Reviews, Comics

Crave #4 Advanced Review: Cards on the Table

Experience the latest issue of Maria Llovet’s Crave, the Image Comics series about a mysterious app that makes sexual fantasies a reality.

Crave 4 Review Cover
Image: Image Comics
By: Javier ReyesMar 6, 2024, 9:30 AM

Crave #4

Review
Rating
8
Good
Crave 4 Full Cover

Writer: Maria Llovet

Artist: Maria Llovet

Publisher: Image Comics

Release Date: March 6, 2024

Page Count: 24

Format: Single-issue

Crave is back with a more subdued issue that sheds light on the mysterious app and how it’s got the entire school campus in a hormone-driven chokehold. Maria Llovet dazzles again with her eye-catching art in an issue that lays out all its cards on the table.

Maria Llovet’s Crave turned heads last year when it debuted with its provocative story about a mysterious app that pushes people to pursue their most carnal desires. The beautifully raw art showcased Llovet’s passion for mature themes and storytelling, making it a clear standout from most comics you typically see on the shelves. It has since been a fun ride filled with drama and steamy sexual tension. But now that the miniseries has reached the back half of its story, how does the unique premise hold up? Check out my review of Crave #4 below and find out more! 

Crave 4 - people talkingImage: Image Comics

Overview

David, Alexandra, Albert, and Sofia make their way out of the chaos happening on campus. They find refuge in Daga Couture, the fetish, BDSM, and tarot shop owned by the friend and employer of Alexandra. While at the seedy shop, the group gets a tease of what Alexandra is up to when she’s outside the school grounds. The group also uses the safe time to catch up with Kei and his surprising connections with the Crave app. It turns out the app’s power runs much deeper than anyone thought.

Review

In my review of Crave #1, I talked about how the series reminded me of zombie fiction. With the app’s influence slowly spreading through a posh college campus, there was an eerie sense of students getting “infected” as they succumbed to their deepest desires. While issues #2 and #3 carried on that feeling of creeping escalation, this latest issue pulls the veil back on the story to reveal more about what started the Crave app, how it works, and why it’s causing a wave of uncontrolled hormones throughout the campus. This issue would be the part in zombie movies when the surviving party learns what caused humanity’s downfall and how they can push forward to fix things. Surprisingly enough, the origins of Crave are much less mystical and more rooted in science fiction. Like a sexually charged episode of Black Mirror, Crave reveals how the app uses carefully formulated calculations to nudge the students to act all hot and bothered. It may not be the sexiest revelation in the world, but it does a fine job of guiding what the group has to deal with as the situation at school gets out of hand.

Crave 4 - people surprisedImage: Image Comics

Speaking of guides, tarot cards are the core theme of this latest issue of Crave. With the introduction of Alexandra’s “boss” Daga, she deals and reads tarot cards while the others learn more about the mysterious app and how to stop it. While I’m not so versed on the supposed meanings of each card myself, the emphasis on The Hangman, Justice, and Death is foreboding enough for me to know that the group faces a dangerous road ahead of them. It makes for a nice touch for the story’s build-up as the miniseries creeps into its final stretch of issues. 

As expected by now, Maria Llovet’s art stands out with its rough lines and detailed character expressions. This issue is much less explicit than the first three installments, but you still get a great sense of the passion brewing between the characters. Especially with David and Alexandra, as those two continue showing that they can barely keep their hands off each other. Another detail about the art I’ve grown to love about the series is how upfront it is with showing previews. Instead of leaving readers with just the usual cliffhangers at the end, each issue includes two full-page previews of the next issue. It reminds me of watching teen dramas like Gossip Girl or The OC (I’m showing my age a bit here) and how they show snippets of “On the next episode of…” to drum up anticipation for what’s coming. The next issue’s preview shows how things are not looking great for Charlotte as her emotions spiral out of control. So, as spicy as the series has been, I’m eager to see how the drama gets dialed up even more for its final issues.

Crave 4 - people playing cardsImage: Image Comics

Final Thoughts

Maria Llovet’s Crave continues its hot streak of delivering fun issues brimming with drama and character. Even with an issue that’s less raunchy compared to earlier installments, it establishes key story pieces that set the mood right for the comic’s upcoming thrilling climax. This series will be a great pickup once its six-issue run wraps up and gets collected in a trade paperback. The raw and passionate art style of Llovet makes this series an absolute must-have on your shelf. 

Why You Should Read Crave

  • Maria Llovet’s art is raw and eye-catching.
  • The story often gets spicy, if you know what I mean.
  • It’s reminiscent of classic teen dramas but with a slight sci-fi twist. 

TAGGED: Image Comics
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