The Crow is a comic book series created by James O'Barr. The series was originally written by O'Barr as a means of dealing with the death of his girlfriend at the hands of a drunk driver. It was later published by Caliber Comics in 1989, becoming an underground success, and later adapted into a film of the same name in 1994. Three film sequels, a television series and numerous books and comic books have also been subsequently produced.
The Crow has been translated into almost a dozen languages and has sold around 750,000 copies worldwide.
The story revolves around an unfortunate young man named Eric. He and his fiancée, Shelly, are assaulted by a gang of street thugs after their car breaks down. Eric is shot in the head and is paralyzed, and can only watch as Shelly is savagely beaten and raped. They are then left for dead on the side of the road.
He is resurrected by a crow and seeks vengeance on the murderers, methodically stalking and killing them. When not on the hunt, Eric stays in the house he shared with Shelly, spending most of his time there lost in memories of her. Her absence is torture for him; he is in emotional pain, even engaging in self-mutilation by cutting himself.
The crow acts as both guide and goad for Eric, giving him information that helps him in his quest but also chastising him for dwelling on Shelly's death, seeing his pining as useless self-indulgence that distracts him from his purpose.
- Sherri: A young street girl whom Eric meets while going after Funboy. Sherri is shown as upset, due to her mother not being there for her, and even goes so far as to tell Eric that she believes she's been bad and God sent her to Hell. She and Eric seem to bond closely, and feeling sorry for her, he gives her Shelly's engagement ring. She's overjoyed, because no one has ever given her a gift before, and she calls him a "clown", while he calls her a "princess". She is renamed Sarah in the film adaptation.
- T-Bird: The head of the gang that murders Shelly and Eric.
- Funboy: T-Bird's right-hand man, a morphine addict who is sleeping with Sherri's mother.
- Top Dollar: A low-level drug dealer.
- Tin-Tin: The first of T-Bird's gang to be eliminated by Eric.
- Tom-Tom: One of T-Bird's soldiers and one of Shelly's rapists. Tom-Tom is absent of the film adaptation, being replaced by Skank.
- Gideon: A pawnbroker who is used by T-Bird's lackeys to fence Shelly's engagement ring.
- Officer Albrecht: A beat cop who confronts Eric outside Gideon's pawnshop.
- Captain Hook: The detective who originally handled Eric and Shelly's case. Eric sends him his regards through Albrecht.
Special Edition A.K.A. Author's Edition 
O'Barr stated in a 2004 interview that The Crow: Author's Edition would contain at least "60 pages of new material that no one has ever seen. Half of that are pages that had to be removed for space reasons". O'Barr describes the additions as including "more romance flashback scenes between Eric and Shelly", as well as sequences which will make the work "more visually interesting".
On January 16, 2010, it was announced on James O'Barr's official website that the Author's Edition of The Crow is indeed going to be released and that James O'Barr was currently working on it.
On April 7, 2011, it was announced on James O'Barr's official website that The Crow: Special Edition would be released on July 28, 2011.
Comics and books 
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Also in 1998, O'Barr and editor Ed Kramer asked an array of fiction writers, poets and artists (including Gene Wolfe, Alan Dean Foster, Charles de Lint, Jack Dann, Jane Yolen, Henry Rollins and Iggy Pop) to interpret this Gothic fiction phenomenon. The Crow: Shattered Lives and Broken Dreams was released by Random House on Halloween, and a year later, in a limited signed and numbered volume, by Donald M. Grant Publishing.
In 1999, Image Comics released a new Crow comic series with yet another take on the Eric Draven story. It ran for ten issues, ending in November of that year.
Film and television 
In 1994, a film based on the comic (titled The Crow) was released to theaters by Miramax Films. The film was both a critical and commercial success earning $50,693,129 total gross during its 1994 United States theatrical release. A cult following, in part due to the accidental death of its star Brandon Lee on the film's set, has maintained the film's popularity, with a regular staple of movie memorabilia being found at retailers Hot Topic. Three sequels have been made so far: The Crow: City of Angels (1996), starring Vincent Pérez (as The Crow), Mia Kirshner, Richard Brooks and Iggy Pop; The Crow: Salvation (2000), starring Eric Mabius (as The Crow), Kirsten Dunst and Fred Ward; and The Crow: Wicked Prayer (2005), starring Edward Furlong (as The Crow), David Boreanaz and Tara Reid. A television series, The Crow: Stairway to Heaven (1998), was based on the first movie with Mark Dacascos replacing Lee in the role of Eric Draven.
On December 14, 2008, Stephen Norrington announced in Variety that he planned to write and direct a "reinvention" of The Crow. Norrington distinguished between the original and his remake: "Whereas Proyas’ original was gloriously Gothic and stylized, the new movie will be realistic, hard-edged and mysterious, almost documentary-style." Ryan Kavanaugh's Relativity Media is currently negotiating with Edward R. Pressman for both the film's rights and financing.
See also 
- "The Crow Translations". Archived from the original on 2008-04-15. Retrieved 2010-02-05.
- Epstein, Daniel Robert (May 21, 2004). "James O'Barr, creator of The Crow". Suicide Girls. Retrieved 2008-04-24. Archived on 2008-04-24.
- "The Crow Author's Edition". James O'Barr. January 16, 2010. Retrieved 2010-01-18.
- The Crow: Special Edition release date!
- The Comic Book Critic. "Preview of The Crow #1 (IDW)". Retrieved 2012-04-17.
- "The Crow". Retrieved 2010-01-23.
- Fleming, Michael (2008-12-14). "Norrington flies with 'Crow' franchise". Variety.
- "The Crow Relaunch Moves Forward With Casting". i09. Retrieved 2009-11-25.