The Return of the Claw, Valiant, 1970s
Art: Jesús Blasco (1919-1995); Script: Tom Tully
‘The Steel Claw’ first appeared in Valiant on 6 October 1962, and is one of the most popular strips in the comics history. The story follows Louis Crandell, a young assistant to the brilliant Professor Barringer, who suffers twice from laboratory accidents. He first loses his hand which is replaced by a metal version; he then is given an ultra-high voltage shock causing him to become superhuman. From now on, whenever he gets an electric shock his body turns invisible, apart from the ‘Steel Claw’.
The strip was first put together by Fleetway Publications editors Ken Mennell, Jack Le Grand and Sid Bicknell, but was refined by the writer Ken Bulmer and artist Jesús Blasco. Writer Tom Tully came to the strip on the fourth series, after which it ended for a year before returning under the title ‘Return of the Claw’.
Jesús Blasco was from Spain, but worked extensively on British comics in the 1960s and 1970s. He is best-known for his ‘The Steel Claw’ and ‘Buffalo Bill’ strips. Tom Tully is a British comics writer who wrote much of the famous football-themed strip ‘Roy of the Rovers’. He also wrote ‘Heros the Spartan’ which was drawn by Frank Bellamy.