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Review: ‘The Crow: Curare’ #3

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As the mystery comes to a riveting conclusion, “The Crow: Curare” #3 ends with a gripping cat and mouse game between an ex-cop and a child killer. A terrific combination of police procedural and horror, the pulse-pounding suspense is undeniably gripping. With its finale, “The Crow” series continues to say so much about its universal themes of grief and redemption.

WRITTEN BY: James O’ Barr
ART BY: Antoine Dode
PUBLISHER: IDW Publishing
PRICE: $3.99
RELEASE: Oct. 23, 2013

Since the ’70s, Detective Joe Salk has become obsessed with solving the murder of an innocent little girl. Even after handing over his badge and gun, Salk continues to prowl the crime-infested streets of Detroit for the elusive child-killer. Salk believes there is a small chance he will find that important clue he missed before. The crow, the spirit guide, has given him a second chance at the investigation and brought him Carrie to assist him. Salk wants make things right for the dead little girl and catch this child-killer before he strikes again.

Writer James O’ Barr drives the hard-edged crime tale with such a fast and suspenseful pace. Always keeping the narrative from Detective Salk’s point-of-view, the readers discover the missing clues as he does. We find out how the child-killer became the way he is at the same time as Salk. As the investigation continues, the child-killer, who was always in the background in previous installments, becomes even more dangerous as we uncover his previous crimes. Though Salk has gotten old and fat over the years, the child-killer has become tougher and harder after remaining uncaught.

Because she has never grown up, Carrie is an echo of her true self, trapped forever in the body of a little girl. Salk talks to Carrie as if she were a real little girl, instead of a ghost. After realizing a fellow police officer kept something hidden over the years, Salk and Carrie end up in the hospital. While Salk is interrogating his suspect, Carrie is wandering the hallways, laughing with the sick and wounded. The sick patients that Carrie is speaking to are the same ones the crow will take to the afterlife.

In his sketchy artwork, Antoine Dode keeps up with the suspenseful pace as Salk jumps into his beat-up car, driving from one location to the next. Given a second chance at life, Salk always has this serious and mean look on his face, as if he’s back to being the cop he was supposed to be. When Carrie describes her childhood, Dode portrays the cartoony imagery from the child’s naïve state of mind. Carrie thinks of a smiling sun and hearts when she describes a mother she barely knew.

My favorite part scene is when Salk enters the child-killer’s house. Dode lets readers inside the mind of a monster. The walls are spray-painted with words that hold significance to the child-killer. The chilling images get even more twisted as Salk discovers what the murderer does to the bones of the dead children.

“The Crow: Curare” #3 ends on a highly satisfactory note. Creator James O’ Barr brings something new to “The Crow” series and hopefully that direction will continue. If you’re a huge fan of police thrillers such as “The Killing,” you’re going to enjoy every bit of “The Crow: Curare” min-series.

4/5 Skulls

Reviewed by – Jorge Solis