1997: The Crow: Waking Nightmares

The Crow: Waking Nightmares (1997) #1-4 by Christopher Golden, Phillip Hester and Andé Parks

*phew* This is the final Crow mini-series I have to cover. Well, sure, I don’t have to — I brought this on myself. But you know.

Oh deer. To up the stakes, the Avenging Guy in this Crow iteration isn’t just going to Avenge Himself, but is going to save his daughters who have been kidnapped by child pornographers?

I just threw up a bit in my mouth.

But the artwork looks pretty stylish here and there. It’s uneven — sometimes it looks cool, and sometimes it looks like a mish-mash of half digested influences.

That Crow explains the concept succinctly. Ta.

To pad out I mean add interest, this series is also a police procedural. So we get a spunky officer who breaks all the rules and etc. Who wants to bet that she’s going to be taken off the case by the hard-nosed sergeant before the series is over? WHAT? ALL OF YOU!?!? Well, I’m not betting against.

Wat. “Asians are ultra-chic”? Wat.

Oh god, this thing is giving me a headache. I thought we’d gotten hit the bottom of the barrel with some of the previous minis, but this is sheer torture to read.

Fortunately the guy stops off to get some cool shades and paint some Kanji on them before going to save his daughters from the child molesters.

But at least he didn’t raid his (dead) wife’s makeup kit — this Avenging Guy iteration doesn’t seem to have rad goth makeup.

They sold out of the one thing that they were selling consistently? But perhaps they didn’t have money to go back to press for it, because:

The second issue arrives about a year after the first issue. Meanwhile, the third iteration of Kitchen Sink (the first was owned by Denis Kitchen, the second was a 51/49 split between Kevin Eastman/Denis Kitchen (some claim that it was 49/49 with a third party holding 2%), the third was mostly owned by Ocean Group (and then that dissolved after the head of Ocean Group killed himself), and now we’re at the fourth iteration — owned by Fred Seibert, a movie producer.

The book shifts to matte paper — perhaps they switched printers? Or just a cost saving move?

Oh yeah, I was reading this book. The storytelling would have been pretty much incomprehensible most of the time if it wasn’t for the fact that all the story beats are totally predictable. Nothing happens here that you wouldn’t expect, so you don’t really have to pay any attention whatsoever.

It feels really padded — we go over the same things again and again.

Who had the spunky cop getting canned in the pool? All of you? Darn!

Every issue we have this fat guy coming in to menace the two little girls about them getting all raped in a couple of days. I get that this is meant to heighten the tension and stuff, but it’s 1) totally disgusting and 2) makes no sense and 3) did I mention totally disgusting?

This is such a shitty book I don’t even have words.

We get an explanation of sorts about the delays — “the comic art field has been having some tough times”. Well, OK, that is indeed true! But they don’t get into any of how this applies to Kitchen Sink… which is fair.

Is it, though?

Although definitely a huge improvement above the previous penultimate installment, The Crow: Wild Justice, and especially an improvement above the God-awful (colorized! UGH!) The Crow: City of Angels; The Crow: Waking Nightmares or more meh than anything.


Great artwork by Phil Hester can’t overcome a lacklustre, generic story, characters, and dialogue.

This is the two hundred and fifth post in the Entire Kitchen Sink blog series.

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