The Crow: Dead Time (1996) #1-3 by J. O’Barr, John Wagner and Alexander Maleev
OK, we’re almost on the home stretch here with this blog series. By 1996, Kitchen Sink was focusing on one thing: Getting as much Crow stuff out as possible. This is apparently a co-publishing deal with “Top Dollar Comics”, which must be a Hollywood thing: Edward R. Pressman is a producer, and did indeed produce The Crow movie.
The Comics Journal #161, page 11:
Unsurprisingly, rumors flourished, includi ng the
suspicion that Eastman, fed up with the chaotic
and money-losing Tundra, had simply thrown
in the towel, “selling’ his company to Kitchen
for the proverbial “one dollaf’ —or, more dra-
matically, that the sale had in fact gone the other
way, with Eastman secretly acquiring the merged
companies (a rumor that made it into printin the
first issue of the high-profile new trade maga-
zine Hero Illustrated in June).
The last rumor may have been fueled by the
circulation Of a Letter of Intent stolen from
Tundra’s files and forwarded to the Journal. This
undated, unsigned draft outlines a drastically
different disposition Ofthe companies that would
have left Eastman with over half of the “new”
KSP, with Kitchen hired as “president” with
“duties similar to chief executive officer.” The
document also makes reference to “the acquisi-
tion by Kevin and Sasha [Harari] Of a control-
ling interest in Kitchen Sink Press. ‘ ‘ (Alexander
“Sasha” Harari is part of the Edward R. Press-
man Film Corporation, the production company
behind The Doors and the as-yet-unreleased, ill-
fated film version Of The Crow, which was pub-
lished by Tundra. Harari is also the executive
producer of the Xenozoic Tales Saturday morn-
ing TV show Cadillacs and Dinosaurs.)
(This is from 1993.)
Well, that’s a nice recap?
This is a new Crow avenger character — this book seems to be set in multiple timelines, and we flip back and forth between a Western-ish thing rendered in the way on the left, and a present day thing rendered as on the right, and the timelines are possibly connected? There might be more timelines, because there’s also a guy in WWI regalia, but it’s unclear…
And “unclear” doesn’t even start to describe the panel to panel action. I mean, we get the general gist: Bad people are probably killing good people, but what’s actually happening here? We see two women with shotguns and a boy hiding behind them. But then one of the horse guys rides towards the house, and suddenly he has the… boy? Apparently 30 meters from the woman with the shotgun? Somehow? And then the horse guy “baroom”s his gun at one of the women? No, that’s a different horse guy? She kills him? What? How many horse guys are there even?
The entire series is like this.
The horse guys are so evil that they even kill the rabbit!!!1
The first issue has ads for comics from other companies, like Acclaim. I wonder whether the companies were connected somehow, or whether a Crow comic is just a good place to have an ad. Hm… Oh, Acclaim did the Crow video game, so it’s all in-house, sort of.
Oh! There’s just two timelines. One of the gang members just randomly wears a WWI British helmet. As one does.
I guess they felt that the story was getting too complicated (it’s not: some guys kill (and rape, of course) his family, so he’s reincarnated some hundred years later to have his revenge on his reincarnated killers (and rapists)), so they infodump at each other to bring the slowest readers up to speed.
They probably know their audience best.
That’s actually less Crow merchandising than I would have thought. No lighters?
And that copy is misleading — we don’t get those “lost pages” in Death Rattle, but instead just a bunch of illustrations and sketches.
And man, those Brandon Lee posters are brutally ugly. Didn’t have the rights for the actual stills taken on set, I guess?
Nothing gratuitous here, I’m sure.
This is a pretty bad book, but… I guess it has mood? It does have mood. It’s barely a story at all, but it does have something going.
I enjoyed the story but at times things got confusing, especially due to the art being hard to follow. The art wasn’t bad, just a little befuddling at time. Still dark and moody black and white art though, and very much fitting for the Crow.
I wasn’t a huge fan of this one. I found the drawing a bit dark and confusing at times. I couldn’t tell sometimes what i was looking at. I felt like I was trying to decipher an ink blot test. I also found the story line choppy and confusing in some parts.
Fortunately the core plot is easy enough to keep tabs on, though that is mostly because it is a retread of the same vengeance formula as its predecessor.
This is the one hundred and ninety-seventh post in the Entire Kitchen Sink blog series.