Tuesday, October 2, 2012

Retro Review: Dark Claw Adventures #1

In my last few Retro Reviews I took a look at the the Amalgam universe with reviews of Legends of the Dark Claw, Amazon, and Super Soldier. These one shots were so successful that a year later Marvel and DC got together again to do a second wave of them. Among this second wave was Dark Claw Adventures.

The Amalgam comics all featured little editors boxes referencing fictional past Amalgam issues and fake letters pages as though Amalgam was a comic book company that had been around for decades. This one shot took that a step further and was based off of a fictional Dark Claw cartoon that aired on the "Fox Bros. Network" (a combination of Fox, which aired X-men, and WB which ran Batman).

Our story starts with Dark Claw, disguised as Patch Malone, attacked by cyber-ninja assassins. Dark Claw takes them out and figures it must have been Lady Talia (Lady Deathstrike and Talia) who sent them. We cut to flashbacks of episodes of the Dark Claw toon in with Dark Claw and Lady Talia's father, Ra's-A-Pocalypse (Ra's-A-Ghul and Apocalypse) in which Dark Claw shots down Ra's-A-Pocalypse's air plane.

Lady Talia ran to the wreckage to try to save her father and ended up with Lady Deathstrike-like cybernetic enhancements and claws to fix the horrible burns she suffered. So naturally, despite the fact that she loves Logan, she's out to kill his ass for killing her father. Knowing this Logan decides he needs to practice in the "Danger Cave" and we see some glimpses of other Dark Claw villains even if they are probably only holograms.

Harvey Osborn, the two faced Goblin is the one I find the most interesting here. We saw this character before in the Speed Demon one shot but he was just called Green Goblin (even though when his mask was off we saw half his face was fucked up). But this is a much better character design. Riding around on a flying coin and in another panel we see half the goblin mask is fucked up. Pretty cool. Also seen here are Cybercroc (Killer  Croc and Cyber) and Bloodcrow (Scarecrow and Bloodscream) We see glimpses of some others, all pretty easy to tell who the root characters are, and all decent looking.

After this sequence Lady Talia breaks into the Burrow (his version of the Batcave) and attacks Logan. He finally tells her if she really wants to kill him he won't stop her. She stabs him in the heart and he falls. Realizing both her father and lover or dead she is about ready to take her own life when Logan wakes back up. Healing factor remember? I thought you knew about Dark Claw bitch. Anyways he tells her she had to learn how empty revenge is first hand and she seems like she has now abandoned her quest to kill him.

Not a bad read. In some ways it was actually a little better than the other Dark Claw one shot. The nods to a TV show that doesn't exist are interesting. I love how the art is done in a Bruce Timm style. Also I like how the Claws aren't serrated like in the regular Amalgam universe. I realize that's done because this is suppose to be a simpler art style, being from a supposed cartoon and all, but I kinda thought the serrated claws were stupid so I'm happy to not see them. This may actually be the best of all the Amalgam one shots. If your a fan of Wolverine or Batman, and especially if you have found memories of the old 90's Bruce Timm Batman animated series, you need to get this. It's usually only like three bucks in most back issue bins and it's worth every penny.

And since I've been putting pics of old Amalgam trading cards in these reviews, here's one featuring the fake cover to Sleuth Comics #27, the "first appearance" of Dark Claw.

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