Klaw | Written By: Antoine Ozenam | Illustrated By: Joel Jurion | Colored By: Yoann Guille
Klaw is the story of a young man, Angel Tomassini. On the surface he is just like any other kid: going to school, avoiding bullies, and trying to impress the girl of his dreams, while chatting it up with his best friend Frank. Things take a turn with the introduction of Dan, his bodyguard, who we find out is a were-tiger part of an ancient organization of were-animals that represent the zodiac signs. That’s not even the half of it and that is the problem. Klaw tries to deal with a lot in three chapters. We have an origin story, mobster origins, unrequited love, a best friend who is actually an FBI agent, and there is still enough time for other subplots.
Awakening takes us through a series of life changing events. Angel finds out he’s been imbued with the spirit of an ancient tiger, his father is a ruthless mafia don, and he has a shape shifter for a bodyguard and his family is unaware.
Tabula Rasa follows the beginning of many transformations for Angel. We meet new allies, and enemies and a shadowy organization, which are sometimes one in the same.
By the end of Unions, we get an expansion of the world we are in, but with many of the same repeating themes of mind games, betrayal, and secrets. We are introduced to crazier villains, disposable mentors, and at one point, a hero who is all but ready to quit when he sees his school crush.
There are great elements like the mythology of the Dzhis and their connection to modern day mafia that had me rushing to the next page, but ultimately they don’t provide a lot of reward – either someone is running away or a plot is tied up neatly. There is no real growth with Angel even with all the body count rising around him. He acts impetuously and never plans anything past stage one. By the end, he comes off as a spoiled brat who has to get his way whenever he decides on a course.
Then, there’s Lisa, who had her life wrecked by Angel’s crush on her and becomes the damsel in his origin story. She’s always on the periphery and the amount of abuse she has to endure by association seems unrealistic. And have I said how bad a superhero Angel is by the end? To have him just save her amid all the destruction he’s created was too much for me to take. The only reason the Klaw exists is this idea he harbors that they’re meant to be together
Summary I am very conflicted about Klaw. If I compartmentalized certain scenes and turned my brain off, I would have enjoyed it more. But I don’t think a reader should have to do that. The illustrations are one of the things that drew my eye to Klaw. Unlike most stories featuring super humans, Klaw shows the majority of its characters drawn gauntly with an edge towards a more manga style.
I am very conflicted about Klaw. If I compartmentalized certain scenes and turned my brain off, I would have enjoyed it more. But I don’t think a reader should have to do that. The illustrations are one of the things that drew my eye to Klaw. Unlike most stories featuring super humans, Klaw shows the majority of its characters drawn gauntly with an edge towards a more manga style.