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Greed is for amateurs. Disorder, chaos, anarchy - now that's fun!
~ Top Dollar


Top Dollar is a supporting antagonist in James O'Barr’s graphic novel The Crow, and the main antagonist of the 1994 film adaptation of the same name.

In the film, he was portrayed by Michael Wincott, who also played Michael Korda in MetroPhilo Gant in Strange Days, Guy of Gisbourne in Robin Hood: Prince of Thieves and Scroop in Disney's Treasure Planet.

Biography

Graphic novel

In O’Barr’s graphic novel, Top Dollar is a small-time drug dealer and one of a gang of thugs, who murder musician Eric Draven and his girlfriend Shelley Webster for fun.

One year later, Eric is brought back from the dead by a mysterious crow, and seeks vengeance on his and Shelley’s murderers. He finds Top Dollar at a meeting with his men, and shoots him in the head, killing him.

Film

In the film adaptation, Top Dollar is a mobster who controls Detroit's street gangs along with his half-sister and lover Myca. Every year on Devil’s Night, his men loot and rob the city, setting several buildings on fire to intimidate law enforcement.

He is responsible for the deaths of both Eric Draven and his girlfriend, Shelly Webster. When Shelley started a petition to fight unjust tenant eviction in a building Top Dollar owned, he sent a gang of his men to rape her and drive her out of her house on Devil’s Night. Unfortunately, Eric came home that night as they were raping her, which resulted in both of them getting killed.

One year later, a mysterious crow brings Eric back to life, and he sets about avenge his and Shelley's death by killing the men responsible. He eliminates Top Dollar’s lieutenants until there was only one left — a low-level minion named Skank. When Eric leaves one of his hsnchmen, Gideon, alive as a message, he tries to warn Top Dollar. However Top Dollar thinks he's making it up so he drives a sword through his throat, killing him.

As Top Dollar holds a meeting with the city’s other gang leaders, Eric breaks in and demands that they hand Skank over. A gunfight ensues and Eric kills Skank along with several of the gang leaders. Top Dollar escapes with Myca and his right-hand man Grange.

Grange kidnaps Eric and Shelly’s friend Sarah when she leaves the cemetery and takes her to the abandoned church (where Top Dollar and Myca are hiding out), forcing Eric back into action to rescue her. After Grange and Myca’s deaths, Eric ends up fighting Top Dollar on the roof of the church.

The mob boss claims responsibility for what happened to Eric and Shelly, saying that nothing happens in Detroit without his “say-so”. But, before he can kill him again, Eric gives Top Dollar the “30 hours of pain” that Shelly suffered (which he absorbed from police sergeant Albrecht). Top Dollar then falls from the roof and is impaled on the horns of a gargoyle.

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