Sunday, 5 May 2013

ICFD Cover of the Week - 5th May 2013


Well, firstly my apologies for the lack of the usual Cover piece last week. Work had to take a priority. But I'm back now, and as you can see I've decided this week to go with the cover to Dragon's Claw #1, from July 1988. Art by the brilliant Geoff Senior.

Dragon's Claws is a series which I feel I've kind of neglected somewhat on this blog. Along with Knights of Pendragon it really shouldn't be underestimated of just how important this series was in bringing about the early 90s Marvel UK imprint. It was more evidence that the British office was more than capable of producing well-written material outside of licensed properties from toy companies and kids cartoons. This was something else. Something original.

My reason for not having covered it more has nothing to do with the quality of the title. Not at all. It actually remains one of my favourite series, and one which I'm actually a little disappointed that we haven't seen revived in some fashion. The only reason I haven't, I guess, is that it exists in its own continuity. It wasn't a series which was part of the Marvel Universe. Which in many ways was actually it greatest strength.

For the uninitiated, Dragon's Claws was set in a theoretical future in which a global extreme sports competition, named 'The Game,' got out of control and became an all out war. The world's government, in an attempt to restore some kind of order, decide to set up an organisation by the name of N.U.R.S.E. (the National Union of Retired Sports Experts. Really.) who set about hiring former players in to try and police the fallout from the collapse of The Game itself.

And that's where Dragon comes in.

The guy in the pretty awesome green armour, above.

Dragon was THE star of The Game. His team was arguably the best. But he retired. Bought a farm. Settled down. But as so often happens in stories such as these he couldn't leave the past behind. When a former rival gang attacks his home he decided to accept that Government offer, become an agent, and get the team back together... :)

I love this first cover. There's a tendency in comics that whenever you do the cover for a new team book you always do the same thing. Full team line-up, front and centre, in a pose which frequently looks pretty unatural.

With Dragon's Claws #1 I see this cover like a rolling Sports News Channel feature. Action footage from The Game, with the tagline for the story, and overlays of other individuals involved. Perfect sports news feature. Style wise I actually think it's a far better match.

Panini collected Dragon's Claws back in 2008. I can honestly say that, even now, I do not know what the rules of The Game actually were. But damn it I want to. That Earth was given the Marvel Multiverse number of 'Earth 5555,' so while it's not part of Marvel mainstream continuity it is considered part of the larger whole. It could be visited again some day.

If only we still had an eXiles team up and running...


  1. I think I lettered some of this series, although Richard Starkings did the first few. Interestingly, it was originally going to be called Dragon's Teeth, but the title was changed due to copyright problems over the name.(The first issue had already been completed, so had to be amended in places.)

    PS. Your blog has been featured on my blog list for quite some time now. Any chance you could reciprocate? (

  2. Hi, Kid. Interesting to know. Yeah, I understand that there was a Japanese anime (or was it manga?) that was in some way using at least part of the wording "Dragon's Teeth" in its name.

    I dunno... I actually think I prefer Dragon's Claws. But then I suppose it's been sitting in my head *as* Dragon's Claws for 20 years. :)

    A link? Sure, why not. And thanks for the plug, yourself.

  3. The name change was actually due to a Canadian fanzine publication iirc. Apparently it went under not long after. I know Simon Furman's still pissed about the name change due to the mythological ideology behind Dragon's Teeth but I prefer this name now (and the logo too if I'm honest).

    Believe it or not, I was actually given this cover art by Geoff Senior a couple of weeks after #1 came out. I was doing work experience at the London office when #1 came out (actually started there the Monday before the Thursday it was released so I sat reading it in reception while I was waiting to to start my first day!) and it was either the first or second weekend that I was there that the signing tour happened. Richard Starkings came in the following Monday and said he'd been talking to Geoff about me and, because I wasn't getting paid, he'd said I could choose any page from the comic I wanted (with the exception of the last page, Dragon leaving the farm, as this had been promised elsewhere). Unfortunately, five years later it was lost in a house fire. Truly one of the biggest losses.

    Oh yeah, and my career high point? Working with Simon Furman on the epilogue one pager, firstly for the charity Just 1 Page comic and then redrawn for inclusion in the Dragon's Claws collection.