Want to know what you need to do to achieve everything you’ve desired? Well, there’s an app for that. Your Major Spoilers review of Crave #1 from Image Comics, awaits!
Writer: Maria Llovet
Artist: Maria Llovet
Colorist: Maria Llovet
Letterer: Maria Llovet
Publisher: Image Comics
Cover Price: $3.99
Release Date: November 29th, 2023
Previously in Crave: A mysterious app that promises to make your desires come true, spreads among the students at an elite university who use it as a hookup app.
WANNA SEE MORE?
Crave #1 opens on the campus of a university as the students are already talking about an app called Crave that has shown up on everyone’s phone. Rumors are spreading about those who have already given it a shot and that it worked. Those talking about the app include David and his friend Albert. They then come across a proclamation of love painted on the floor of a commons building, apparently done because the app had told the perpetrator to. The pair are joined by David’s girlfriend Charlotte and then her two friends. The group eats lunch in the quad and continues to discuss the app when David gets a message, which turns out to be an explicit picture sent by a girl he’s familiar with named Alexandra. After lunch, David and Charlotte get into a little tiff which ends with David breaking up with her. In class, David and Albert discuss the break-up, David’s history with Alexandra, and who Albert wants to get with. After class, a school official comes in searching for a trio of students whom no one had seen that day. Back in their dorm David and Albert meet one of the students that were being looked for. He leaves quickly before showing the other two the note he had left for them. Later on, David is in the halls trying to avoid Charlotte’s friends and ducks into a room where he finds a professor with a student who’s doing everything he can to raise his grade.
MORE CW THAN HBO
Crave #1 comes on strong and establishes itself as a new take on the sort of Cruel Intentions, oversexed rich kids’ drama, style of drama. Now, there are some explicit moments in this issue, but honestly, this feels kind of tame, especially for its premise. The idea of an app that can give people step-by-step instructions to get the thing they desire is interesting. I admit, this very well could be the point here, but reading about how a bunch of college students utilize a very powerful tool to essentially find the most efficient way to bang, isn’t exactly a fun reading experience and its mild-ness makes it feel very much like a step above a network television late-night soap opera. This feeling is only enhanced by some rough batches of cheesy dialog and some situations that are handled with the nuance of a sledgehammer. There are interesting elements here though, in particular some more psychological aspects that touch on things like trauma and desire. But for every moment that begins to explore these things, there are many more like “handsome womanizing jerk making fun of a dorky character.” A lot of these issues come down to a lack of commitment. The premise, the setting, the characters, and the plot all lend themselves to a more mature comic, but this just seems to have one foot on the mild side of things. To be clear, this is rated Mature, but it feels like this is just due to content and not tone.
A VISUAL MIXED BAG
The art in Crave #1 is a confusing thing. Not in that it’s hard to tell what is going on, but in that, it’s really inconsistent both in quality and in style. There are some close-ups of her that remind me immediately of some of the close-ups done by Jean Giraud or Philippe Berthet. Then there are times when it comes off really amateurish, in particular in wide panels where there’s more to see than just a face. Also, there are a couple moments when anime-style elements like exaggerated lines to show embarrassment or just giant exclamation points hovering above heads when they’re surprised. But these things aren’t used consistently and feel as if they are only there when it was clear the intended emotion wasn’t getting across.
BOTTOM LINE: A SEXY STORY THAT DOESN’T COMMIT
Crave #1 desperately wants to be a sexual thriller with beautiful rich people. But it just doesn’t commit and what’s left is a bunch of barely defined characters running around trying to get into each other’s pants. Any sort of intrigue around the app itself is minor at best. There are some nuggets of some psychological issues that could be cool to explore, it’s just unclear if they’ll get their chance with everything else going on. 2 out of 5 stars.
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Crave #1 presents itself as if it has something interesting to say about desire, social media, trauma, wealth, and relationships but is ultimately a pretty shallow read.