Claws of Darkness Vol. #02 (Mania.com)

By:Robert Harris
Review Date: Tuesday, January 09, 2007
Release Date: Saturday, February 25, 2006



Creative Talent
Writer/Artist:Story by: Josev / Art by: Jerry Cho
Translated by:Yun Zhao
Adapted by:Ailen Lujo

What They Say
Nicholas Bane, vampire hunter has begun his hunt in Santa Anna. With the help of local priest Gerardo, he is able to find the clues. Father Gerardo also fills Bane in on the violent history of a past murder in town. Are the murderers of these crimes somehow related? In the meantime, Anna's life may be in danger, as she is caught up in the series of killings. A new monster is revealed and begins a vengeance of blood. Will Nicholas be able to save Anna and discover the monster behind these crimes?

The Review
I must say this volume lives up to the title. There are not only vampire claws, but also werewolf claws. If you know your horror, you know that vampires and werewolves are far more interesting than either individually, and this volume is no exception.

Things start off somewhat in medias res as the fractured scenes of a fight between Bane and a new lupine menace are shown. The following conversation between Bane and Anna informs us of what happened for the most part. Afterwards, Bane continues his vampire hunt and actually gets to show off some of his gadgets and slaying skills. Finally, the last third or so of Volume 2 explains who the werewolf is, and why he's killing people. It's a pretty interesting plot twist, much better than I was expecting from this series, and helps to tie the story together more tightly.

The most notable change from Volume 1 is the increased emphasis on violent, over-the-top action. People get ripped in half, vampires have limbs sliced off, and sentences are written in blood. There's even a little rape and disfigurement added in for good measure. This is definitely to Claws of Darkness' benefit, and as a result this second volume is a marked improvement over the threadbare story and sparse action of the first.

Claws of Darkness started off as an action series with a serious dearth of action, with no real plot or characterization to stand on in the meantime. Now that the violence has been kicked up several notches, what plot there is also moves forward and presents a more entertaining and united front. While certainly not among the best of the saturated vampire manga market, I can say with little fear of contradiction that it's one of the most bloody and violent. I'm looking forward to see if the next volume can go even farther.



Mania Grade: C+
Art Rating: B+
Packaging Rating: B
Text/Translatin Rating: B
Age Rating: 18 & Up
Released By: DrMaster
MSRP: 5.95
Pages: 64
ISBN: 1-59796-087-X
Size: A5
Orientation: Right to Left