Lately, there has been a lot of chatter about the planned remake of The Crow. The most recent news is that filming is scheduled to begin in January 2017. This is the closest this movie has been to actually happening after close to a decade in development purgatory. I have been following rumours and starts and stops of this project for years. The list of actors attached is long and includes: Mark Wahlberg, Bradley Cooper, and most recently Jack Huston in 2015. This project has started and died so many times I even lost track of it. The most recent cause for the project to be derailed was Relativity Media’s financial troubles. When that happened, I assumed we would not hear anything about the Crow for several more years. It was a pleasant surprise for this Crow fan to hear that Jason Momoa was cast and it may actually go into production.
From what I have seen, the majority of people like the casting decision but struggle whether or not a remake should be made. I fully understand the idea that Brandon Lee as Eric Draven is his legacy. He was the perfect actor for the original adaption. People seem to feel that a remake will tarnish Brandon Lee’s legacy. I think if they try and recreate that movie it is a terrible idea; however, if they instead chose to adapt the original/comic story, then I am all for it. The first movie is based on O’Barr’s comic story but it is far from a straight adaptation. The comic is grittier and more basic than the Brandon Lee movie. The film added elements to the story that are not from the comic – some of the campier parts and the whole supernatural showdown at the end of the film being two examples.
The original film was perfect for the time it was made but the original story is amazing in its own right. For those of you that are not familiar with the Crow, it is a story of loss and pain. James O’Barr wrote the story after the loss of his fiancee to a drunk driver. It was a part of his grieving process so as you can imagine it is very personal and important to him. If you have not read the story, please go out and do so. Even if you are dead set against a new film and you have not read the story, please go out and do so.
Since this is a site for speculation and investing, I will attempt to provide some actual comic info. Let me start by saying I own quite a few copies of Crow keys. I have been buying them for years as the movie is one of my favorites of all time which lead to me discovering how great the source material is. Movie or no movie, my love of these books will not change. I am going to provide estimated print runs for some of the books, but keep in mind these are truly estimates as there was not a definitive source for these independent titles at the time.
If you are not aware, the Crow’s 1st appearance is an eight page intro in Caliber Presents #1 (1989, 10,000 copies). This is the book I feel is potentially undervalued as The Crow #1 goes for about 50% more in most grades.
Now here is where it gets interesting: the story was never printed in full until it was sold to Tundra and the story was reprinted in 3 books in more of a prestige style. Issue #5 was never released as a stand alone but a preview was printed in Caliber Presents #15.
The final book to be hunting down is Deadworld #10, which has 2 cover variants, both with an ad for The Crow on the back cover.
For those of you that like to track down previews and ads and go very obscure (talking to you Topher), there is mention of a promotional pack with the first trade ad for the Crow in Caliber Rounds #1. I was not aware of this item until a few months ago when a copy appeared on ebay (for transparency, I now own that copy). A second copy has recently been listed with a crazy asking price. I have no idea how many were originally printed; however, in my years of collecting Crow comics, I have never heard of this item or seen it before and I doubt many shop owners held on to these as they were basically a newsletter for a start up publisher. As a bit of obscure trivia that I learned from this preview, it appears that Caliber Presents was originally going to be titled High Caliber.
One bonus book just because of the cover is the Image Comics 1999 Crow series issue 1 Cover B Mcfarlane variant. Honestly I have no idea nor have find if it was a ratio variant or just a 1:1 but it does seem less common than cover A.
I have no idea if a new movie is going to affect the value of these books; however, I do know that there are not a lot of these books out in the wild. Many are in collections and have been for decades as the original film made life-long hardcore fans. I feel these books are, at worst, solid long term investments that are still affordable, relative to many Silver and Bronze keys that are now out of the reach of many collectors. If nothing else, find a copy of the trade, which has sold hundreds of thousands of copies, and enjoy a great original story.