I was a fan of the original Witchblade comic, and have a box full of earlier issues. While I loved the mythology and the mystical elements of the saga, I confess that the sexualized representations of women were sometimes difficult for me. Which is why when my friend Darrin at the comic store showed me the new re-imagined Witchblade, written and illustrated by women, I was intrigued and bought the first issue.
This first issue faces the daunting task of starting a new story built upon a series that embodies 185 issues over its 20-year history. We are introduced to Alex Underwood, the new wielder of the gauntlet, who is unaware of what she has and the power the artifact contains. She grapples with doubts regarding her sanity as she begins the symbiotic merging of her consciousness and being with the mystical bracelet.
At the end of the issue is an interview with writer Caitlin Kittredge and artist Roberta Ingranata. When asked how the new artistic perspective differs from the original story, Roberta responds:
Fewer boobs [laughs]! I think the new WITCHBLADE will have a different reading key. We have a simpler protagonist, a common woman you could meet in the street. A woman who has to fight with personal demons as much as real ones.
The female point of view, in this kind of story, helps to depict a much stronger introspective and emotional side of the character.
Caitlin elaborates on the female perspective of the story:
Female creative teams are unfortunately in the minority right now in comics, and I’m really thrilled to be half of one on this book. I’m even more pleased to be a woman writing a female-lead comic drawn by a female artist. WITCHBLADE has always been a comic, in my opinion, that has tried to present a strong heroine but didn’t have much actual input from a woman. I am definitely interested in continuing to portray a heroine who is strong but human, and a fully fleshed person with both good and bad sides because I feel that’s the greatest service I can do as a writer—delve beneath “strong female character” into the actual person at the core of the new WITCHBLADE.
While it seems strange to read Witchblade without Sara Pezzini, I am curious to see where this new tale goes. So far, I am greatly encouraged and look forward to what this new chapter in the saga has to offer.
Feel free to share your thoughts below. Cheers!
4 responses to “Witchblade #01: Feminist Reboot of Mystical Saga”
as the page loaded on my screen and i saw the title and image, i thought…oh dear…and then imagine my delight to see archaic issues addressed! Thank you. warm wishes this festive season to you and all your dear ones, jeff. 🙂
Hi! I’m so glad that you found some delight in the post. There are many comics I had to stop reading because of how women were portrayed. But as more women are joining creative teams and there is a broader female audience, I feel that this is changing. Also, #metoo has brought this issue to the social forefront, where it should be. May you and yours also have a blessed holiday season. Thanks for all your inspiration this past year.
Interesting post – because I don’t know much about comics and the writers and artists, it’s nice to see that women are having an impact in this genre!
Me too! There are some very creative women out there doing amazing work in this genre. I highly recommend “Persepolis” by Majane Satrape (i may have misspelled name). It’s an autobiographical story of growing up in Iran during the revolution. Amazing and deeply moving.
Hope you have a wonderful new year, Barb, and thanks for all the great things you share.