Issue by Issue – Claw the Unconquered #2

Writer – David Michelinie
Artist – Ernie Chan

Due to the fact that Claw is now a wanted man in Pytharia and there is a bounty on his head, it makes him the target for assassins and he finds himself in that situation now. While he is far more skilled than the man who just attacked him, the two adversaries soon face a pack of demon hounds and the only escape is a rope that seemingly hangs from the heavens. Written by David Michelinie and drawn by the legendary Ernie Chan, they send Valcan to a fantastical land where things seem too good to be true and suffice it to say, the man soon finds that they are indeed just that. At the moment, the two men are treated with plenty of hospitality by those that greet them but it is soon made clear that the denizens of this place have something else in mind for them.  As it is soon made clear by their queen, they are immortals that need a renewal of the enchantment that keeps them young from the sacrifice of a god and as they are short on gods, it is why Valcan, otherwise known as Claw, is here and he will have to do. For his part, Claw does not want to be anyone’s sacrificial lamb and together with the assassin who has accompanied him to this place, they begin to fight back and they face a city’s worth of opposition. It is a fun story that Michelinie writes, as he puts Valcan in a very untenable situation and it culminates in an arena where he must fight a creature from the stuff of nightmares. Chan is the perfect artist to bring it to life and it looks amazing to say the least, both horrific and thrilling. Together, he and Michelinie give Claw the fight of his life as they face a monster that has gotten used to killing all it faces in the eternal city of K’Dasha-Dheen. The one thing the creature has never faced though is Valcan, a man who will not lie quietly as he is served up on a platter to satiate the sorcery of the High Queen. It is a battle that is hard fought and when it is all over and the monster defeated, Chan provides yet more stunning pencils as the Queen, her subjects and the city start to fade from existence, the spell that keeps it young and eternal expiring before the hero’s very eyes. As for the assassin who makes his escape with Valcan, he suffers the same fate as K’Dasha-Dheen. Michelinie writes a suspenseful and action-packed tale, one filled with wonder and horror, part of which is attached to Valcan’s right hand thus earning him the name Claw. Altogether a great sword and sorcery title if there ever were one.

4 out of 5

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