|Relatives||Brock J. Draven (adopted father)|
Veronica Draven (adopted mother)
Chris Draven (adopted younger brother)
Shelly Webster (fiancée)
Black Feather (past life/fellow Crow)
|Quote||It can’t rain all the time.|
|Fate||Killed by T-Bird and his gang|
|Actor||Brandon Lee (The Crow)|
Mark Dacascos (The Crow: Stairway to Heaven)
Eric Draven was a former heavy metal guitarist in the band Hangman's Joke. He was engaged to Shelly Webster, with their wedding scheduled for Halloween night. On the night before the holiday, known as Devil's Night, a gang led by T-Bird murdered both Shelley and Eric. Eric is resurrected by the crow one year later in order to exact revenge.
Not much is explained about Eric's life in the first movie. Judging by the picture's on its wall, his band, "Hangman's Joke" used to perform at a concert/club owned by Top Dollar. The whereabouts of the rest of the band are unknown.
Little is known how or when he met Shelly Webster, but they cohabitated together. They also befriended street urchin Sarah, when her mother has been neglecting her in favour of spending time doing drugs and having a sexual liaison with Funboy. Not much is shown regarding his and Shelly's relationship, but they loved each other so much that nothing seemed to let them down. Shelly burns dinner, they decide to eat at a restaurant. Eric scares her with a clown mask, they just play around. There was even one instance where they were playfully fighting and spraying each other with shaving cream.
Sometime before Devil's Night 1992, Eric takes her to the attic loft for a surprise. When she opens it up, she finds herself surrounded by candles and a small box in the center of the room. Shelly opens the box, revealing an engagement ring. Overcome with love, Shelly not only says yes, but tells Eric she loves him.
They couldn't be happier — that is, until Devils Night. While it was ambiguous to Eric's knowledge of the situation, Shelly was among most of the tenants of the loft, protesting against Top Dollar's tenant relocation program. (which was actually a ruse so he could get them out of the building and set it on fire among most of the known arson of that night). So Top Dollar sends T-Bird, Funboy, Tin Tin and Skank to intimidate her into backing off. Shelly was cut, beat and raped by them in order to coerce her. However, when Eric shows upbringing groceries, the already horrible assault turns into one of murder. Tin Tin throws a knife at him and he and Skank restrain him. Whist T-Bird and Funboy shoot him in the chest twice. It all ends when they throw him out the window to his death.
Officer Albrecht was on the scene while Shelly was alive and in total agony wondering where Eric was. Albrecht lied to her about Eric to keep her going, but after 30 hours of intensive care, she gave out and died. A year later, Devil's Night is upon them again, and the city is in worse condition than it was before. A crow visits Eric and Shelly's grave, bringing Eric alive and traumatized over his death, unknowing of the additional powers the crow gives him and driven by the need to go home. When he enters his loft, which has not been touched for a year, his emphatic abilities kick into overdrive, when he touches items and his cat Gabriel, causing him to relieve the memories of his death in both his own and Shelly's point of view; the memories cause him great pain and make him jump out the window, catching himself at the last second off the frame and cutting his hands in the process. When he comes back in, Eric discovers he can regenerate, so he declares revenge on the gang; he puts on new clothes and paints his face similar to the clown mask.
He goes after his first victim, Tin Tin, who has little to no memory of the event, but nevertheless taunts him about it. During an attempt to hold him off, with his knives, Eric catches one and throws it back at him. impaling him against a crate. Little is known what happened during his death, but it's implied Eric tortured Tin Tin to death with his own knives demanding the location of his engagement ring. Tin Tin was later found dead, with his knives in all his major organs in alphabetical order and his blood used to make a crow symbol on a nearby wall.
Eric's next stop was at Gideon's pawn shop, where Tin Tin pawned the ring. After much intimidation and scaring Gideon with his abilities, Gideon relents and tells him where the rings are. Using his abilities, Eric narrows the search down, finding Shelly's ring. Giving him one chance to live, a fearful Gideon allows Eric to take anything he wants. Eric finds his electric guitar and takes a shotgun, demanding Gideon to tell him where the rest of T-Bird's gang is. Not wanting any more violence, Gideon reveals they all hang out at a hotel/bar called The Pit, where Darla works and adds that Funboy lives up there.
After getting what he wants, Eric spares Gideon in exchange for telling him to let the rest of the gang know that Death was coming for him and that Eric Draven sends his regards. However, Eric wasn't finished as he douses the shop with Gasoline, fills the shotgun full of rings and gives Gideon the chance to run out before Eric destroys the building as payback for every life taken in exchange for their loot and money. Gideon makes it out, but is badly burned in the process. Upon exiting, he meets Officer Albrecht, who tries to detain him. Albrecht who doesn't recognize him initiall, comes to the conclusion that Eric murdered Tin Tin. Which Eric replies, Tin Tin and the gang were already dead the moment they laid their hands on Shelly. When looters come to rob the paw shop, Albrecht is thrown off guard long enough that Eric takes the opportunity to disappear.
When Eric makes his way to the pit, he sees a depressed Sarah try to skateboard across the street. When a car almost hits her, Eric pulls her out of the way in time. At first she was ungrateful, but when she sees him turn away from her, reeling from the pain he experienced from his emphatic abilities, she feels regretful and asks him if he’s supposed to be a clown or something, and he replies “Sometimes.”
Sarah then says that her skating is more like surfing than skating; when she says she wished the rain would stop just once, Eric tells her "It can't rain all the time." Before Sarah realized who she was talking to, Eric already disappears.
While Funboy and Darla enjoy a morphine binge, The Crow flies on top of the TV. A high Funboy thinking it was just some random bird tries to call it over to him. Eric later shows up and scaring him with his guitar, which causes Funboy to feel freaked out and remark that Eric nearly gave him a heart attack before demanding Eric leave at gunpoint. Eric goads him even putting his hand on the barrel. Funboy, still freaked out, insists that Eric needs professional help before shooting his hand. Eric fakes pain before showing the bullet hole closing back up. Funboy, even more scared, tries to shoot Eric, while Eric is inspired to make a joke about Jesus Christ. Eric, annoyed by the shots, slaps Funboy's gun, causing him to shoot himself in the leg before passing out.
Darla hides in the bathroom, and then, when Eric busts the door down, he sees her before dragging Funboy to the tub and turns the shower on to wake him up.
While he waits, Eric walks over to Darla and disarms her of the straight razor before grabbing her and forcing the morphine out of her system. He then tells her that her daughter (meaning Sarah) is out there on the streets waiting for her. This, in turn, causes Darla to realize how true Eric’s words are and decides to turn her life around and be a better mother to Sarah; so, she runs out of the motel room in a haste. Eric then starts to torture Funboy half to death by sticking morphine needles into his chest.
When Grange, who was interrogating Gideon regarding the pawn shop incident, takes notice of Darla coming down the stairs and running out of the bar (along with Gideon, who also looked puzzled), he comes up to investigate the reason for Darla's running off; he spots Funboy's half dead corpse and just manages to catch a glimpse of Eric falling out the window, winking at him before he fled.
He visits Albrecht, who, at this point, figures out what Eric is. He explains to Eric what happened to Shelly after he died, even offering him the file so he could look himself. However Eric takes a different approach and reads Albrecht's mind, watching 30 hours of pain, his fiance is going through. While Eric was appreciative of Albrecht staying with her the whole time, he demanded to know why Albrecht didn't do anything else, to which Albrecht mentioned he did all he could, the other tenants even the ones that signed a petition with her demanding they stay, were too scared to testify and when Albrecht looked too deep into the case, he got demoted to beat cop. Eric notices a picture of Albrecht and his wife, while Albrecht laments that he's getting a divorce. Eric, in a means of giving him love advice replies, “Little things used to mean so much to Shelly. I used to think they were kind of trivial. Believe me, nothing is trivial."
When he Eric leaves to continue his revenge, Albrecht asks if he's going to vanish into thin air again, to which Eric meekly replies "I thought I'd use your front door."
After Sarah patches things up with her mother, she shows up to see Eric again; at first Eric was a no show, but he shows up assuring her, that even though he can't stay for long he'll always care about her.
T-Bird and Skank show up at a convenience store waiting for Funboy. When T-Bird sends Skank into the store for smokes and beer for the road, Eric carjacks him, forcing him to drive to the docks while Skank and the cops give chase. The cops don't make it, but Skank shows up just in time to Witness T-Bird's demise. In a surprising turn of events, T-Bird does remember the events that lead to Eric and Shelly's death, but dismisses it as ancient history, while Eric ties him to his car. When T-Bird recognizes Eric, he suffers a mental meltdown, initially chanting "There ain't no coming back" before reciting a line he read from Paradise Lost: "Abashed the Devil stood and felt how awful goodness is."
Eric has his car driving off the dock and exploding fusing his body to it, while Eric marks the spot with the Crow emblem using lighter fluid and a Zippo lighter. Eric later on shows up at Top Dollar's club demanding Skank, as he is the last one on his list. Top Dollar instead causes his gang to open fire, causing Eric to kill all while searching for Skank. Top Dollar, Grange and Myca make their escape while learning that the Crow is the source of his powers. After slaughtering the gang, Eric singles out Skank and confronts him. Skank tries to weasel his way out by making Eric think he already killed Skank, Eric however doesn't believe him and throws him out the window in the same fashion Eric had been thrown out. Skank's body lands on a cop car (comically owned by the same cops that lost their coffee trying to chase T-Bird and Eric). The cops demand Eric not too move, but he flees. However he is cornered before Albrecht, fresh off his suspension, rescues Eric. When they find a safe spot, Eric disappears on him again. As Eric makes his way back to his grave, he witnesses kids running around, on Halloween, the streets safe for them. This causes Eric to smile and laugh warmly, realizing his revenge was worth it. When he finds his grave, he notices Sarah sleeping near it and wakes her. He tells her to go home, but not before giving her Shelly's engagement ring.
When she leaves and Eric is preparing to pass on, he sees through The Crow’s eyes, Sarah is in danger as Grange has kidnapped her and brought her to the church where Top Dollar and Myca are hiding out. However when he goes to rescues her, it turns out to be a trap as Grange shoots the crow weakening Eric. To test the weakness, Top Dollar shoots Eric causing him to bleed out and collapse, while Top Dollar, now knowing who he is, starts torturing him. Grange warns Top Dollar that the Crow is still alive, but before he could kill it, Albrecht rushes in and shoots Grange to death, leaving Top Dollar and Myca for last as they flee with Sarah and the Crow to the top of the church.
Albrecht initially counted on Eric's healing abilities to stop them, but when he realizes Eric is no longer invincible, he has to help him get to the stairs. Myca gets the drop on Albrecht shooting and wounding him, whilst Eric confronts her; Myca claims she plans on taking his powers. Eric, having none of that, causes the crow to peck Myca’s eyes out, which causes her to fall to her death.
Eric makes it to the roof where Top Dollar has Sarah hostage. At first Eric offers to give himself up in exchange for Sarah, but Top Dollar throws her off the roof, causing her to cling to the eaves. Eric and Top Dollar fight it out whilst Eric grabs a weather vane using it as a makeshift sword to duel Top Dollar's katana; while he puts up a fight, Top Dollar eventually gains the upper hand and stabs him in the back. Top Dollar reveals that he gave the order to clear the loft that caused Shelly and Eric's death in the first place, saying that nothing happens in Detroit without his say-so. He then apologizes for spoiling Eric’s wedding plans, and laments that, after he kills Eric, he's gonna miss him for giving him a good challenge.
Eric however, grabs Top Dollar by the head, administering the memory of Shelly's 30-hour death all at once. This causes Top Dollar's mind to cave in, which in turn causes him to cry blood before stumbling and falling off the church, impaling himself on a gargoyle-shaped eavesdrop. Eric saves Sarah, and takes her to the wounded Albrecht. Albrecht has a cigarette, but quits when he realizes he’s lost his taste for it.
Eric thanks Albrecht for his help, tells Sarah to stay with him until the paramedics arrive and disappears once more. When Eric returns to his grave, his revenge finally over. He reunites with Shelly, who helps him pass on.
The only thing that remains of Eric is the Crow, who watches over Sarah and gives her Shelly's engagement ring when she lost it in the church fight.
The show reveals much of Eric's life before becoming the Crow:
- Eric is a native of Vietnam and was adopted by Lt. Col. Brock Draven and his pregnant wife Veronica when he was three. Brock later died in Vietnam but not before giving Eric his dog tags, which he later gave to his brother Chris.
- Eric spent time in Juvenile Hall, taking the blame when his brother Chris stole money from their foster mother to buy comics.
- Shelly first met Eric when she was taking pictures of his band; he stopped a man from harassing her.
- Eric and Shelly once visited a fortune teller who showed their tarot cards. Eric picked the Lovers, while Shelly picked Death.
- Eric and Chris became estranged when Chris stole one of Shelly's cameras.
- Eric had served in the United States Marine Corps (similar to his character's inventor).
- When he died, Eric was 28 (similar to the actor Brandon Lee, who portrayed him in the original film)
- As a reborn, Eric does not need to eat or sleep and is incapable of feeling physical pain. His supernatural strength and endurance allows him to overcome any adversary, even those that are otherwise untouchable.
- He is also able to see through the eyes of the crow. Eric is superhumanly agile with cat-like reflexes and heightened senses, including cat-like night vision and Crow-like focus.
- He is nearly invulnerable to harm due to his ability to quickly regenerate and cannot be harmed by conventional means if sustained in the act of fulfilling his vengeance. He is immune to sickness and decay, and is unaffected by cider. Eric seems to have the power to heal others to some extent; one example is when he purged the morphine in Darla Mohr's body simply by touching her. Eric's powers are tied to the crow avatar that watches over him while he enacts his vengeance; his powers subside if the crow avatar is destroyed.
- There seems to be a limit to his healing ability, however. In the original comic, Eric slit his own wrists in a fit of despair. The wounds he inflicted upon himself would not heal so he wrapped his arms in electrical tape.
- Eric has tactile telepathy and empathy, able to feel the emotions and see the memories of others by touching them. He can also absorb and store these memories and emotions to transfer into others, usually as a form of torture; this is shown when he virtually kills Top Dollar in the first film by making him feel thirty hours of Shelly's pain.
- Able to read off of objects and people by making physical contact with them. Peering into an affected items past in order to suss through relevant information from the visions provided to them by the psychic imprint left behind upon said item of interest.
- It's only limited to the TV series, but Eric has the ability to change his face from his normal form and his face-paint form. The change only occurs when someone pushes him into a rage. The movie surprisingly has a variation of it, where upon wounding the crow and Eric losing his healing ability his face changes back to his normal form after the entirety of the movie spent wearing the face-paint.
- In the comic Eric is completely invincible and the crow is more or less a spirit that only Eric can see, while in the film Eric’s invincibility solely relies on the health of the crow and everyone can see the crow.
- In the film Eric was a rock musician while in the comic he’s a mechanic.
- Eric was changed to a musician in the film to pay tribute to all the musical references in the original comic.
- From The Crow deleted scenes it is heavily implied that Eric’s invincibility would’ve been diminished if he got involved with the problems of the world of the living.
- Before choosing Brandon Lee, the other people that were considered for the role of Eric Draven were Keanu Reeves, River Phoenix, Christian Slater, Johnny Depp, and Jon Bon Jovi. Brandon was ultimately chosen because he had the physicality for the role.
- Brandon chose to lose weight for the role as he believed that the character shouldn’t look too healthy when coming back to life after being dead for one year.
- In the film, Eric’s confrontation with Funboy was different in a deleted scene. When Eric walks out of the bathroom and picks up a hypodermic needle, Funboy sneaks up behind Eric and stabs him in the back with a razor. Funboy repeatedly stabbed Eric with the razor before being overpowered by Eric and forced to overdose on morphine.
- In the film, the explosive that Eric drops in T-Bird’s lap is a white phosphorus grenade.
- Brandon Lee said that Eric Draven was his best character.
- Both actors who portrayed Eric Draven are proficient in a style of martial arts created by their fathers. Brandon Lee was proficient in Jeet Kune Do, a style of martial arts created by his father Bruce Lee, and Mark Dacascos is proficient in Wun Hop Kuen Do, a style of martial arts created by his father Al Dacascos.