I wrote in my review of the first volume of this series that I hoped the issues I had with it could be worked out over the next few volumes. Well, that’s not going to happen as this second volume is also “Starve’s” last. I do wonder if Brian Wood saw the writing on the wall after finding out the sales of the first five issues and subsequent collection and reworked his plan for this title as a result. If that was the case, then I think he pulled it off pretty well. The first volume of “Starve” was all about renegade chef/terrible husband/deadbeat dad Gavin Cruikshank’s forced return to civilization to burn the cooking show empire he created to the ground. This time out, we get to see Gavin settle things with his wife, help steer his daughter on a less treacherous path to stardom, and turn an inner city chicken shack into a place where anyone can buy a cheap and satisfying dinner.
Vol. 2 of “Starve” thankfully dispenses with the sentimentality and sanctimony that popped up in the first volume. This is a volume that’s all business, and goes about it in some surprising ways at times. We see that right off the bat when Gavin buries the hatchet with his wife and goes off to renovate that chicken shack. That plotline he runs into could’ve been derailed by the “white savior” trope, but it’s defused both by the protagonist’s penchant for self-destruction and refusal to stick around long enough to take proper credit for what he did. While an interesting thread, I’m ultimately left wondering what its relevance was to the story as a whole since the rest of the volume is dedicated to showing us how Gavin and his family extricate themselves from the toxic showbiz environment they’ve found themselves in. There’s plenty of great drama to be had there and some good twists make the story even more enjoyable. It may not have lasted very long, and the art was always better with storytelling than making the food look good (not sure if that’s an appropriate criticism, but it’s still true), “Starve” still managed to be an entertaining read as it tried to rattle the cages of power with fork and knife in hand.