July 2, 2012

IDW Reviews: The Crow #1

The Crow #1
Publisher: IDW
Writer: John Shirley
Artist: Kevin Colden
Cover: Kyle Hotz

There will be many who immediately compare this to the original Crow tale that first introduced us to Eric Draven and Shelly. That would be an unfair comparison in my opinion, since that story was new and personal. The first Crow movie also became a cult classic, which helped with the popularity of the comic. We also hadn’t been assaulted by countless sub par movie sequels that never lived up to the original.

This story focuses on Jamie Osterberg and Haruko Tatsumi. A couple living in Tokyo who don’t know that their lives are about to take a very dark turn. The company Haruko works for is involved in some very dangerous practices, and she is in line to be the next victim. Now, Shirley lays a pretty solid foundation for this issue, and the couple is one that you would probably root for and identify with. Their dialog and banter between each other was great, and moments like their sharing of each other’s languages was a great way to show this. However, the pacing of the story only allows for the slightest connection to the characters. Everything seems to happen in a rushed fashion, and things only slow down when focusing on the disappearance of a student. What also seemed a bit rushed was Jamie’s transformation, which was basically just a few panels.

As far as the artwork goes, Colden does a fine job illustrating the story. The transition to certain panels and the entire layout helped with the visual flow of the story. Scattering crows throughout certain parts also gave a nice allusion as to what would happen later in the story. Jamie’s death scene was also pretty impressive, as he fell to his end and disappeared. The only area that seemed to suffer at times was that the faces were inconsistent, which caused a bit of confusion.

With this only being the first issue, there’s a willingness to continue on to see if the issues with the story are corrected as we see Jamie take his vengeance. There are several things done very right, as this story feels nothing like the original and stands on its own merit. This in itself is a plus, since the last thing anyone would want is a rehash of the same old story, regardless of how great it is.

Infinite Speech



  1. Awesome! A new Crow comic!
    I love the anthology feel of the series.
    Yeah, the movie sequels were “meh”, but the books and comics that came afterward were all pretty good.
    I think it’s got a sort of EC Comics “Tales” feel to it.
    Each a new victim. Each a new story of revenge.

    I can’t wait to check out more on this series!

  2. Ian

    You actually enjoyed this one, huh? I was shocked at how poorly written it was. I totally agree with the rushed feeling you talked about. My biggest beef with it though is that it feels like the Hollywood hipster reboot of The Crow, y’know? It feels… fake. Had I known that the writer of this was the writer behind the movie, I wouldn’t have bought it. The movie has aged VERY poorly. I used to like it but I caught it on TV a few months back and was just blown away at how bad it is. Guitar solos in the rain? Really?

    This comic is trying too hard to be cool and it fails on almost every point. Also, if the author is gonna set the story in Japan, he should at the very least do his homework and learn how to spell sake.

  3. I don’t agree that the movie has aged badly over the years. I just watched it again on Blu Ray several weeks ago and it’s still a great film. Sure it could use some polish but that was there when the movie came out and it didn’t have the benefit of a huge budget for slick visuals. What it did have was some pretty strong acting, a good script, and a faithful adaptation of the original content.

    This book however really needs to improve if I’m going to continue to read the series. I’m going to give it a couple more issues to find it’s legs then go from there.

  4. Ian

    Huh, maybe the movie just doesn’t work for me anymore. I dunno. The film aside, I’ll give the book another shot next issue myself. I’m sure everyone has series (how the heck do you pluralize that word?) that they’ve picked up back issues for and found the early issues really bad, y’know? If the second issue doesn’t go anywhere though or just keeps meandering about without a purpose, I’m done with it.

    Hi! My first two posts and they’re filled to the brim with negativity! Call me Mr Sunshine!

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