Publisher: Image Comics
Story: Kurt Busiek
Illustration: Benjamin Dewey
Colours: Jordie Bellaire
Tooth & Claw #2 continues a tale of set in a realm of talking dogs, floating cities, and flying ships. As explained in the initial issue, the intelligent animal population fears that the magic that they depended on is becoming increasingly scarce. Gharta the Seeker (a warthog) proposes bringing a champion back through time to open the Gates of Magic. If the Gates of Magic could be opened, then the magical resources would increase to a point that magic would again be plentiful. The authorities reject this plan as blasphemy, but other animals conspire with Gharta in order to conduct this summoning ritual.
Though the ritual caused significant damage and death throughout the community, it appeared to have been successful. As the prior issue drew to a close, the Grand Champion waited inside a glowing orb, known as the Unremitting Pearl.
As Tooth & Claw #2 begins, we hear the animal creatures sharing a tale of the Grand Champion and we learn that it was he who originally “loosed magic into the world”. They debate what type of creature it may be and where it has been since it released magic into the world. Before long, a small surviving group of beastly mages finds themselves under siege while they await the awaking of the Grand Champion. In Tooth & Claw #2, readers have an answer as to the nature of the time-traveling Champion and the animal coven may have its rescuer.
Colourist Jordie Bellaire remains the highlight of the creative team, setting the mood for the series with an understated palette. Artist Benjamin Dewey clearly enjoys bringing these fantastic creatures to life and steps up to the plate when illustrating a lengthy action sequence late into the issue. Finally, Kurt Busiek (Astro City, Marvels) is slowly moving Tooth & Claw forward, but it has yet to prove to be an engaging story, nor to have any of the characters developed much. Perhaps, the introduction of the Grand Champion will move things forward positively in subsequent issues. The question is how many readers will stick around to find out.