Witchblade Origins Vol. 2: A Beautiful Conclusion to a Fantastic Mystery With Some Spy Nostalgia on the Side
Witchblade Origins Vol. 2 by David Wohl
So I have been in a weird situation lately. I started reading books and been quitting because of extreme length. One reason for that is the kindle was in a setting where the pages and book lengths were hidden. I took a break from Tommyknockers because that is a massive book so I had to read something smaller. So I started NOS4A2, only to find the length is near a thousand pages and not to mention a slow burn of a book. So I then switched to The Poisonwood Bible only to find that is eight thousand pages long and when I found that out, I was like, "That's insane." I need something short and sweet. So I decided to read Vol. 2 of the comic series Witchblade Origins. First because it’s a palate cleanser of those other books and I’m kind of discovering my inner fan girl for this series. So here is my review of Witchblade Origins by David Wohl.
So to get started, this is a graphic novel series about a police woman cursed with being bonded to an amulet which is also magical weapon that can coat her skin with steel and send out blades to rip things apart. This story is actually two stories. The first half of this collection picks up right where the last one left off. It continues Sara Pezzini’s investigation into the microwave murders which also explains more about Kenneth Irons (the bad guy from the first volume) obsession with the witchblade and the tragic aftermath to those he loved. It also elaborates on her relationship with her kind of sort of surrogate daughter who gets mixed in with the wrong people during her quest to be a famous model. All this weaves into a great mystery. Then the second story is quite a departure. Sara is put on leave as the witchblade mess had distracted her from her serious police work. But she is quickly recruited by a special department of the city who saw her use the witchblade on security camera and want to use her for special assignment. This sends her to Brazil and it soon turns into a 1960 spy romp that is surprisingly fun. It feels different enough, but not too disjointed.
The good? Of course the artwork is top notch. I also love the characterizations. Seeing Sara caring for Lisa or her partner Jake having to visit his folks was unneeded but at the same time added depth to the characters. I also like how each issue is a chapter to a larger story. The multiple arcs weave in and out beautifully, allowing all the puzzle pieces fall together perfectly. The stories were just well written. Also there is apparently a marvel crossover hinted at in the story. There’s a bubble at one point that’s says to look up so and so Marvel issue. But whether you read it or not it does not affect the story, which is great. I actually like my comics to be separate. To not have that tangled web of a whole universe to keep up with is so great and refreshing. I’m looking at you MCU.
The bad? There was one issue where Sara was ridiculously busty with a shrunken wait. I don’t know what the deal was. She looked like a parody of Jessica Rabbit. Thankfully she was more proportionate in the following issues. Also there is the introduction of Kenneth Irons wife, who has a wonderfully tragic backstory and could easily be a victim more than a monster. Sadly we only see her toward the end of the microwave murders mystery where she is introduced as a terrible person. This I feel is a missed opportunity. With so much depth to all the characters, I was surprised to see her appear in this story so shallow especially with such a tragic tale hinted at clues here and there. Also I feel the microwave murders conclusion should have been included with the first volume. The microwave murders was an arc started on the third page of Vol. 1 and I had to buy a second volume to get just a few more issues to finish the arc. It should have been in one collection. Also there is a scene that comes out of nowhere where Jackie Estacado, The Darkness, from another comic fights Sara. It seemed out of place and I’m sure it’s a bit jarring to who do not know who this character is. It can easily be mistaken for a bigger part of story when he is introduced, but he is gone two pages later. It really has nothing to do with anything. It was some useless marketing for another one of their comic books, that shouldn't be there.
Overall, this is great. It finished the arc for Vol. 1 and does something very fun for the second half. Sara Pezzini is a great character and to be honest I feel these supernatural crime drama stand tall with the works of Jim Butcher and Laurell K. Hamilton. Don’t let the fact that it’s a comic fool you. There is a lot of great stuff here. Even if you don’t like comics, if you read this, you’ll appreciate the meticulous story telling this book. I recommend it to everyone.
4 smoothie out of Four
Overall Rating: A Beautiful Conclusion to a Fantastic Mystery with Some Spy Nostalgia on the Side.