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Red Sonja-Claw: The Devil's Hands (2007)
Fiction Review by The Gravedigger

Red Sonja-Claw: The Devil's Hands (2007) writer: John Layman

Art: Andy Smith

Robert E. Howard's flame-haired female warrior is teamed up here with DC Comics creation, CLAW. He has a violent, bloody dream in which the darkness from his namesake appendage has consumed him--and he beheads Sonja. He wants to end his life rather than become evil and just as he's about to do the deed he's interrupted by bandits who attack him. And who shows up to help him fend them off? Red Sonja, who he had never met in person before. He tells her that he had a dream of her and she thinks that he's hitting on her.

Sonja is traveling back to a kingdom she helped and asks Claw to accompany here through the hostile land between here and there. He tells his story, how a wizard gave him the claw when he was an infant and how he has to fight against its evil influence every day. When they get to the kingdom, which she now thought had a benevolent ruler, she's attacked by the guards and learns that a wizard is in control. Then they release these huge dog-like beasts with insect eyes. They are outnumbered and Sonja wants to leave--and blade doesn't. So she knocks him out with the flat of her sword and carries him away to safety, to an inn in the mountains. While he's unconscious the wizard speaks through him. It turns out that the sorcerer has similar claws and this connects them since they are products of the same dark magic. Sonja is soon captured by the soldiers but Claw attacks and tumbles over a cliff while fighting a giant, presumed dead. Sonja is taken back to the city where she finds out that the sorcerer is actually her warrior friend, who turned to the black arts years ago. Claw finds his way back and there's another battle, though this time it looks like Claw may be overcome by the dark power and kill Sonja. She does the only ting she can think of to stop him--she cuts off his clawed hand.

This is an interesting read, primarily because Claw is an unpredictable character, sort of like a bi-polar version of Conan. The story is continued in CLAW THE UNCONQUERED...

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