Issue by Issue – Claw the Unconquered #5

Writer – David Michelinie
Artist – Ernie Chan

Claw’s quest for the Silver Sword begins in earnest in a land called Varcanum, which is not where the blade resides, but the first piece of the puzzle to reclaiming it. Written by David Michelinie and drawn by the incomparable Ernie Chan, the duo consisting of Claw and Ghilkyn encounter no shortage of threats along the way including a four-legged Cyclops while back in Pytharia, King Occulas schemes to rid the world of the man who is destined to dethrone him, the man with a demon’s hand. Soon the companions reach the dwelling of Safa Ghul, the person who holds one facet of the Grimstone, the gem needed to aid in the finding of the Silver Sword needed to kill N’Hglthss. There is a catch of course because why would there not be and it turns out before Safa Ghul will give them the stone, he needs something in return – the eyes of an oracle which lies not too far away. Claw is not happy with this predicament, but having been poisoned to prevent them from just stealing the stone, he and Ghilkyn have no other recourse but to do as he says. Chan makes the shrine of the oracle and imposing monument and no sooner do the two ride up to it than are they confronted by a beautiful woman warning them away. The heroes will not be deterred though as they need what lies within and once they make their way to the statue where the eyes are located, they find themselves attacked. In terms of action and excitement, the book picks up exponentially as a giant crab monster erupts from the fountain at the base of the statue and the heroes have more than met their match against the colossal beast. The panels fly by at a rapid-fire pace as the creators put Ghilkyn and Claw through their paces and just when it seems like they have overcome the obstacle needed to gain the eyes, another arises in the form of that beautiful woman they met previously. Soon they are overwhelmed as the woman is akin to a hydra, replicating and duplicating herself every time that she is struck, but when the men finally claim the eyes, all of the threats immediately end. Soon enough the two return to Safa Ghul and the ending is one well-deserved for both parties, leaving the issue off on a moment of horror. Altogether, this was a spectacular book filled with everything one could want in a sword and sorcery tale.

4 out of 5

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