There’s not many comics can reach their 175th issue. The fact that Witchblade has managed it with a minimal amount of fanfare and publicity (certainly since Wizard died) is all the more impressive.
Top Cow’s flagship title has been quietly rolling along now for an incredible 19 years now and shows no signs of stopping any time soon.
Naturally with any ongoing title that lasts this long, there’s a *ton* of backstory, but with the 175th issue being a landmark, this is designed as a jumping-on point for new readers. Does it succeed? Yes and no.
For those that having read any of the last 174 issues, the Witchblade is an ancient mystical artifact, bonded into a human host, former NYPD cop Sara Pezzini. After a Crisis-style universe reboot, the title has recently seen former writer Ron Marz return, which is never a bad thing in my book.
The story has taken a 2-year jump, with Pezzini now a small-town sheriff, with Marz’a initial arc dealing with her reclaiming of the Witchblade. As jumping on points go, that arc (170-174) worked well, as it got the balance of backstory and character right, while being propelled along by a good, solid action-filled plotline.
And that’s where this issue slightly falls down. It’s one of those anniversary issues that take place largely in the characters head, being a dream-like fantasy that establishes who Pezzini is, while hinting at the future.
It’s all well and good, but it’s not very exciting. Witchblade works as it mixed Police procedural/detective stories with action-fuelled fantasy. I’m not saying there’s no place for a story like this by any means, (and I did enjoy it) but as a new-reader friendly jump-on issue, it could have been more representative and yes, more fun.
Saying that, Ron Marz is always worth reading, so I’m going to stick around for a while.
The writer of this piece was: Jules Boyle Jules tweets from @Captain_Howdy