The Crow #1
Written by John Shirley
Art by Kevin Colden
Review by Mara Whiteside
Let’s face it: first issues are hard. You have to cover several key points in only a few pages. The scene, the characters, motivations, plot…if not done right, the information falls flat. Admittedly, I know nothing other than what is on the Wikipedia page for the film and original comic book. I didn’t even know this wasn’t an original story until someone pointed it out to me. For the sake of reviewing, I will not compare The Crow to previous incarnations.
The Crow presents a great start. Set in Japan, the story centers around an engaged couple, Jamie and Haruko. They are young, smart, and good-looking people with friends and family who are involved in their day-to-day activities. Excited about upcoming nuptials, studying in Japan, and learning kenjutso from his future father-in-law, Jamie seems to be living the good life.
We know with any story that things cannot be steady for too long. A woman named Hendra has her eyes set on Haruko for a body switch (I know! That came out of nowhere!). Hendra is worn-out, dying from cancer and in desperate need of a healthy, young body. Her best hope for life is to replace her weak body with Haruko’s and discard her soul. Since she works for BioTrope, a company that specializes in biological research and development, the task of replacing souls is very easy. The plot thickens from there, leading directly into the creation of our main hero.
The first issue moved too fast for me. I didn’t get a great grasp on the relationship between Haruko and Jamie and the importance of her in his life. I would have preferred more character development and story-focus, but I have a feeling that this series will be more about slice-and-dice than character development. That’s totally cool—I enjoy a great, bloody book, but I personally do not think this one is for me. However, I will read the second issue to find out if flashbacks are used to flesh out the characters and learn more about BioTrope. I’d recommend reading with reservation, but being prepared for a more detailed second, possibly third, issue. It has promise to be a good, creepy series.