y Dustin Cabeal
Doctor Crowe is an anthology or sorts in that there are four separate stories, but they’re all written by Corey Fryia, and each story has a different artist. It’s very similar to what other publishers do on annuals in which they invite different creators to tell a variety of stories with a set of characters, but in this instance, it’s one man telling the stories. I’m not opposed to that; I just wish it had a damn name beside "anthology."
The gist of all the stories is that there’s a supernatural element that Doctor Crowe is either fighting against or trying to stop the spread of back into the world. He’s like Sherlock Holmes and Lord Baltimore combined, but with a crow mask that is clearly a throwback to the time in which doctors wore them with thick amounts of lavender hoping not to contract the plague.
All of the stories are quick, well-plotted and entertaining. Throughout the course of the four stories, we get more and more of Doctor Crowe’s personality on display. Which A) works for this type of story and B) works for this kind of character. Doctor Crowe is far more interesting when he’s in the middle of a problem and frankly not knowing why he does this isn’t a deal breaker for me. That can be saved for another story.
All of the artists on the issue are a good fit. It’s been a while since I read an anthology like this that had cohesive artwork. They each have their style for sure, but there was never that massive shift in the look of the book. Sure you could argue that a little with the last story, but I think the tone of the story and coloring keep it in line with the other stories.
The only problem I see with this book is that most of the time Doctor Crowe wins. Even when he loses he still basically wins. It’s a fine line to tow with a character like this that stars in shorter stories with quick build-ups and fast payoffs. While the first issue was enjoyable, it’s difficult to say whether I would read more. Because in the end, the stories end up having the same pacing and that formula wears on a reader over time making it less exciting and interesting as the issues go on. As for how it starts, it’s entertaining and creates a character and world that feel at home in the world of comics.
Keep making comics.
Doctor Crowe #1
Writer: Corey Fryia
Artists: Tony Gregori, Matt Horak, Karim Whalen
Publisher: 215 Ink