Anghus Houvouras reviews The Crow: Curare #3…
To me, the best comics are the ones that achieve a symmetry between the writing and the art where the storytelling feels like a seamless balance between word and picture. Sometimes a story is enhanced by the art, and sometimes the art doesn’t always effectively service the story. The latest Crow story from James O’Barr, Curare, has been one of those stories that has achieved a beautiful and haunting symmetry. O’Barr’s script and Antoine Dode’s amazing artwork have combined to craft the most compelling Crow story in ages.
The third and final chapter of this story brings a brutal and heartbreaking conclusion to the story of Detective Joe Salk, who has become haunted by the unsolved murder of a young girl. His obsession with the case has all but ruined his life. As he tries to piece together both the case and his sanity, he becomes an instrument of revenge helping the deceased spirit of the girl track down her killer.
The Crow: Curare has been an interesting deviation on the traditional Crow story, one that has revitalized my interest in the character. It has shown how well the concept work as an anthology style story. Thanks to the movies, there’s a kind of iconography established for the character: the Brandon Lee model of the leather clad, porcelain skinned, tortured soul. And while I enjoy that take on the character, there are far more interesting and varied takes on the concept. The Crow: Curare is the kind of dark, brooding, and downright unpleasant tale of revenge that I want to see more of. The latest series has rekindled my interest in the Crow and I’m eager for new installments.
I can’t find enough adjectives to describe how much I love Antoine Dode’s artwork. It’s both chilling and beautiful, perfectly suited for this kind of story. There’s a splash page revealing the disturbing inner lair of a serial killer that is so wonderfully wicked. The soulless eye sockets of skeletons dressed in dulled children’s clothing cast against a black background. Dode portrays the brutality and tragedy of this world with such beautiful flourishes. I’m hoping O’Barr and Dode find another story to work on soon.
For me, The Crow: Curare has been a fantastic read. A great little tale of tragedy and revenge with some of the most beautifully rendered panels I can remember reading in recent years. It’s a great little ghost story that deserves to find a wide audience, and has me curious to see where O’Barr takes The Crow next.
Anghus Houvouras is a North Carolina based writer and filmmaker. His latest work, the novel My Career Suicide Note, is available from Amazon.