Written by: Matt Molgaard
Having now read a number of Crow stories I’ve come to the realization that it’s hard to put a new spin on this particular tale. The approach just cannot be altered too much without straying from the crux of the story. And that’s what we love, the heartache; the torture; the revenge; vigilante justice. You can’t take that away from the story and author Frank Bill knew that when he sat down to map out The Crow: Pestilence.
Just as James O’Barr’s The Crow followed Eric Draven, murdered musician who returns from the dead to exact revenge on a ruthless street gang, Bill’s The Crow: Pestilence follows Salvador, a boxer murdered by Mexican cartel who returns to unleash his own brand of justice. Both men witnessed the murder of their loved ones, both return to make the murderers suffer with the help of a mysterious crow that instill the men with unfathomable abilities.
Pestilence isn’t the impacting masterpiece that the original story was, but it’s pretty damn good. Drew Moss’ artwork fits the story well, although the coloring often feels a bit murky, which steals a little pop from Moss’ effort. But make no mistake, Moss is a talented guy.
The story moves quickly, truncating some of the backstory and pushing the acts of ruthlessness along at a frantic rate. There’s no hint of downtime throughout the 104 pages and that certainly proves influential in reading the book in its entirety in a single sitting. It holds the attention while keeping the reader interested, which is exactly what a quality graphic novel should do. It’s no contender for greatest graphic novel ever written, but it’s a thrilling read and a generally gritty piece of work that should sate the desire of The Crow fans across the map.