Take some talking animals and mix them with magic, a tragic accident and an army of buffalo (or are they bison?) on its way to kill them all and what do you have?
One of the best damn comics on the stands right now! Tooth and Claw #2: Is it good?
Tooth and Claw #2 (Image Comics)
Last issue a boar wizardess convinced her fellow gentlebeings to combine their magical powers and bring back the Champion from the past. The Champion is a powerful creature that opened up the world to magic, but since the creatures’ magic has been depleting it seemed like a great idea… until it cracked their city in the sky in half and sent it plummeting to the earth. This issue picks up where the last left off with the characters telling tales of the Champion, although the species of the Champion is still up for debate.
What about tentacles!? These land animals need to open up their imaginations.
Writer Kurt Busiek has a really cool world on his hands here primarily because of how deep the mythology and culture seem. These animals pray to a number of gods and host many different magical abilities. Each one seems to be a specialist in some way and since they have some amazing abilities they’ve allowed themselves to become soft and reliant on their powers. With the powers dwindling and their new obsession with bringing the Champion back one could see a relation between this book and how people today put so much stock into religion. This is of course my interpretation and I’m sure readers can find their own meaning behind it all which just shows how robust and interesting the world is after only two issues.
Busiek opens the book with a tale being told over a fire of the Champion. It’s a great way to segue into the issue as it recaps just how desperate they all are for the Champion to save them. After a page of art, with some rather fascinating looking robot birds with gears on their heads, the comic delivers a two page spread illustration one might see in a classic pulp novel. Underneath we’re given novel-like prose of the stor. It then cuts to the main story of the characters and shifts back to the problems at hand.
Lightsaber or magic sword…you be the judge.
The events in this book dictate a lot of action, so don’t be surprised if the pace and tone have changed a lot since the first issue. The first issue had very little action but a lot of exposition. That doesn’t make this issue bad in the slightest, as there are still interesting reveals and character moments to be had. Something about seeing poor defenseless animals get mauled by buffalo soldiers is tear inducing. Of course, this is offset by a rather nude full page spread, so be aware there’s some nudity in this issue for those of you handing this book of to little ones.
The art by Benjamin Dewey continues to be a delight in detail. The characters themselves are very unique be it costume or facial expressions and the backgrounds are simply to die for. There may not be a regular series book that looks as sharp as this one on the stands today. This is summer event quality stuff here. One element he’s introduced in this issue is a focus or lack thereof when it comes to characters or the setting in the background. He’s clearly going for a cinematic look using this element and it adds a pop and quality to the image that’s dramatic and fantastic at telling the story in a new way. Once again the magic that’s being thrown around looks spectacular too!
Is It Good?
By issue’s end there are more questions than answers and more threats to our protagonists which should make any reader salivate in anticipation. Recommended!