Tag Archives: perspective

Witchblade #01: Feminist Reboot of Mystical Saga

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!

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“The Sphinx” by Edgar Allan Poe

Image Source: quoteko.com

Image Source: quoteko.com

I was in the mood for a short story so I took my Complete Tales and Poems tome from the shelf and scanned the table of contents. “The Sphinx” immediately caught my attention since I had never read it before and it was very short in length.

This is a very interesting story that deals with how perspective affects the way we interpret symbols and omens. It also touches on how what we read influences our perception of the world around us. This is heady stuff and it is a testament to Poe’s genius that he can address these topics in the span of a three-and-a-half-page story.

The story begins with the protagonist explaining that he been staying with a relative in upstate New York while the city was in the throes of a cholera epidemic. As news is regularly reported about the deaths of friends, he begins to succumb to the effects of the books he is reading.

His endeavors to arouse me from the condition of abnormal gloom into which I had fallen, were frustrated, in great measure, by certain volume which I had found in his library. These were of a character to force into germination whatever seeds of hereditary superstition lay latent in my bosom. I had been reading these books without his knowledge, and thus he was often at a loss to account for the forcible impressions which had been made upon my fancy.

While sitting and gazing out the window, the person sees a gigantic creature moving down the side of a mountain. The monster has scaly metallic wings, a Death’s Head upon its chest, and long mandibles. He directs his relative’s attention to the mountainside, but the relative does not see anything. This causes the protagonist to wonder whether this is an omen of his impending death or a sign that he is slipping into the realm of insanity.

I was now immeasurably alarmed, for I considered the vision either as an omen of my death, or, worse, as the forerunner to an attack of mania.

When he describes the creature in detail to his host, the host realizes what it was that the protagonist saw. He takes a book from the shelf and switches seats with the protagonist, then opens the book to the section that describes the monster.

“But for your exceeding minuteness,” he said, “in describing the monster, I might never have had it in my power to demonstrate to you what it was. In the first place, let me read you a school-boy account of the genus Sphinx, of the family Crepuscularia, of the order Lepidoptera, of the class of Insecta—or insects.”

It is then revealed that the person had viewed an insect climbing on a strand of spider web directly in front of his eye. For me, this is the key to the story. It is one’s perspective, as well as proximity, that influences how one views symbols and omens around us. When we interact with symbols, it is our perspectives, our understanding, and our closeness to the thing in view that allows us to interpret it in our own unique manner. A thing that for one person is nothing more than an insect, a mere genus, becomes for another person a symbol representative of something far greater. Perspective is everything when it comes to interpreting the world around us.

The more I think about this story, the more fascinating I find it. I’m certain that I will read it again. I encourage you to give it a read also. I feel it is just as good as any other of Poe’s more well-known works. Enjoy, and happy reading!

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