Witchblade Vol 1: A Surprisingly Complex Action Tale About a Cursed Woman
An Incredibly Intriguing and Unique Story of a Cursed Woman.
Witchblade Issues 1 to 8
So I’m clicking back into comics recently because believe it or not some graphic novels can have a story just as dense and deep as thick novels, only problem is it’s hard to find the good ones in the sea of spandex and crime fighting. But there were a couple I read as a teenager that were different and original. They were so wildly different that my brother, who was really wanted me to reading comics at the time proclaimed those aren’t real comics. Real comics have costumes. One I read is Witchblade. This was the first series I read, where I began to understand how comics can do great story telling. How they can be dark and provide character depth. It’s a smaller comic about a cursed woman could have easily become a rip off of The Incredible Hulk, but was its own thing in the end. So I had to revisit it, and had to see if it was my mind set at the time or if it is still really great. This is a review of the first collection to include issues one through eight written and drawn by Christina Z, David Wohl, and Michael Turner.
So what is it about? It follows Sara Pezzini, a New York Detective who is just that. She’s the run of the mill story book cop, with a murdered mother, who has devoted her life to catch bad guys and as a tough as nails damn good cop in the process. But when she stumbles across a cult like conspiracy during an investigation, she comes into contact with this strange ancient artifact called The Witchblade. When this strange gauntlet attaches itself to her, it can turn into any form steel armor or blades to protect herself and slaughter others. On first contact she can’t control the power and it slaughters everyone around her including her partner
Following the events following this incident, is what this story are focuses on. In the aftermath, she is separated from the Witchblade, yet finds it and tried to bring her partner back. This does lead to this on and off again attraction to the power and gauntlet in general. But that is not all that is happening. The NYPD is investigating the “Microwave Murders” where women are found microwaved from the inside out. A millionaire who wants power of the Witchblade to himself, is getting close to her as his right hand man, (who has been studying the mystical world) Ian Nottingham is working behind his back with the mob to get the power for himself. So yeah. It’s a bit convoluted.
The good. Well this doesn’t drag. It hits the ground running and goes from one great action scene to another without being overbearing or too convoluted. It juggles roughly four hefty storylines with ease with great pacing. And the artwork is amazing. There so much emotion to faces and detail to every little bit. This is a bar I hold a lot of comics to when I read and review them. Also this book has great character depth. I never seen so much internal monologue for a single comic book character in my life. There are literally pages where it will just be her face, and half of it is covered with her thoughts such as her arguing with herself about what is right and wrong. And I just love that. Yes. It might be more novel like than comic like, but I felt it added so much more depth to the story. Also I think Sara is a very strong female character. Her flaws of essentially being cursed with an uncontrollable murderous powerful entity adds a real sense of consequence and tragedy to the character, which is something I almost forgot to speak about. The Witchblade is a murder machine with a mind of its own, that she struggles to control. It has a great design, and mythology behind it. And how she comes to accept it is strange yet original storyline as well. I did not expect it to go the way it did.
The bad? The story ends on a cliff hanger. Things are resolved to a degree, but it wouldn’t hurt to see the immediately after math. But the first few pages of the next issue doesn’t do that, so I guess it’s done. And it does all wrap up, except for the Microwave Murders. It’s suggested that it stopped indirectly in this by her actions, but is never clear. Also there’s a twelve year old, Sara’s looking after who is going into modeling. It seemed like a story thread that was going somewhere but never did. Also I have to say this isn’t for everyone. This is gory comic. And though doesn’t have any official nudity, it is very very close to it in many shots. The Witchblade tends to rip and tears clothes when it grows across her skin, which for story purposes is probably fine for most people. But then there are a couple panels where there is unnecessary PG 13 nudity. It does not happen a lot. In fact the over sexualized cover art is the real perpetrator of any offensiveness, practically objectifying women. In the actual story it’s not that big of an issue. So for people who are very sensitive to that, so I’m throwing out there.
Overall, this has wonderful story, with a very strong conflicted character making it a great character study on a cursed woman. The action is great. The art is great. And there’s just so much here. I recommend this to anyone who is an adult.
Four smoothies out of four
Overall Rating: An Incredibly Intriguing and Unique Story of a Cursed Woman.