If there is one reason to read Sparrow & Crowe, it's for the characters. Crowe is a lovable rogue with so many faults as to be endearing. Crowe's smarta-- quips put him in the company of other occult detectives such as Harry Dresden, but with a dash of British dry humor. His love of a good whiskey and cursed hand's penchant for getting him into places he's not wanted frequently get him in over his head. While he may be an alcoholic narcissist, Crowe does still care and shows it when he throws himself directly into harm's way, though he's not above looking for payment after the danger is past. While Sparrow plays a smaller part in this first issue, her banter with Crowe is entertaining, and she proves herself to be the responsible member of the pair, keeping Crowe from causing too much damage to himself. The mob characters initially come off as cheesy stereotypes in appearance and dialogue, but Don Marino and his henchmen quickly prove that they are more than just another set of wise guys.
Accampo and Rogers did a great job pacing this first issue. They waste no time getting to the action and manage to convey a lot of backstory and characterization along the way. No big monologue is necessary to explain who Crowe is; his actions convey his characteristics.
Artist Jared Souza complements the writing with his art's cinematic feel. There is a lot of detail in his artwork, which lends a gritty, lived in feel to the world. Souza even switches the angles of the “camera” frequently, using perspective to enhance each scene. This same trick does lead to my one complaint about his style: some angles create weird character proportions, with limbs appearing overly long or hands far too large, but there is still plenty of time to smooth these out between now and July. Souza's art for demonic possession is incredible with the final page of Issue #1 being truly haunting.
While not required listening to appreciate Sparrow & Crowe, fans of the audio drama that preceded it, Wormwood, will be pleased to hear that Sparrow & Crowe lives up to the expectations. Accampo and Rogers recaptured the feel of all of the characters; I could practically hear Arthur Russell's voice come from the Crowe on the page. The Demoniac of Los Angeles is a critical story for Crowe, its events often mentioned as the catalyst for Crowe's visit to Wormwood, and this series should not be missed for fans of the show.
For more information about Sparrow & Crowe, including some preview pages of the first issue, check out www.sparrowandcrowe.com. Sparrow & Crowe is currently featured in the Hermes Press section of the Diamond catalog, so ask your your local comic book shop to stock Issue #1 under the order code MAY121179, so you can read it for yourself this July. Can't wait that long to experience some of Dr. Crowe's story? You can visit www.wormwoodshow.com to find all three seasons of the audio drama, starring many of the same characters.