commentary is present more than ever and as explicit as it is, it doesn’t feel heavy-handed. It is worked into the script where it feels organic and necessary. It’s still surprising how intriguing this comic is only two issues in.
Zezelj and Stewart continue to bring a unique style to this series. The food presented to the elite looks appetizing, but the aristocrats are rendered as ugly or with little definition, almost as if they are ghosts. Only Gavin’s daughter is presented beautifully. There are many visual dichotomies laden within the pages of this comic, intentional or not, that make Starve a complex story operating on many levels.
This new Image title maintains the strength carried over from the premiere issue. The characters and world are becoming more developed, only revealing the dark potential this series seems to have. It continues to be a fresh read and worth comic fans’ time!