WARNING! MAY CONTAIN SPOILERS
Don’t like? Read the book first.
So earlier this year I got the pleasure of finally reading the graphic novel The Crow.
A little background. The Crow movie is one of the most popular cult films like ever. Most of the goth stuff you see can be inspired by this movie. This was Brandon Lee (son of the famous martial artist/actor Bruce Lee) in his last movie and he was brilliant. It’s a classic.
It came from this graphic novel. The basic plot is that a man, Eric, as he seeks revenge for the brutal rape and murder of his fiancee Shelly and his own paralysis and murder. He is resurrected by a crow (and it’s never revealed where the crow comes from) who guides him on his quest. The crow both helps and chastises him because he lives in the house he shared with Shelly and constantly relives memories of her, cutting himself as a relief of the emotional pain he feels.
It’s a pretty basic revenge story. He easily hunts down the drug-addicted members of the gang that ruined his life, and he kills them brutally. All except Funboy who agrees to pretty much commit suicide instead of being murdered by helping Eric out.
The only part of the plot that doesn’t seem to make as much sense (and one they fixed in the movie but I’ll discuss that in depth later) is Sherri. She’s a street rat that Eric comes across whose mother is a drug-addicted loser. He bonds pretty closely with her, they have nicknames and he gives her Shelly’s engagement ring. But all this happens in what amounts to two encounters between the two. I never understood why he would’ve bonded quite that closely with a stranger. The problem doesn’t exist in the movie version.
Eric is not only a likable character but actually a relatable one. Once you get the story on what happens to drive him to this, he becomes extremely relatable. They do change the story a shade in the movie, but the original story is that they go out to the beach and on the way home the car breaks down. While they’re stranded, a car full of violent junkie gang members pulls up and when the couple refuses help, the gang gets angry. They shoot Eric in the head, break into the car and pull shelly out and proceed to rape her and kill her in the middle of it. Eric isn’t dead, just paralyzed and he watches them do this to her.
You really feel his pain for having been ripped away from his love and made to watch this horrible act. The crow appears to come to him in the beginning, telling him not to watch, but he does anyway which solidifies his rage. The crow itself is a more interesting character than in the movie as we can actually hear it talk to Eric (while the movie skipped that piece of supernatural-ness.) He’s a sarcastic bastard too but very useful. The other supernatural thing in this book (which is a shade different in the movie) is that Eric can’t be killed, since he’s kinda already dead.
The plot is a little more than just killing too as you do get to see Eric emotionally move on from Shelly before he finishes his quest.
Final Thoughts: So if you can’t tell, I really do like this book. It’s very well written, simple but not overly so and the atmosphere is great. The art is striking but not cluttered; you can clearly see what’s going on but the art isn’t simplified. It’s a relatable story, emotionally moving and intriguing despite the harshness of the topic. It’s a five star book and I highly recommend everyone read it.
Bonus Writer’s Block!
Do you try to “pay it forward” when someone does something nice for you? What’s the best example you’ve ever seen of paying it forward?
The best example I ever saw was the movie. Seriously, I’ve never actually had anybody act that nice around me. I don’t exactly wait for people to be nice to me to be nice to others. I simply try to be nice. I try to at least be polite. I do what I can around my life and my job and my school. I share when I can, and hope it comes back to me karmically because I’m so broke right now it’s not even funny.
Paying it forward is a good idea; so is the idea of random acts of kindness. But I believe we should be that way all the time anyway. Why try and be special if you’re just going to be a jerk the rest of the time? It doesn’t make you look better.