Review: Tooth and Claw #1 (Image Comics)

Tooth And Claw 01A new ongoing series from Marvels and Astro City creator Kurt Busiek, Tooth and Claw #1 is said to be his most mature series to date, focusing on a tale set around wizards, sorcery and many elements of a forgotten past. But can this new book be as spellbinding as we all expect or is that a feat not even magic can achieve?

Tooth And Claw 01Publisher: Image Comics
Writer: Kurt Busiek
Artist: Benjamin Dewey (art), Jordie Bellaire (pencils)
Price: £1.99/$2.99 from ComiXology or the Image Comics Store

The first issue of Tooth and Nail #1 tells the story of Dunstan, a young pup whose father is a prominent trader and magic user within the seventh city and who is preparing his son to take his place. Unfortunately, while normal life continues within this and the many other floating cities of the world, a secret revelation unfolds; magic is fading! Therefore, with this knowledge, a group of sorcerers partake in an impossible task; to use their remaining spells to bring the founder of magic from the past to the future.

If you’re not a fan of fantasy books then don’t dismiss Tooth and Nail #1 as Messrs Busiek, Dewey and Bellaire have put together an incredibly interesting and compelling first chapter of this new ongoing story. With a wealth of experience writing series like Marvels and Astro City, Kurt Busiek knows how to build a story and here he takes the time to craft a rich world with fully fleshed out and unusual characters. Although it starts a little slowly, as the narrative moves forward, Busiek’s writing began flow much more seamlesly making the book more and more engrossing with each new page, right up until the fantastic cliffhanger.

Fortunately, this great storytelling is helped by some equally impressive art. Ben Dewey may not have the star power his more well-known writer may bring to the book, but he holds his own with beautiful art that, that may seem somewhat rough to start with, but is drawn in such a way that the rough lines really compliment the look and the feel of the book well. The panels are then enhanced by Jordie Bellaire who, just like on The Massive, provides the grim colours to ground the world which suit the style of Dewey’s pencils and helps lend believability to, what is on paper, an unbelievable world.

In fact, if there is a downside to this book it is only that Busiek skips out on some much needed exposition relating to how this new world works, such as explaining the society’s hierarchy and such, and as such bogs down the book’s tempo in the first few pages. That said, this is a minor quibble and once the main story really begins after a few pages, things really speed up and makes the title much easier to follow, right to the end of this double sized first issue!

pd_review4“For a first issue Tooth and Nail has worked its magic well. With a captivating premise brought out from the pages by great art and a nice story, it is capped off with a cliffhanger ending that will truly have fans on the edge of their seats.”