"The Crow: Memento Mori #2" Comic Review
Written by James Ferguson
Published by IDW Publishing
Written by Roberto Recchioni
Illustrated by Werther Dell’Edera
Colored by Giovanna Niro
Backup story by Davide Furno
2018, 32 Pages, $3.99
Comic released on April 25th, 2018
Former alter boy David has been reborn as the Crow. He's hunted down the terrorists responsible for his death as well as the death of his girlfriend, Sarah. They didn't go out without a fight though, setting off a massive explosion that may have cut David's second life short. For perhaps the second time, his life flashes before his eyes, revealing what led to his reincarnation.
Much of the content in this issue of The Crow: Memento Mori feels like it should have been in the first chapter. It outlines who David is and how he fell in love with Sarah. This is the emotional connection the last issue was lacking, although it made up for it with some great artistic style. Since this is coming in after David has achieved his goal as the Crow, it feels awkward and uneven.
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David's past isn't particularly troubling or even eventful. He grew up in Italy and gravitated to the church, working there more and more after meeting and falling for Sarah. The two became inseparable, but they had to hold back on some of their more lustful teenage tendencies because God was watching, the perv. Then he dies. That's basically his story.
That being said, the visual presentation for this is pretty great. Artist Werther Dell’Edera gives the flashback scenes a unique look and feel. Giovanna Niro's colors make them appear more innocent at first, like the world is completely open to young David. Father Raphael looks somewhat intimidating and overbearing. While he does something ugly (and no, not what you're thinking), it doesn't make him the villain of the story. Unless it's revealed that he was somehow affiliated with the terrorists that killed David, he doesn't necessarily deserve such a harsh and vengeance filled death.
The gore in this issue is shocking. The second page reveals that David's been literally blown in half. We see his upper body with intestines spilled out everywhere. Blood pools on the floor below him and his legs are nowhere to be seen. A follow-up to this scene bookends the issue and it's a pretty badass sequence.
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The Crow: Memento Mori starts off with a bang – literally – so this flashback chapter takes away all of the momentum that had been built up. It's an abrupt change in pacing and tone. David's story feels like it should be over already. I guess the fact that he's still alive means that there's more vengeance to doll out, but it doesn't feel particularly justified, unlike what we've seen in previous incarnations of the Crow. We'll see if things change in future issues.
Also included in The Crow: Memento Mori #2 is an additional story from Davide Furno. This is beautifully illustrated and pulls from Edgar Allan Poe's classic, Nevermore. In this tale a man is haunted by a crow instead of a raven for obvious reasons. The bird taunts the man with the words “Never. Nevermore” as he realizes he must pay the ultimate price for his crimes. Furno's artwork is wistful and sprawling. It gives the story a dark mythic feel.