By AL J. Vermette
A hand bursts forth from a grave; soon a body drags itself from the hole from
which it lay. The moonlight above reveals that the newly risen man is not
alone. A black bird sits perched atop his gravestone viewing him as he frees
himself from his tomb. The man looks up at his new companion. His name is
Eric Draven and one year to this night, he was murdered along with his lover
Shelly. But as the myth goes, when a unjust murder has been committed
sometimes, just sometimes, a crow can bring the victim back to seek revenge.
On this night, Halloween night, the murdered Draven will return to the world of
the living and under ghoulish clown make-up he will seek out those who killed
and took his lover from him. Tonight The Crow, a super powered avenging
angel will punish the gang of thugs and right the wrong to restore the balance of
Writer James O’ Barr created The Crow for Caliber
Comics in 1989. The story was a sort of therapy for the
writer who was dealing with the death of his beloved girl-
friend after she was killed by a drunk driver. It told the
story of rising rock star Eric Draven who was murdered
along with his girlfriend Shelly. The story tells the myth
of the Crow, a magical creature that sometimes can re-
turn the dead so they can seek revenge on those who
had caused their death. When the young rock star digs
his way out of his own grave, he slowly discovers how he
has be given a new lease on life but he now he’s an
Avenging Angel and seeks out the men who killed him
and his beloved.
It is Halloween night as he smears on his clown face war paint and make
ready to seek revenge on his killers. With his black bird companion by his side,
The Crow as he is as rages into the night to kill those who done him wrong. O’
Barr’s comic fast became an underground hit and sold over 750.000 copies
worldwide. Its success lead to 3 feature films and a TV series starting in 1994.
The son of famous Kung Fu artist Bruce Lee,
Brandon Lee, took on the lead role of Draven in the
1994 film. It was to be his break out movie after star-
ing in such hits as “Showdown in Little Tokyo” and
“Rapid fire.” In a strange twist of fate though just as
comic series was born of a death so was the film
when Lee was killed on set by a prop gun gag gone
wrong. Although the sad death of the young actor
the film went on to become a cult hit.
In 1996 a follow up film was released as “The
Crow: City of Angels” with a new actor and charac-
ter who would become the new Crow. Unlike Lee’s
Draven the same character from the book series
this new film had a young father and son die at the
hands a new group of bad guys. Again a crow came
to bring the slaughtered father back to kill the men
who took his son from him. The film although fairly
done well was never received as well as its former.
Still Hollywood was still not done with The Crow.
In 1998, TV came a calling and “The Crow: Stairway To Heaven hit the small
screen for 22 episodes. Stepping in this time playing Eric was actor Mark
Dacascos only his Crow unlike the books or movie character didn’t paint his
face but the clown face came upon him in a sort of transformation from human
to super killer angel.
To date there was one last Crow movie made after the series. “The Crow:
Salvation in 2000 picked up with again a new murder victim returning by way of
a black bird. Each story played upon the revenge of a murdered man who
come back from the dead to right the wrong.
But not all Crows were male. In one of the comics, it
explored a new Crow who was female. Later in the TV series,
there was an episode where Eric meet a woman who was kil-
led along with her little girl who also become a Crow seeking
the death of those who hurt her child.
It may have been as of this writing 14 years since the
last Crow film. Still this dark hero is still thought of and maybe
just maybe a little back bird will bring a new movie to the big
screen and a new Crow will be born.