It’s been a few years since the last book in The Crow saga, but now IDW is beginning a new series, this one set in Japan. Check out the official description:
“Death and Rebirth,” Part 1. THE CROW is reborn—in Tokyo. Can a dark spirit fight for the light? THE CROW has always done just that—striking from the shadows, a kind of shadow himself. The spirit of the Crow is back, transfiguring Jamie Osterberg, an American studying in Tokyo and deeply in love with his Japanese girlfriend, Yumi… until the love of his life is stolen. The Crow must once more make the wrong thing right—but this time he might have to do it by killing his own true love…
John Shirley, who co-wrote the first film in “The Crow” series, writes this new version. As with previous installments, this one involves a man who loses the love of his life, dies, and is resurrected as the Crow to seek revenge. The most noticeable aspect of this first issue is its setting in Tokyo. Shirley liberally applies Japanese words to the dialogue, usually in a context that makes them understandable. While I didn’t really mind this, it was a bit distracting, and I imagine it could be problem for other readers. While the writing was perfectly acceptable, I definitely got the feeling that Shirley was working through the standard opening to a Crow storyline. In future issues, I imagine his personal take will become more obvious.
The art by Kevin Colden is excellent; characters emerge from their surroundings, and the scenery in turn seems to emerge from the page itself. The antagonist, Hendra, is the most interesting example of this, as she appears to be made of negative space. Where other characters seem to be parts of their environments, Hendra is almost a lack of environment, which directly ties into the nature of her character.
Matthew Wilson‘s colors are as crucial as Colden’s inks. Without the credits I might have thought the art was all by one person, with inks and colors being laid down concurrently. Here, the colors are an integral part of the art, rather than a secondary step in the process, as is the case with most comics.
The new Crow series is completely accessible to new readers, who have no prior knowledge going in. If you’ve previously heard of the series, or the films, you should check it out. The same goes if you a fan of moody, evocative artwork. Whatever your reason, I’m confident you’ll be pleased.