This issue brings the current story arc to an end. A story that could have been a bit better in its substance, but one that has picked up the pace a little towards this concluding issue. John Shirley has still managed to capture the overall feel and character of The Crow well throughout. The dark, moody atmosphere is there, which is good. Without it, the story wouldn’t have worked. Kevin Colden, on the other hand, has done a fantastic job with the artwork. It’s dark, moody, and really atmospheric. Everything you could ask for in a Crow story. Back to the story, which is sometimes a little hard to follow, as it jumps about quite a bit, but not without reason. As we know, the character of The Crow is an embodiment of the crow spirit. One of vengeance that brings ultimate revenge to people who have wronged. In this case, in revenge to his fiancée being kidnapped and her body being possessed by another spirit. He has now been transported to the underworld, where spirits are helping him find his loved one.
At the end of issue #4, The Crow is up against an Ikiryo, the only thing that can kill him. In a few beautifully drawn pages, we see The Crow struggle to kill his foe. Even dismembering and decapitating fails to finish him off. He unexpectedly gets help from Majo, the spirit that has yet to make an appearance in the flesh, as she has been imprisoned in a casket all through the story. Eagerly, she leaves her prison and feasts upon the Ikiryo, leaving The Crow to continue his quest for Haruko. Mount Osore and the depths of Hell is his destination. Toko’s spirit has found her, but he warns him that she is guarded by an enormous beast, which has been promised Haruko’s soul by the next moon. Toko cannot follow, as his time is near. His soul is almost drained of life and The Crow must battle for his loved one on his own. Soro is told that Biotrope will no longer cover up his madness, but he now has the power of the underworld to help his cause.
He makes his way through the many hells that stretch out in front of him. The Fifth Hell of Crushing Desire is first as he escapes a dragon. He then faces The War Maker’s Hell, fighting off many dead soldiers. As he passes through the Realm of Animal Minds, he meets up with Majo, who gives him something to help guide him the rest of the way. A dead crow will be his guiding light. The Realm of Hungry Ghosts is next. As he reaches the end, he is greeted by the sight of the last thing to stand in his way. The Great Lord of Cruelty is ready to feast on Haruko. The dead crow tricks him into showing Haruko to him. The Crow offers himself as a sacrifice, as he can’t live without her. Without hesitation, the Great Lord accepts this and quickly swallows him. Inside, he finds the spirit of Haruko and promptly exits through the head of the Great Lord. As he does this, we see him actually exit the body of Soro. One bullet kills the body of Haruko, finally setting her spirit free to rest in peace. They can be together again to join the spirits once and for all, because, as we know, The Crow is already dead and the spirit of Jamie Osterberg can now join her.
A good ending to this story arc, especially the way Jamie made his way through the various depths of Hell. Well-drawn and a fitting ending. 8/10