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Monday, 10 July 2017

Claw, the Unconquered 3 - the centaur woman

Pat Boyette joins Michelinie and Chan on Claw, the Unconquered 3 (Sept/Oct 75), doing the inks.

This story begins with Claw coming to the aid of a woman, who proves to be a centaur, being menaced by evil creatures. He debates even helping her, as so far in his life every good deed has had bad results for him. The reader gets cued that this will be the case again, as we see the king and his wizard watching these events in a crystal ball, and learn that this is all part of a larger plan.

The centaur woman asks for Claw's aid in reaching a tower that holds a magic spear. She tells Claw that a wizard came to her village and informed her that she was really a human turned into a centaur by a spell, and that the spear would reverse it and make her human.

So Claw accompanies her. He has to fight off some other creatures along the way, including the giant worm things on the cover. Then he almost gets turned to stone by a magic crystal while retrieving the spear. Once he gives it to the centaur woman, she tries to kill him with it. She explains that the wizard told her she would need to do so to lift the spell, and the magic from the spear would defeat Claw.

As it turns out, once Claw grabs the spear with his demon hand it removes all the magic from it.

This enrages centaur woman, who feels she has lost her chance to be human. Ironically, Claw winds up using the spear to kill her. As she dies, she consoles herself that, in death, the curse will be reversed. But Claw sees that there is no change once she is dead. She always was a centaur, and the wizard had lied to her and manipulated her.

The story closes on the evil king deciding the wizard's plans are too subtle and prone to go wrong. He will take a more direct route to kill Claw.

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