Comic Book Review: The Crow—Skinning the Wolves #1
The Crow is one of my all-time favorite movies. To a teenager trying to find an identity, Alex Proyas and Brandon Lee made such an impact on me. But I will admit, I’ve never read the original comic. So my opinions are heavily influenced by the films more so than the comics.
The Crow – Skinning the Wolves #1 starts in very unfamiliar territory for any Crow story I’ve seen. Not taking place in any modern or urban setting, the issue opens in a World War II concentration camp.
I think co-writers/artists James O’Barr and Jim Terry had a very tricky line to walk with the setting of The Crow – Skinning the Wolves. As much as we love knowing the specifics of what Captain America was doing or where exactly Hellboy showed up in WWII, I think O’Barr and Terry have made not only the right choice, but the most respectful approach with the setting of The Crow – Skinning the Wolves.
I love how the story is set in an unnamed concentration camp, in an undetermined year. I also love how we don’t know a thing about the protagonist. He’s just another nameless face walking into the jaws of death.
Who is this man? Who has he lost? What’s his story? The same questions you find yourself asking when watching a documentary about or looking at photographs from the death camps of WWII.
The story and art is everything you could hope for in a Crow comic: dark and gritty, violent and cruel. I like it. I like it a lot.
What I didn’t like? As mentioned previously, the protagonist of The Crow – Skinning the Wolves is a non-descript everyman. But his first appearance in the story he quickly and fairly easily kills four Nazi shock troops.
So before this man even becomes the Crow, he’s already superhuman. I’m used to the Crow being a peaceful musician or mechanic or student before his death. People can relate to that. Most people can’t relate to killing four human beings with their bare hands.
To me, this kind of detached me from the main character on a certain level. Granted, connecting with the character is easy on another level when he’s one of the masses to be gassed, tortured or killed but I think the empathy comes more from knowing the history than relating to the character.
All in all, The Crow – Skinning the Wolves #1 is a damned fine intro into an all new Crow series. Unlike IDW’s previous effort which wasn’t terrible.
The Crow – Skinning the Wolves #1 is on shelves of comic book stores everywhere, and if you’ve ever liked anything Crow, pick it up.