Comicsphere: Dragon’s Claws
From the moment I saw that first advert for Dragon’s Teeth, as this series was originally to be called I was hooked on the idea. Back when marvel actually had an interest in a unique British market Dragon’s Claws was a stand out title. There was some great stuff that came out of that small boom: Death’s Head, The Sleeze Brothers, Knights Of Pendragon. Most of the British titles steered away from any connection with super heroes, the usual staple of comics at the time. I was always a sucker for a dystopian future and Dragon’s Claws explored territory that at the time was only really being covered in 2000ad, at least as far as I knew. I mean the way in which I bought comics back then was radically different from the way you buy them now — you could actually walk into your newsagent and pick up the latest copy of a story. I have been confused for a long time as to why there is only a very small British comics industry when most of the writers who are of any merit in the International comic scene tend to be from the UK. Is it just that the buying public is too small? I find that hard to believe given the number of British voices I have witnessed on forums and the like. Anyway, at the centre of this story you have Dragon, Mercy, Scavenger, Digit and Steel — the best game players in the world. The year is 8162 and the Claws are reactivated to help deal with the number of ex game teams that are running riot. Initially it seems that the main thrust of the story concerns the Claws and their arch rivals The Evil Dead but it is just as much about what is going on behind the scenes. NURSE, the big organisation that runs the country, is moving people around like chess pieces, everything framed within the Machiavellian machinations of Matron the head of that group. If ever a story was ripe for revisiting — if ever a world deserved to be more fleshed out than a mere 10 issues allowed then it is this. it stands up to repeated readings — the art has aged really well and so has the story, which you can’t always say of these kinds of stories. Things about the future tend to oddly be very much of their time — I think this story is flexible enough to allow someone the room to move around in its skin and say what they need to say about the world in which we live today.