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Crow-ing About Lady Death, Part 3
Writer Dan Jolley takes us behind the scenes as two pasty-faced comic book legends meet
By Arnold T. Blumberg
August 14, 2002
In the last two installments of our three-part look ahead at the future of Lady Death, we talked with writer John Ostrander about LADY DEATH: THE MOURNING
, a story arc that will see the pallid sword-wielder dealing with the very real threat of AIDS in a rather inventive way. While that will certainly be a significant chapter in the career of the Chaos! Queen - with ramifications that extend beyond the usual limited scope of an "event" miniseries and involve revelations concerning Lady Death herself and the nature of the Chaos! Universe - THE MOURNING
won't be the only source of excitement for Lady Death fans as the leaves begin to fall.
For one thing, as Ostrander revealed last time, Lady Death will be participating in a Chaos!-wide crossover event called LADY DEATH: DARK ALLIANCE
, which will make some potentially Earth-shattering changes to the Chaos! mythos and Lady Death as well. But if all that isn't enough - and by gosh, don't you think it ought to be - the Lady of White will also meet a familiar face from another universe when the spiritual avenger known as the Crow comes calling in September. Clearly, Lady Death fans will have a lot to Crow about this fall...please excuse me, it was just too easy.
For the first time, Chaos! Comics' platinum-haired anti-heroine and James O'Barr's vengeful comic book hero turned film franchise star will join forces in LADY DEATH/THE CROW
#1. Penciled by Romano Molenaar and scripted by Dan Jolley, the story will pit the two undead crusaders against an evil - and bloodthirsty - magician.
Watch out! Two nasty avengers are about to join forces in LADY DEATH/THE CROW #1.
© 2002 Chaos! Comics
"The basic story is that a photographer named Michael Shaw and his wife Carrie are ritualistically murdered by a twisted magic-user," says Jolley. "The nature of their deaths, and what the magician does then, not only resurrects Michael to exact vengeance, but also attracts the attention of Lady Death, who's compelled to put a stop to the mage's activities."
Fans of the pale-faced characters needn't worry that one will get short shrift while the other takes center stage. Jolley is working hard to insure that the team-up is a balanced effort.
"I've tried my best to give both characters equal 'screen time' since that's what Chaos! was looking for," says Jolley. "They didn't want it to be a Crow story that featured Lady Death, or vice versa. The story ought to appeal to both Crow fans and Lady Death fans. That's what I'm hoping in any case."
It was Jolley himself who campaigned to get the assignment as soon as he heard the Crow was coming to Chaos! Comics. Having worked on the Chaos! series PURGATORI
for some time, Jolley was familiar with the publisher's universe, and this was his chance to incorporate a familiar favorite from the past.
" I've been working for Chaos! since last summer, writing Purgatori more or less monthly," says Jolley. "When I heard the rumor that Chaos! had gotten the rights to do this project, I immediately contacted Brian Pulido to let him know how intensely interested I'd be in writing it. I've been a rabid Crow fan since 1991, and the chance to work on James O'Barr's concept along with the flagship character of Chaos! was something I couldn't pass up."
The Crow contemplates meeting Lady Death in a new crossover event.
© 2002 Chaos! Comics
O'Barr did not have any direct input into this latest appearance of his creation - "But we did have his blessing on it," says Jolley - but the creative team has labored to make the project a worthy addition to the Crow mythos as well as an exciting chapter in the saga of Chaos! Comics' sword-wielding champion. While crossovers always present the challenge of blending two sometimes diverse worlds into a single reality - witness the many times Marvel and DC have found different rationalizations for mixing and matching heroes - Jolley believes this was a very natural pairing.
"[The Crow and Lady Death] complement each other very well, I think," says Jolley. "Lady Death [is] an avatar of the Grim Reaper, and the crow-guided revenants also have a link directly to Death, [allowing] the two concepts to fit pretty seamlessly."
Judge for yourself when LADY DEATH/THE CROW
#1 arrives in preview form in August prior to its debut in September.