This week, on the Major Spoilers Podcast, Matthew, Rodrigo and Stephen take a look at The Crow.

The Crow
Creator: James O’Barr

The story revolves around an unfortunate young man named Eric. He and his fiancée, Shelly, are assaulted by a gang of street thugs after their car breaks down. Eric is shot in the head and is paralyzed, and can only watch as Shelly is savagely beaten and raped. They are then left for dead on the side of the road.

He is resurrected by a crow and seeks vengeance on the murderers, methodically stalking and killing them. When not on the hunt, Eric stays in the house he shared with Shelly, spending most of his time there lost in memories of her. Her absence is torture for him; he is in emotional pain, even engaging in self-mutilation by cutting himself.

The Crow acts as both guide and goad for Eric, giving him information that helps him in his quest but also chastising him for dwelling on Shelly’s death, seeing his pining as useless self-indulgence that distracts him from his purpose.

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  1. Cool choice for the show guys. I’ll dust my copy off tonight and check it out again. I remember the artwork being so vivid and etheral, but will probably see it more emo by todays standards. I loved some of the actions sequences that I can recall, especially one involving a shotgun and a dudes mouth. O’Barr had this ability to bring such dramatic flair to the art at times and at other times it would be so simple and almost juvinile, which I guess kinda sums up the book itself. Although I was a big fan of the book and the subsequent movie, they both feel very dated to me now. (The soundtrack is still pretty awesome though.)I’d recommend the book as a rental but I’d be hard pressed to tell soemone to buy it. Back in 1994 it would be an easy sell, but the genre has evolved past this book and as a forerunner it is good. The dream scenes are interesting, but the anithero has become too cliche and the crow lost his pizzaz.

    I would, however, like to hear about how the book came about. I’ve heard rumors and smoke, you know about a death squad….oh wait that was from Strange Days, no, rumors about this being an opus for O’Barr’s dead fiancee. Then again, I’ve also heard that it was written for the girl that wouldn’t date him. The Crow DVD had a interview with him, that looked like it was taped in his mom’s basement, but he really only talks art. Any truth to these rumors, or was it more of a flash pan stroke of storytelling?

  2. Just read the recent difinitive “I mean it this time” special edition trade that they released recently for the first time. O’Barr says in the introduction that the Shelly character was some girlfriend who died in a car accident on her way to pick him up somewhere.

    Having never read it before and not knowing anything about it besides the movie…it really feels like something a teenager would write. The art is all over the place, the story barely makes any sense (I got the feeling that the version I read had had so many scenes re-arranged and added in that parts were incoherent). Don’t get me started on the emo poetry.

    Overall there were some good parts, but I count this as one of the times where the film version was better.

    Please don’t hate me.

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