Caliber Comics, Image Comics
Caliber Presents #1 (1989)
Enhanced strength and agility
The Crow is the main protagonist of The Crow comic book series, originally created by American artist James O'Barr in 1989. The protagonist is a fictional undead vigilante brought back to life by a supernatural crow to avenge his own death and that of a loved one. The character has subsequently appeared in several feature films, a television series, and spin-off novels. In the various incarnations, films, and spin-offs, many people have taken on the Crow persona in order to avenge their own wrongful deaths.
The Crow possess several unique abilities.
- Near-Invulnerability - Being undead, Crows do not need to eat or sleep and are incapable of feeling pain (save for the tortured memories of their own untimely demise and depression from losing their loved one), and can instantly recover from any harm, no matter how great the damage. They are immune to disease and do not decay, despite being dead. Though they are not impervious to injury, their skin and bones are slightly stronger than that of a human; in City of Angels Ashe Corven was seen to break a piece of cement completely off by smashing his forehead into it in a fit of rage during his fight with Kali, suffering no ill effects (not even to his make-up).
- Immortality - It is very possible, being undead and invulnerable, that Crows are immortal and do not age.
- Crow Form - Crows can change into a crow and possess the natural abilities of the Crow itself, including flight and night vision.
- Enhanced Strength - Because of their otherworldly strength, Crows are able to quickly overcome any adversary with ease, even those that are otherwise untouchable. They can shatter concrete or knock a person unconscious with a single strike. They are also a formidable force when facing against other supernatural creatures, such as fallen angels.(Wicked Prayer) The source of their strength is love; when Crows feel love or think about the ones they love or who loved them, their strength increases.(Stairway to Heaven, Wicked Prayer)
- Superhumanly Acute Senses - The Crow's supernatural senses also make them exceptionally skilled at hunting down and eliminating a target. In addition, Crows shares its senses with the Crow itself, allowing them to see clearly across long distances and in complete darkness.
- Enhanced Agility - Their superhuman agility give Crows firearm and acrobatic capabilities at the peak of human performance.
- Enhanced Speed & Reflexes - The reborn has increased speed and feline-like reflexes.
- Tactile Empathy & Telepathy - Also every Crow possesses the ability to see images from its lover's memory when touching things he or she touched before or to see the memories of a person when touching their eyes (or at least their face). In addition the reborn usually can send the images and feelings from the memories already absorbed to the person whose eyes the reborn touches at the moment (Eric Draven in the first movie virtually kills Top Dollar by making him feel thirty hours of Shelly's pain in one moment).
- (Advanced) Regenerative Healing Factor - When Crows are injured, their bodies heal almost instantly. They can survive multiple gunshot wounds with no ill effects. The only wounds that do not heal are those caused by deliberate self-harm.
- Expert Combatant & Marksmanship - Crows are enhanced with incredible fighting capabilities. Eric Draven showed excellent skills in hand to hand combat, firing guns and with swords even though he is not shown to have possessed any such skills while alive. These skills are helped by their newly enhanced agility.
Weaknesses & Limitations
Although the person brought back to life by the Crow is mostly invulnerable, he/she does have one weakness: because the magical crow is the source of their connection between life and death, if it were to be harmed or killed, this would leave the reborn vulnerable to attack. Many have attempted to exploit this weakness but only some have been successful (see "The Crow" or The Crow: City of Angels"). However, even in case of the crow being harmed, the reborn loses many of their special abilities, e.g. to see a person's memories when touching their eyes. In addition the reborn is supposed to lose their invincibility when he or she considers their mission completed. In "The Crow: Salvation" Alex Corvis is tricked that he completed his mission, thus he becomes vulnerable. His guide Crow, however, with the help of Erin, successfully makes Alex realize his mistake and rise again.
In the graphic novel of "The Crow", Eric is completely invincible except from self-mutilation.
In "The Crow: Waking Nightmares" comic book it is stated that the Crow's power is taken from the reborn in case he leaves the path of vengeance. In case of losing special powers the reborn becomes vulnerble, starts to rot, and rigor mortis sets in soon, as if the reborn was still in grave.
The Crow Make-up
In all "The Crow" movies, except "The Crow: Salvation", the protagonist wears a certain make-up. In the first movie Eric Draven copied the pattern from one of the masquerade masks which were parts of his and Shelly's apartment interior decoration. The patterns includes white paint placed over the face around the eyes, black vertical lines over eyes, black paint on the lips and a black horizontal line over the mouth, which resembles a Glasgow smile. In "The Crow: City of Angels: Ashe's make-up was provided by Sarah and looks similar. Jimmy's make-up in "The Crow: Wicked Prayer" is similar as well, though there's no horizontal line over the mouth, and vertical lines are shorter and thinner.
In the thrid movie, "The Crow: Salvation", Alex Corvis was executed on an electric chair, and his face was burned by a hot metal helmet which was worn on his head during the execution. After he removed the burned skin, scars were left on his face, as well as black skin around the eyes and on the lips, thus forming a pattern similar to the classical make-up. However, there are two vertical lines over each of his eyes.
In the comic book the situation is different. The origin of Eric's make-up is never explained, while Joshua, Iris Shaw, and Mark Leung do not wear any make-up and Ashe's is provided by Sarah, like in the movie (however, Joshua mentions that "his face is black", but can be considered as a metaphor). Michael Korby's make-up looks more like a tattoo and covers his neck and shoulders. The make-up is referred as "the mask of death" and "the trails of Gorgon's blood" in " The Crow: Wild Justice" comic book.
In the "Stairway to Heaven" TV series, Eric's 'make-up' appears automatically whenever he "changes" into the Crow. His fingernails become black, while his face becomes white, with vertical line over the eyes and short horizontal/diagonal lines extending from his lips, like a smile. And they disappear when he becomes 'normal'.
Even though not all the reborn wear the make-up, they are still usually drawn in a certain style: their lips are usually distinctively black, skin around eyes is black, while the eyes are sometimes burning white. Generally the style of drawing reminds the pattern of the classical make-up.
Characters who have assumed the Crow persona
The protagonist of the original comic book. Eric and his fiancée are on their way back from a romantic get-away, when their vehicle breaks down on a deserted road. A car full of gang members stops not to help but to take advantage of the couple's misfortune. They shoot Eric in the head paralysing him while they rape and kill his fiancée in the car, Eric dying hours later in the hospital. A year later, resurrected by The Crow, Eric exacts vengeance on the men responsible for their deaths.
In The Crow/Razor: Kill The Pain, Eric is again returned to the land of the living, this time to help Razor fight a demonic gang known as Pain. In the end Eric must face the events which lead to his death, and the realization that the reason his soul cannot rest is because he blames himself for being unable to save Shelly.
In The Crow: Resurrection and Touch of Evil, Eric's story is retold: Eric and Shelly's lives are cut short when a wrong apartment number leads a gang of drug lords to mistakenly murder them only days before their wedding. Now, Eric haunts the city as the Crow, a shadow administering revenge for not only his loss, but for others as well. A police officer enlists the aid of the Crow to uncover the truth about the jailed suspect of a murdered 9 year-old girl. As the Crow is flushing out information about the murder, he discovers that Shelly`s grave has been desecrated and her body has been removed. Another vigilante, a Native American named Walker, who communicates with a wolf, begins killing local murderers.
Eric was portrayed by the late Brandon Lee in the 1994 film The Crow, based on the comic book. The film had the same basic premise, except the couple were murdered in their loft apartment due to fighting tenant eviction, instead of being murdered on the side of the road for no real reason. The film is also where Eric was given the last name Draven and Shelly the name Webster.
Eric was also portrayed by Mark Dacascos in the television series The Crow: Stairway to Heaven in 1998. This version differed slightly from the other versions in that his mission wasn't about revenge, but about redemption. 22 episodes were produced in which Eric acts as a vigilante helping the needy, before the series was pulled in 1999.
He appears in the three issue series Dead Time, the follow up to the original graphic novel. Joshua is a Native American farmer of the Crow Nation who adopts the "white man's way" and becomes a farmer. Joshua, along with his wife and child, are murdered by a band of Confederate soldiers. One century later, the crow resurrects Joshua, and he begins his hunt for the soldiers, who have been reincarnated as a biker gang.
She appears in the three issue series Flesh and Blood and is the first women to assume the role. Iris is a Federal Conservation officer who is killed by terrorists, along with her unborn child. The Crow resurrects her to hunt them down. She seems to be not completely invincible, as, according to the crow, she must complete her mission before she rots. She can't really heal, thus Iris uses a stapler to sew her wounds.
He appears in The Crow: City of Angels, the sequel to The Crow.
Ashe Corven (Vincent Perez) is resurrected by the magical crow to avenge the death of his son, who was killed along with him in a gang hit. Like his predecessor, Ashe successfully kills each of the gang members until he meets the crime boss who order his death. The crime boss, Judah Earl (portrayed by Richard Brooks), wishes to obtain Ashe's powers for himself, and will do his worst to gain them. In his endeavors, Ashe is assisted by Sarah (from the original film; now portrayed by Mia Kirshner). Sarah provides Ashe's facial make-up in honor of Eric, and helps him in his mission.
He appears in the three issue series The Crow: Wild Justice. Michael and his wife are murdered during a car jacking. He is brought back by two crows, and must avenge his and his wife's death before the Gorgon blood running though his veins runs out. The Gorgon god tattoos Korby's body, which gives him the power to regenerate until the blood runs out.
He appears in the four issue series The Crow: Waking Nightmares. Leung and his wife are murdered by the Chinese Mafia. Instead of going after their killers, Mark gets wrapped up in saving his twin daughters, who have been sold into slavery.
Appears in the series The Crow: Death and Rebirth. He is a foreign exchange student studying in Tokyo, Japan. His fiancee Haruko, and other friends vanish, only to return possessed by someone else. Jamie finds out too much and is killed; Resurrected by the power of The Crow, with a sword that seeks truth, he hunts down those responsible, discovering a web of horror that may lead him to kill his one true love.
Appears in the series The Crow: Skinning The Wolves. At a death camp in 1940s Germany, a simple game of chess turns deadly, leading to the creation of a new avatar of The Crow. The Man refuses to tell his killer who he was, preferring to represent all the victims of the camp.
Appears in the series The Crow: Curare. A little girl named Carrie is raped and murdered in Detroit. Years later her ghost calling itself Curare and empowered by the spirit of vengeance The Crow, helps retired detective Joe Salk find and kill her murderer.
Appears in the series The Crow: Pestilence. Salvador was a boxer in Juarez, Mexico who didn't throw a fight after taking a gang's money. They drugged him and forced him to watch the torture and murder of who he thought was his wife and son, though they were actually forced into slavery. Resurrected by The Crow he takes vengeance on the gang and seeks forgiveness from his family.
Appears in the series The French Crow: The Medieval Crow. Leandre and his wife Jeanne are murdered and their son Lestal stolen on the orders of Lord Arthuro, who is seeking an heir. Leandre achieves his vengeance and eventually kills Arthuro, but accidentally kills Lestal. After his son's death, Leandre is abandoned by The Crow and must wander the Earth until he learns the true reason for his restless wandering. One of his victims of vengeance over the centuries is Jack the Ripper, whose body he disposes of by dumping it in the river.
Appears in the series The French Crow: La Fiancée du Corbeau (Bride of the Crow). Vincent is a young make-up artist in the 1930s who falls in love with Evy, an actress. He tries to rescue Evy from being raped by a gang of stagehands but is murdered by them, and he returns a year later, aided by The Crow, to seek vengeance.
Appears in the series The French Crow: Le Sang des Innocents (Blood of the Innocent). Elorah is an undercover police officer investigating a narcotics baron; after being murdered and revived by The Crow, she must now face not only her murderer but his creation: a cyborg that feeds on blood.
She appears in The Crow: Stairway to Heaven. Hannah Foster is brought back to life one year after she and her daughter are killed. Like Draven, Hannah has a Spirit Crow, and possesses all of the Crow's powers. However, unlike Draven, she constantly battles between the need for redemption and her lust for vengeance. Also, her methods for dealing with her opposition are far more severe than Draven's.
He appears in The Crow: Salvation, the third movie in the series. Alex Corvis (portrayed by Eric Mabius) is convicted of murdering his girlfriend, Lauren (portrayed by Jodi Lyn O'Keefe), and executed. Alex is assisted by Lauren's younger sister, Erin (portrayed by Kirsten Dunst), as they uncover the mystery surrounding the murder. Alex is the only reborn whose make-up didn't appear mysteriously and wasn't provided purposefully, but rather appeared in the form of scars on his face.
Appears in The Crow: Wicked Prayer, the fourth movie in the series. He also appears in the fifth book of the Crow series (Dan Cody was the character's name in the book).
In both the film and the book, Jimmy/Dan's (portrayed in the movie by Edward Furlong) girlfriend (Lily "Ignites the Dawn"/Leticia "Dreams The Truth" (portrayed by Emmanuelle Chiriquí) is hunted down by a gang of Satanists who want to steal her power. They kill her and Jimmy in doing so. Jimmy/Dan then goes on a journey to avenge his girlfriend's death and take down the two bikers in the process.
He appears in The Crow: Quoth the Crow, the first published novel in the series. William Blessing, a writer, is killed as his wife is raped. He must now plot his revenge: to kill the goth gang.
He appears in The Crow: Lazarus Heart, the second published novel in the series. A controversial S&M photographer is condemned to die for killing his lover in Louisiana.
She appears in The Crow: Clash by Night, the third published novel in the series. A day care owner is killed, along with some of the children she watches, when a militia group tries to kill a senator. To make matters worse, Amy discovers her husband has moved on with her best friend, who survived the blast. Her husband's emotional struggles bring pain to both him and Amy.
He appears in The Crow: Temple of Night, the fourth published novel in the series. Enter a young American journalist, assigned to expose the latest cover-up. Stephen is about to break the two cardinal rules of journalism: Don't fall in love, and don't get killed.
Billy and Dren
They appear in The Crow: Hellbound, the last published novel, dating from 2001. In this book reader will follow a demon, named Dren, that seeks redemption, and Billy, a young hoodlum working for a big-time mobster that also seeks a better life. In the end, these two characters will need to use the powers of the Crow to escape their own hells.
He appears in The X-Files/The Crow: Conspiracy, a comic published in 2014. In this crossover story, it follows a state police officer who was in love with his partner who was pregnant with his child. But their romance was brutally cut short when both died while following a high-speed pursuit that led to a fiery car crash involving the Lone Gunmen. Bernard inexplicably awakens to find himself resurrected by a crow and with only one thing set on his mind was vengeance.
She appears in The Crow: Hark the Herald, a comic published in 2019. In this story, it follows a girl and her father who were kidnapped by a man who was insulted by his intelligence at a public bar. He sought to torment them, but was interrupted by his group who've come to Christmas every year together in order to celebrate the holidays. Then, all six of them decided to kill them as they would become potential witnesses as they would of been arrested for kidnapping. A year later, she was resurrected by the crow in order to check everyone whose been naughty or nice.
He appears in The Crow: Momento Mori, a comic published in 2018.
She appears in The Crow: Momento Mori, a comic published in 2018.
He appears in The Crow: Lethe, a comic published in 2020.