The Crow – James O’Barr


I have mixed feelings about this book; mainly because I feel guilty calling a story inspired by the author’s personal tragedy silly.

But it is.

The Crow is a vigilante caked in cosmetics, hell-bent on killing the men who killed his girlfriend on the side of the road. Like a Gothic version of the Joker who swapped punnish one-liners for sub-Baudelairean ramblings. Or what Vincent Noire from The Mighty Boosh would become if Bob Fossil killed Howard Moon. (Someone should write that story…)

Exacting your violent revenge while cosplaying as Robert Smith is such a macho, adolescent, selfish thing to do. Why doesn’t The Crow become an uncanny paramedic rescuing victims of vehicular manslaughter, instead of just persecuting his girlfriend’s murderers? The part of my brain that wrote that thesis on the manliness last year reckons that’s exactly what she would’ve done if their positions were reversed.

I didn’t enjoy The Crow, but give how it is such an iconic comic it’s probably worth your time finding a second opinion.


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