Tooth and Claw #1 Review

Posted November 7, 2014 by Alexander Handziuk in Comic Books

Written by: Kurt Busiek

Art by: Ben Dewey and Jordie Bellaire

Publisher: Image

The first thing that comes to my mind when reading Kurt Busiek, Ben Dewey and Jordie Belaire’s, Tooth and Claw #1 is that it bears an uncanny resemblance to Game of Thrones and that is the highest possible compliment that I can pay it.

The basic premise involves a medieval world, populated by human like animals. The story follows a young jackal like creature named Dustan as he accompany’s his dad on a trade mission. His dad is a really badass character, who is intimidating and very confident, while Dustan is very meek in comparison. The other main aspect of the story is the meeting of all the wizards in the land in order to address a major problem, the forthcoming failure of magic. A female wizard named Gharta proposes that they seek out The Great Champion of Legend in hopes of restoring the power of magic. Lets just say that even in the first issue it doesn’t end well and by the end of the issue one thing is clear and that is that conflict is coming and nothing will ever be the same.

This book is a perfect example of medieval storytelling done right. Throughout the entirety of the issue there is a real sense of intrigue and tension mixed with the feeling of impending conflict. Yet it is the words spoken by the animals that inhabit the world that have the greatest impact. Every single character that is given some page time is surprisingly memorable, which is a big testament to the creative team as there are a lot of characters introduced. There are so many great characters introduced and much like in Game of Thrones, they’re not all alive at the end of the issue. It remains to be seen if this trend will continue, but at this point it seems as if everyone is fair game.

The art by Ben Dewey is edgy yet crisp and he really captures the human side of these animals, while still retaining their animalistic ferocity.Seven Scars, a giant Bison like creature is masterfully drawn and the moment he appears on the page, he immediately draws the reader in through his intimidating and frightening appearance. All of the animal/humans look stunning and each one drawn is distinctly its own unique creature. There are as I said earlier an insane amount of animals featured throughout the forty pages and not once did I notice any that were misdrawn.As if the Dewey’s pencils weren’t good enough, Jordie Bellaire’s inks are rich and blend especially well and her inks really meld well with the medieval world of Tooth and Claw.

I went into Tooth and Claw #1 with high expectations and somehow they blew them right out of the water. Busiek, Dewey, and Bellaire masterfully establish a rich world full of life, death, hope and some really cool medieval sorcery. Tooth and Claw #1 is a great debut issue that leaves this reviewer eagerly awaiting next months issue. If you are a fan of medieval times, game of thrones, beautiful art, or just amazing storytelling in general, then Tooth and Claw #1 is definitely the book for you.

About the Author

Alexander Handziuk

Alex is a comic aficionado who loves Aquaman, Overwatch, the musical Hamilton and medium length strolls on beaches. Check him out on the Comics Dash Podcast, on twitter at @axehandziuk and in real life patrolling the borders of Canada.