Review – Witchblade #178 (Image Comics)

Witchblade178_CoverA - CopyPublisher: Image Comics (Top Cow)
Writer: Ron Marz
Artist: Laura Braga
Release Date: 1st October 2014

Having waited (vaguely) for this since the end of July, I was looking forward to something pretty special. This may, then, be the case of the burden of expectation – it doesn’t quite do it for me, frankly.

The cover features The Angelus, which for the uninitiated is the force of Light (if not right) in the Top Cow universe. As a fan of The Darkness, I’m glad to see them bringing this back, and how they were going to tackle it, but the cover as a whole really jars with me: the colours seem off, and the pose that they have Sara sprawled with her shirt largely open seems unnecessary and bizarre (and let’s face it, in a world of super-powered gauntlets and giant boobs, you’d think there would also be bras).

My main gripe with the issue, however, is the fact that The Darkness is reduced to a low-grade Venom knock-off in this. It’s drawn in a not particularly inspiring way, and has pays no heed to the dark (sorry) humour that characterised it within its own series. And I must stress I’m not being precious – its treatment in the recent Aphrodite IX one-shot was little short of genius – nor do I think this is the case of old-fan syndrome; to new fans, it would just seem like a cheap, poorly executed homage.

The narrative’s pretty uninspiring, I find, and the way it appears to be resolved seems unlikely – I just don’t believe that a character with so much experience of the powers in the setting would think things are so easily dealt with.

There’s a couple of really great frames in this issue, done in negative. However, this also irked me, because once was clever and effective, but twice is thumping home the point a little too obviously. The final page sets up the next section of the storyline, but not without leaving us more than a little frustrated.

I lied, it seems. I am being a bit precious. But frankly, overall this is a wasted opportunity.

Rating: 2/5.

SAMDAVThe Writer of this piece was: Sam De Smith
You can follow Sam on Twitter

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