Wednesday, 12 October 2016

Claw The Unconquered #1 (DC/1975)

Claw The Unconquered #1 (DC)

David Micheline (w) Ernie Chua (a)

With Conan the Barbarian being such a success over at rival comics publisher Marvel it was inevitable that DC would make an attempt at cashing in on the Barbarian franchise. The series they came up with was quite different to the character created by Robert E Howard in that Claw (real name Valcan) had a demon hand as the result of his father having done a deal with demons, but also had a destiny...

Regretfully this series (not set on Earth but on the same planet as the other seventies series Starfire, the original one not the later member of the Titans that most of us remember) only lasted 12 issues, with a gap between the first nine issues and the final three before it was cancelled. The result of DC's infamous "implosion" which saw the company cut right back to the bone on the number of comics it put out.

A great pity as the story and art is actually rather good. In the first issue Claw see's himself betrayed by a comely wench who unwittingly reveals his demon hand whilst offering her "talents" for sale. First she betrays him to Prince Occula who tries to get the man with the claw murdered but picks the wrong one, then calls on an old god to put our hero down.

Claw knowing he has a greater destiny ahead of him wins the day but makes the mistake of saving the girl who tries to murder him at a desert oasis. His clawed hand stops her as if it has a mind of it's own. She gets left to her fate, alone in the desert..

Claw continues his adventures until he faces an enemy he cannot defeat.

Low sales.

This is a good series which deserved a longer run. perhaps as DC is reborn they might diversify just a little and bring back Claw The Unconquered!


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