PopCultHQ received a preview copy of C.L.A.W.S. #1 from Insane Comics. Available to purchase now, the creative team for this new series features writing from Kelly Bender, artist Jose L Mojica, colorist Anthony Cain, and lettered by Rob Jones. Bender and Mojica also are the series co-creators.
Here is PopCultHQ’s spoiler-free review of C.L.A.W.S. #1…
PopCultHQ’s Comic Book Review: C.L.A.W.S. #1
When Bras Olivia was 10 years old, he was travelling with his family on a ship. They were transporting an endangered White Tiger back to the Bronx Zoo, when the ship they were travelling on capsized.
Bras, the only survivor, swam to a nearby island. The island isn’t on any maps and is inhabited by “intelligent” felines. The felines raised Bras, and bestowed on him the powers and abilities of each of the large cat tribes:
- Cheetah – Speed
- Lion – Tracking
- Asian Tiger – Strength
- Western Cougar – Climbing
- Snow Leopard – Leaping
At the age of nineteen, Bras left the mysterious island and returned to the Bronx Zoo where his parents used to worked. During the day he’s a zookeeper, and at night he fights crime as the masked crusader C.L.A.W.S.
There may be some people who, simply by looking at the cover, may think, “It looks like Black Panther.” I’ll admit his physical outward appearance may reflect that, but
The character C.L.A.W.S. is armed with sharp claws and shurikens, and he has the ability to call upon his various feline spirit brothers to embody him with their unique abilities, this crusader is a force to be reckoned with. When these cat-like abilities embody him, you see C.L.A.W.S. gain the attributes of tribe he summons.
Writer Kelly Bender put forth an incredibly strong effort in this premiere issue. The story is fluid, the inner dialogue and background work well in the dialog boxes, and brilliant use of flashback panels for character development. Bender has a solid series with potential to really take off in the next couple of issues. The layout is superb!
Jose Luis Mojica gives the characters energy and really shows off some sweet work on all things moving, whether it is vehicles speeding away or each time our hero C.L.A.W.S. summons speed, climbing, and leaping. I also enjoyed how on a small handful of panels, Mojica will give characters depth (almost 3-dimensional) by having some of the elements drawn leap over the panel’s edge and in essence “break the box,” (also known as “entering the gutters”).
Colorist Anthony Cain scores high marks for his choices of colors and has a unique way in implementing primary colors (red, blue, green) and giving them a softer, muted, matte look that contributes to the dark, mean streets that is the underbelly of New York City. Rounding out the team, letterer Rob Jones does magnificently and keeps things looking sharp.
Looking ahead to issue two, I’m sure we will see more of Yuri Nemov, the Russian drug boss. We can also look forward to exploring more into C.L.A.W.S. past to learn why he became New York City’s vigilante. I have a strong feeling that, as this title continues, each issue will will become stronger and produce a whole mess of “Wow” factor. Great team assembled for this series.
PopCultHQ’s Rating: 4.5 out of 5 Stars
Available Covers for C.L.A.W.S. #1:
Be sure to follow the creative team!
Writer Kelly Bender:
- Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/kelly.bender.7127
- Twitter: www.twitter.com/KellyBender17
- Website: http://myimaginationshome.blogspot.ca/?m=1
Artist Jose L Mojica:
Colorist Anthony Cain:
Lettering Rob Jones: