So my recent experience of Aphrodite IX managed to give me the urge to try Witchblade once again. As the start of a new story arc (with a Bruce Springsteen title to it, perhaps a foolish brag, but gives you a Jersey vibe) we get an excellent one-page recap that turns into a cracking full page spread opener.
For those of you who aren’t familiar, the Witchblade is an artefact that serves to balance the forces of order and chaos in the universe, apparently by replacing women’s clothing with spiky bra-rmour and matching death pants. No, wait, it’s an enchanted gauntlet. Actually, the magic lingerie is less of a thing now, it seems, which is definitely for the best. I wonder whether having a female artist on the title is having a positive influence.
Generally, the storyline is great. It’s a setup issue, has to deal with continuity, and is a bit slow in places, but it is a good jumping-on point. Despite being a big Darkness fan, foreknowledge or fandom are certainly not prerequisites. There’s some nice, oppressive urban art, rickety, atmospheric interiors and colours are both strong and subtle. What’s not to love? Well, it’s the faces, specifically of the sidekick character but of the protagonist also. It’s distracting and disappointing how weak some of the drawing is, with some really manic or oddly proportioned expressions that a major negative on an otherwise impressive issue. It’s worth a read, and try not to get put off by the sneers!
The writer of this piece was: Sam de Smith
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