Dr. Crowe #2 Review

Posted May 30, 2017 by Chad Waller in Comic Books

Written By: Corey Fryia

Art By: Bruno Letizia, Tony Gregori, Dann Franco

Published By: 215 Ink

I’m not entirely sure where to put Dr. Crowe #2 on any kind of genre map. I guess it’s an adventure book, but no one really goes on any adventures. It plays with monsters, so horror perhaps; however, it’s not scary. A mystery then, ala Sherlock Holmes? But all of our answers are found within six or seven pages of the question. Dr. Crowe himself is never perturbed.

Is…is bland a genre? It’s that.

The problems lie with Dr. Crowe himself. He’s a monster hunter/ghost killer/adventurer with no personality. At his best he’s mega dour and self serious, but at his worst he’s nothing but an information dump. He knows everything going in, which is fine, but he has no character flaws to offset that. I’d call him a Gary Stu but even then, he’s too boring to be an author insert.

In a way, he reads like a video game character in a generic hack-n-slash game. He’d be passable were the reader playing as him, shooting werewolves and stumbling upon the Necronomicon after going through a dungeon. It would be a trite story, but were the gameplay fun, worthwhile.

Think Diablo 3.

Comics aren’t video games though. Dr. Crowe is too boring to root for, and he knows too much for there to be any sense of danger. What we get is just, well, bland. The writing is overwritten but not offensively so, the artwork is fine, and the actual mini plots don’t commit any grave sins other than being done before in better stories.

I’m not sure there’s a new idea to be found anywhere in this book.

The story structure itself doesn’t do the comic any favors. Dr. Crowe breaks itself apart into three short story segments of about eight pages each, and there’s not enough page space to get a solid sense of time or scale. The dungeon is there, and a few pages later Dr. Crowe is escaping. It’s “The End” before we get to the good stuff.

The thing with being bland and generic is that it’s worse than being outright bad. I’ll remember an awful book, and I might even read one just to marvel at the poor writing or character work. I’ll never remember a bland book. I’ll never grab Issue #3 to see if the quality gets worse because by the time it’s out, I’ll have forgotten I read #2.

About the Author

Chad Waller

Chad Waller is the cofounder of Dual Wield Software, a two-man video game company that just published The Land of Glass on Steam. You should check it out! You can follow him on Twitter @DualWieldSoft and find his company page on Facebook with a quick search.