The Crow: Death & Rebirth #1
The Crow: Skinning the Wolves #1
Empowered Special #3
Monocyte #1 (2011)
The Crow: Death & Rebirth #1 (IDW, 2012, $3.99)
I remember first encountering images of Jim O'Barr's Crow in places like CSN and thinking how cool and sexy they were. What a crime that, as best as I can tell, every comic book about the Crow is shit. Armed emo mime vigilante? It's like taking everything people like about the Joker and pouring it from a shot glass into a gut-busting 44oz. convenience store plastic cup and then pissing into that Big Gulp until you reach the rim and handing the heavily diluted and polluted contents to a sensitive guitar strumming lad in middle school. It won't give you cancer or 'nothin', but these comics are just bad and wrong and their very existence is unfortunate.
For instance, the original comic was created as a way for the writer/artist to work through the pain of the death of his girlfriend in a car accident. So of course, he creates a book about a white couple who are raped and murdered by the most stereotypically negroidal subhumans a card-carrying NRA radical could conjure in his tiny little mind, until the boy ghost comes back to smear make-up on to become whiter than white and shoot the darkies all to hell before ascending to a lovely light-skinned heaven. And people love the fuck out of it, and they made several bad movies and a TV series, and Barr has happily licensed this property at varying rates for hands, mouth, pussy, asshole, ears, eyeholes, and other new violently rent openings to any sweaty john with the bills to pay.
The Crow has been turned out so hard with so little conscience that it's ventured into that weird territory of long-toothed horror and softcore franchises where nobodies are handed the keys to the franchise and drive far afield. This little diddy is about a kid bonding with his future father-in-law over feudal swordplay in Japan until his best girl (and their random mutual acquaintance before her) get kidnapped and have old money minds downloaded into their jacked bodies. Both the art and story are passable, but this is still a sci-fi shark jump at a water park that specializes in jumping sharks that has joined Leprechaun and Emmanuelle in boldly going into genre tweaks better franchises would never dream of. It's no Jason X is what I'm saying, and rest soundly in the knowledge that despite the location and other participants, our hero remains as white as ever, peckerwood.
The Crow: Skinning the Wolves #1 (IDW, 2012, $3.99)
I don't know if Jim O'Barr has ever had a "glorious" return to his franchise. I could probably research it easily, since the guy's decades old career is just a string of extremely short-lived failures (typically 1-3 issues) and other people doing the Crow for him. Still, that might be more work than O'Barr put into this book, and I just won't have that.
O'Barr is credited with story and breakdowns, except the finished art looks more like Frank Cho's thumbnails and I suspect Jim Terry deserves most of the credit/blame for the writing and drawing. That would be The Jim Terry, of Nothing Else Ever fame. I'm guessing O'Barr's main contribution was having read that one Wolverine story where he's in a concentration camp, but rather than liberating it, he just keeps dying and reviving to fuck with some Nazi. O'Barr was all "fuck, I can be more stupid and skeevy than that." He called it, if only by dragging it out into a mini-series and having this Crow blowing goosesteppers' faces off in despicable gorenography exploitative fashion. Nothing in this issue gives the impression that the creators see the prisoners as any more human than their real life captors did, and O'Barr's had a Teutonic fixation for his entire career, so this book is for people who see Chris Cooper's character in American Beauty as a role model (though they refuse to own up to how much they truly dug the "faggot stuff.")
Empowered Special #3 (Dark Horse, 2012, $3.99)
Let's take a break from all that trenchcoat brigade spank material for the greater sophistication of titstitstitstitstitstitstitstitstitstits and asssssssssssssssssss. But seriously, this is the latest edition in a series of stopgaps to cover for how much longer it takes Adam Warren to get the original graphic novels done with the thin excuse of bringing in guest artists and color pages. I'm harsh on this book, but let me be clear in stating that it is far more fun and inventive and thoughtfully constructed and vital than any female fronted mainstream comic on the stand, shaming them while still being slutty its own self. I buy them because they deserve to be bought, unlike most of the garbage I review.
Monocyte #1 (IDW, 2011, $3.99)
Menton Matthews III needs to be slapped like a bitch, if only for taking an already horrible given name and rendering it execrable with the pseudonym "Menton3." If he'd used superscript, a closed fist would have been required. Based on his work in this comic though, knuckles may still need to come into play. The story is the worst kind of pedantic teenybopper pseudo-intellectual gobbledygook where I guess the Robo-Republican Party throws down with the Orthodox-Protestant-Scientological-Religion=Bad BishoPriests from that Vin Diesel movie. This is laid out over two pages covered in typeset text, while the rest of the book is splash pages and sparse retarded dialogue. The illustrations are of the Templesmith/Wood school (which if you like, might I interest you in a bit of backhand for yourself?) with occasional flashes of Brom (nowhere near enough.) The "hero" is a bone-dagger firing alien Moses with one eye (mono-sight?) and his adventures are capital D U M B and slight. More intellectual, philosophical, theological, and novelistic consideration can be found in the works of Todd McFarlane, and his take on the Antedeluvians woulda bin da bomb.
Wednesday, January 23, 2013
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