It seemed like it would all work out on paper; take The Crow idea and apply it to a WWII setting. Sounds like the perfect setting for a story based around death, redemption and revenge, and it sounds even better when the creator himself, James O’Barr, helms it. However, such is not the case with latest run of The Crow series, which focuses less on the character emotion and more on the action.
Set in a Nazi concentration camp during the Second World War, The Crow: Skinning the Wolves follows an angel of death and his feathery companion as he takes claims the lives of the men who killed him and his loved ones. Filled with plenty of violence and entertaining fight scenes, the series doesn’t quite live up to the quality of human emotion that was so apparent in the original Crow storyline. Swapping story for carnage, the series never lets up on the grotesque violence that it can deliver upon, which is frightfully brought to life with Jim Terry’s incredibly disturbing illustrations.
Unfortunately, this is the only front that the series delivers on. There is no real point in the story that makes you care a great deal about our protagonist or the Nazi troops that he is exterminating throughout. It’s disappointing to see that a storyline with so much potential focusing around the emotional turmoil of the war and it’s victims get scrapped so hastily and replaced with a straight-forward revenge story that doesn’t try to create anything new or exciting with it’s character or setting. Even the lackluster The Crow: Death and Rebirth had more ambition in creating an original storyline, even if it was clouded with too many references to Japanese culture that it deterred the plot from being about The Crow’s own form of mythology.
Although it is an admirable attempt to reinvigorate life into the series, The Crow: Skinning the Wolves is nothing more than a dark actioner with only references to the original powers that made the original Crow great.