Published on December 3rd, 2014 | by JCDoyle0
Tooth & Claw #2 – Review
Magic has been cast, a city has fallen and all around the dangers close in but the prize is about to be revealed.
A new addition has been added to the title for this months release: The Autumnlands. Although this has yet to be explained (apparently that will come next month) I think it’s meaning it quite clear, we have entered this world in a time of great change. After the end of last months issue, the wizards have hunkered down to arguing about which of the Tribes The Great Champion is from before turning their impatience onto Gharta who is rightfully more concerned about their immediate predicament. She is used to harsh territories unlike the majority of her fellow spell casters so her voice is barely heard as she tries to warn them of the dangers of being exposed but it isn’t long before the Bison Tribe takes advantage of the Cloud Dwellers misfortune. They attack on mass and begin to slaughter the privileged and undefended.
Dunstan takes shelter as the energy zapped wizards try to fight back and he is one of the few who witness the ‘birth’ of The Great Champion. Instantaneously the warrior goes into battle and defeats the Bison Tribe, single-handedly. It’s fair to say the reveal of The Great Champion is not a major shocker: he is a human. And within moments of emerging into this world he goes on a violent rampage that coats him in blood. “Beware the beast man, for he is the devil’s pawn…For he is the harbinger of death.” Although those words come from the Planet of the Ape franchise, they seem very apt here with this introduction of a Human into this animal ruled world.
This issue is all about The Great Champion. It starts with some History from an ancient tome telling tales of his many deeds. This then descends into arguments surrounding the Myth before the Reality is revealed in all it’s bloody glory. There is one panel where The GC is stood, weapons raised, his naked body covered in the blood of his enemies and he’s egging them on, spoiling for a fight. It’s a shocking character to throw into the mix of blundering birds and dithering dogs.
Kurt Busiek has produced a straight forward story for issue 2 of this fantasy series which contrasts the epic world building of the first part but this is not a bad thing. By filling this issue with action it highlights the massive change that has entered the world of the animal tribes, the Human character is like a lightening bolt striking at the very heart of the civilisation Busiek took great pains to illustrate in issue 1. The change of pace not only keeps the narrative interesting but it also keeps the readers on their toes: you my have guessed that The Great Champion was going to be Human but not necessarily the violence driven animal that awoke in that portal.
This fantasy epic is only just beginning but already everything the reader has learnt is in jeopardy. If these are the Autumnlands then the change that is coming to this world, based on this issue alone, is not going to be plain sailing and many aren’t going to survive to see Winter.
Title: Tooth & Claw
Publisher: Image Comics
Writer: Kurk Busiek
Artist: Benjamin Dewey
Colourist: Jordie Bellaire