Brian Wood's Starve: get to your comic shop now!

Brian "DMZ" Wood's new comic from IMAGE is Starve, and issue one, which just hit shelves at your local comic shop is the strongest start since Warren Ellis's Transmetropolitan.

Mega-star celeb chef Gavin Cruikshank was in a luxury Beijing suite when the global economy tanked, taking his show and its network with it, leaving him destitute. Since then, he's "gone native" in an unnamed fleshpit, somewhere in the Pacific Rim, where he drugs and drinks his way through the days while the kickboxers beat each other to death in the ring below.

That is, until someone from the network finds him and tells him that the network has arisen from the ashes — and he still owes them a season.

In the years that Cruikshank's been away, the 99.9% have dropped even further behind the 0.1%, living on stray dogs and sleeping in shantytowns. His old celebrity cooking show has been transformed into a kind of precarity deathmatch where chefs compete to prepare the flesh of endangered species to the exacting tastes of super-elite overlord judges.

That's not the only change: Cruikshank's ex-wife, who is justifiably and righteously pissed at him for failing to mention for the first decade-plus of their marriage that he was secretly gay, has a few vengeful surprises in store for him — and then there's the matter of his daughter, who's become an adult while he was wallowing in self-pity in a distant hell-hole.

It's a fast, furious opening to an amazing new story from one of my favorite creators. Wood and his long-term collaborators Danijel Zezelj and Dave Stewart has the first story completed and a collection already scheduled. The story is a heady mix of elite panic, grotesque wealth concentration, and precarity, and it could hardly be more timely.

What the story is about is this aging chef who emerges from his self-imposed exile into this world of foodie culture he barely recognizes. He gets back on his old TV show Starve and vows to tear it all down, this blasphemy to what he considers the sacred art of cooking. Along the way, of course, he has troubles, from both his peers and his family. He has a lot of burned bridges that need mending.

The story has a lot of heart, especially when it comes to his estranged wife and daughter, and also a lot of dark humor.

Starve #1 [Image Comics]

Food Ain't Fun In Brian Wood's Starve [Vince Brusio/Previews World]

Preview: Starve #1 [Comic Book Resources]