Public Domain Super Heroes
The Claw

Real Name

Richard Williams

First Appearance

Hell-Rider #1 (August, 1971)

Original Publisher


Created by

Gary Friedrich, Ross Andru, & Mike Esposito (possibly John Celardo and Rich Buckler)


The Claw was the leader of the Catmen, a group of green cat-costumed men who dealt heroin and used the profits to build a fascist army in the desert. He was secretly Richard Williams, uncle and boss to the vigilante Hell-Rider. He and his men clashed with Hell-Rider, Butterfly, and the Wild Bunch in their first appearances, where it was also established that Julie Storm had been a former customer while she was addicted to heroin.


The Claw is a normal human but used a razor sharp mechanical claw to fight opponents. He also had a large militia at his disposal.

Claw's mechanical claw

Public Domain Appearances

  • Hell Rider #1


  • Skywald did not include a proper copyright notice on its issues of "Hell-Rider" (it did not consist of the word "copyright"/the symbol for copyright followed by the year of publication and the name of the copyright holders) and thus, because of copyright law at the time, became public domain upon release.
  • The "Hell-Rider" issues were mature-audience magazines not covered by comic books' Comics Code Authority.
  • Art credits for the first issue's backups are disputed, with sources suggesting either John Celardo and Rich Buckler as the "Butterfly" penciler. Buckler is credited for the second issue's appearance of the character.