Monday, November 18, 2013

The Crow: Curare

 IDW has been keeping James O'Barr's creation, The Crow, alive and healthy these past few years, and their latest collection, THE CROW: CURARE offers a decidedly different take on the mythos of The Crow than I've seen before.

 Author/Creator James O'Barr's story centers around Francis Joseph Salk, a retired Homicide Detective whose life has come crashing down around him. Divorced, estranged from his Daughters, living in squalor, Salk obsesses over the case that he was unable to solve: A little girl, brutally murdered, with no evidence to point towards her killer. With nothing else to live for, Salk pours everything he's got into trying to solve the case, and bring some form of justice to the victim, who he thinks may have been named Carrie.

 Less a supernatural revenge thriller than a gripping Police procedural with supernatural undertones, O'Barr's story would have been a perfect fit for Actor Dennis Franz in his N.Y.P.D. Blue days, a fact underscored by Artist Antoine Dode's depiction of Salk. Dode's scratchy, unfinished-looking art works wonderfully with O'Barr's squalid, hopeless atmosphere, but he also nails the redemptive ending perfectly. In the midst of horror, Salk may, perhaps, find a saving grace.

 Readers expecting a pale-faced, revenge-seeking re-animated corpse may feel slightly disappointed, but I found O'Barr's expansion of his Crow mythos to be exciting and gripping. The Crow is a perfect vehicle to tell many different types of stories, and I can't wait to see what O'Barr has in store for us next.

 If I had any complaint about this book, it's with the price point: THE CROW: CURARE collects a three-issue mini-series, which would have cost a little under twelve dollars for the individual issues, but the collection costs a whopping $17.99. 

 IDW provided a review copy.