The Crow creator James O’Barr makes a much-celebrated return to his beloved character with his latest paranormal crime drama The Crow: Curare #1 from IDW Publishing.
Thanks to the strength of the O’Barr’s writing and his tendency to NOT pull punches, dedicated fans of the The Crow tales will feel like they’ve been reunited with an old friend while readers new to the work will probably wonder if they’ve stumbled into a late-night cable series instead of a comic book.
O’Barr continues to deliver a surreal mix of plausible real-life horrors with supernatural vigilante justice in this launch. Down-on-his-luck detective Joe Salk is haunted, both figuratively and literally, by a case involving the brutal murder of a young girl. He becomes so consumed with trying to find justice for a victim that reminds him of his own children that he eventually causes his marriage and family life to crumble.
Even after retiring, Joe can’t seem to shake the case that remains unsolved. As he’s reaching the end of his rope (and with true Crow flavor), the girl’s spirit appears to him to try and prompt him to help find her killer.
The Crow: Curare #1 is a must-read for any Crow purist as it definitely showcases the vision James O’Barr has for his vengeful hero. Pairing nicely with this story is the loose and modern artwork of Antoine Dodé. The alternating sharp and dreamy writing combined with the almost frantic feel of the drawings gives this issue an emotional quality that many horror comics lack, and the effect is one that certainly sticks with this reader for a long time after having finished the last page.