Claws of Darkness Vol. #03 (Mania.com)
Review Date: Wednesday, January 31, 2007
Release Date: Saturday, March 25, 2006
Writer/Artist:Story by: Josev & Art by: Jerry Cho
Translated by:Yun Zhao
Adapted by:Ailen Lujo
What They Say
Volume 3 opens up with a werewolf playing electric guitar. Sadly, they don't take it a step further; he doesn't proceed to skateboard around town with a backwards baseball cap, boom box, and a giant clock necklace. This lend the situation only enough absurdity to seem out of place, instead of drop-dead hilarious. It may elicit a small chuckle, or perhaps a guffaw at best.
This volume isn't about werewolves though, not even ones that can play musical instruments. In contrast to Volume 2, Volume 3 centers on exposing more of the backstory of the characters involved in Santa Anna. We learn more about Carlos, Father Gerardo, and Bane, which helps tremendously in making the story interesting (versus a skeletal outline designed to get characters to fight).
Possibly the best part of Volume 3 is the way Jubile (the werewolf) is used as a foil of sorts for Bane; due to his status as a half-vampire, drinking human blood heals Bane and grants him power, but runs the risk of permanently stealing part of his humanity. He views Jubile as what awaits him at the end of that path, and it helps him steel himself against the craving.
This excess of story development has to come at the cost of something, and sadly the price is action. There is almost no real fighting of any kind in this volume of Claws of Darkness, which may upset some people expecting a monster bloodbath. I feel, however, that unlike the first volume, the story and characters are given enough development to stand on their own; action and gore would certainly be nice, but it remains an enjoyable volume nonetheless.
The translation/adaptation this time around is a little... iffy. There has always been the occasional grammatical error, and this continues ("an sack" was particularly glaring) but, and perhaps I'm merely noticing this for the first time, Nicholas Bane seems to shout quite a bit. For a character who is generally so cool and collected, he ends an inordinate number of sentences with exclamation points, even those that may not call for one. How much this bothers you is dependant on how badly inaccurate punctuation annoys you.
With characters that readers may now actually care about, and an ending with one hell of a hook, Claws of Darkness may turn into a truly worthwhile series. Hopefully it can keep its momentum while kicking up the action a few notches.
Mania Grade: C+
Art Rating: B+
Packaging Rating: B
Text/Translatin Rating: B-
Age Rating: 18 & Up
Released By: DrMaster
Orientation: Left to Right