Co-Creator and Writer Kelly Bender
Co-Creator and Illustrator Jose L. Mojica
Colorist Anthony Cain
Letterer Rob Jones
When I reminisce over old school comic books I can’t but think about the 80’s and 90’s style comics that shaped my love for the paperbacks. I would go to my local comic shop and thumb through the latest issues of stuff like New Warriors, New Mutants, and all the classics like Superman, Batman, and X-Men. It was a great time in my life; young, carefree, and an untainted comic book fan. I mention this pivotal time in my life because C.L.A.W.S. is a surreal reminder of that time.
When I first opened up C.L.A.W.S. I saw a two paragraph backstory with a quick explanation of the origin of his powers. I enjoy these types of explanations and introductions because they allow the adventure to begin and they don’t allow any room for mystery. I feel like these intros give the artists the ability to start off with a bang and get right into things. I feel like Bender is really starting to find his groove when it comes to letting the artists tell the story, he sets up the entire comic in a two paragraph intro and lets the artist get right to work. Not that the rest of the book lacks dialog or exposition but the intro gives it the needed baton pass to the artists. I admire Bender, not only as a writer, but as an artist. Part of what makes Bender such a great comic book artist is his enthusiasm for comics and his willingness to reach out and find people of like mind. Bender always seems to find fellow artists that are just as passionate about the ideas and it always shows in the final product.
I’ve already stated that the art of C.L.A.W.S. reminds me of the 80’s and 90’s styles of some stuff from Marvel but one of the other things it reminds me of is Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles first run. Not necessarily the art as much as the layout; dark city landscapes, shadow lurking hero’s, and back alley criminals. Most of the book is darker in color palette and captures the feel of a city prowling superhero. Mojica and Cain seem to have an understanding of style and really compliment each other but I feel the letters are where it all comes together. Jones has put together a lovely display for captions and sprinkles in some action words here and there to spice things up. Overall the artistic feel is dark but fun and really serves this superhero. With the three styles combined this book is a pleasant throwback to my childhood.