Sunday, June 3, 2018

The Crow: Memento Mori #1 Review

Story: Roberto Recchioni
Art: Werther Dell’Ederia
Coluor: Giovanna Niro
Letters: Giovanni Marinovich
Published By IDW
Cover Price 3.99
Reviewed by Wheezy

Back up – Buried Virtue
Story and Art: Matteo Scalera
Colours: Moreno Dinisio
Letters: Giovanni Marinovich

I will get all my disclaimers out of the way now in that the only connection I had to the Crow was from the film which was released in the 90s (yes I am showing my age a bit here), and to be fair, the only reason I remember that was the controversy surrounding it, and the fact you couldn’t watch it through the day with the curtains open as you would not be able to see anything! With that in mind, I have mixed feelings about this book which we will get into.

The first few pages are predominately establishing shots overlaid with thought bubbles (whoops senior moment) I mean narration boxes, showing the city of Rome while it is raining at night. I didn’t mind the scratchy look these panels had as it fits the tone of the book, furthermore, it harks back the 90s film quite well with the dirty, grungy feel of street-level life. The boxes themselves are not straight, I am assuming this is on purpose to give the added unsettling feel to the book. I did a bit of research on this one but sadly I did not go through each box to make sure it is a legitimate bible quote, full of the nice things you would expect from the Bible, hellfire, and death etc.

The boxes also goad the reader on to learn more of this story, this part I didn’t particularly care for, as it gives the impression of breaking the 4th wall, I personally dislike that, some don’t have a problem with it, but I prefer to be immersed in the book. We learn that the main character, David Amadio, is already dead, (which you should really expect if you are picking this up for the crow angle) and the occupation of the angel of death/revenge is now his. We learn of his demise throughout the pages and that he was a 16-year-old altar boy who lost his Sarah in the same accident, which was a truck driving into the procession, portrayed through some flashback art scenes which highlight the gruesome and painful fatality he had to endure before becoming the epitome of revenge.

David manages to hunt down a few of the perpetrators involved in the attack and swiftly dispatches them in quite barbaric fashion and the issue ends with an explosion of the building he is standing in. It is hard to categorise if this is a cliffhanger or not, we already know that the past death, the little bit of research I did led me to find out that memento mori means ‘remember you have to die’ which is tied to the theory of vanity of earthly life and a reflection of mortality, deep, I know, but I guess the first issue captures that quite well.

I will take this opportunity to mention the backup which amounts to 8 pages or so, it is mostly forgettable with some sort of story indicating that murderers eventually get their comeuppance, but again this is reflective of the entire book which could be referencing the futility of life. It doesn’t add much value but if you are looking for more bang for your buck it is not offensive.

Bits and Pieces:

All in all, I thought this was ok, pretty much standard fare for a first issue, I don’t want to be clichéd about this, but if you liked the crow you will probably like this. For the rest, it is hard, to sum up, if you didn’t go through a nihilistic phase in the 90s where you wore black nail polish and black lipstick there is a good chance you were never that enthralled with gothic scene anyway, and because this book captures the essence of the crow quite well it might not be for you.


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