I discover James O’Barr’s The Crow with the 1994 movie, which I loved. I eventually tracked down the original comic book, but I don’t recall being that impressed with it at the time, and none of the film sequels lived up to the first film. But I did watch and mostly enjoy the short-lived TV series. A reboot of the franchise has been in various development stages for years now, but I heard that James O’Barr himself once pitched his own film reboot, which didn’t get made but instead was adapted into a comic-book miniseries, so I thought I’d check it out.
Written by John Wagner, based on O’Barr’s story, this is not a remake of the original story, in that it’s not about Eric Draven. Instead, our protagonist is Joshua. He was a Native American man who, along with his White wife and son, was brutally murdered by a band of Confederate soldiers, near the end of the American Civil War.
The film then jumps ahead 100 years to the present day. Joshua has been resurrected by the soldiers who have been reincarnated as a drug-dealing motorcycle gang. The reincarnation angle is an unexpected twist. There’s some talk that the men were somehow given a second chance to do better, but since they’re just as evil in their new lives, that’s why Joshua is now empowered to return and get his revenge. And get his revenge he does, as a systematically hunts down and kills the thugs, you know how this goes. There’s an added subplot involving a young woman who’s gotten mixed up with the thugs, even though she’s the daughter of a Judge, and comes from a good background. I think it’s implied that she may be the reincarnation of Joshua’s wife, but I’m not sure.
And that’s the problem with the story, I find that it’s not very clear, this could be because of the way it’s played out, as it opens with Joshua’s resurrection and he’s just as clueless as we are, as he doesn’t have his memory and has to slowly piece together who he is, where he is, and what his purpose is. This comes in the form of flashbacks. But the problem with that is the art. Alexander Maleev does the art, and it’s just not good. It’s sketchy to me, and not helped by the fact that it’s in black and white. This sometimes makes the story hard to follow, especially when it comes to the flashbacks, as it was hard to distinguish between past and present, or figure out that the thugs in the present were supposed to be the same soldiers from the past. Some cleaner art, or at least some color, would have improved this story for me.
Dead Time is a good concept that falls apart in the execution. Chacebook rating: THREE STARS
I didn’t know about this one, thanks! Even though it doesn’t seem too amazing, it’s nice to see that the legacy of O’Barr is still alive…
And thank you for the link to my review of the first movie! :–)
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