Tag Archives: witchblade

Witchblade: Issue # 175

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This is a special edition and actually contains three stories. The first one, Into the Fire, basically moves the primary story along. Sara has reclaimed the Witchblade and is establishing a new connection with the mystical artifact. She also takes Deputy Rooney into her confidence and sits in the woods with her, ready to share her history with the gauntlet.

The second story, Temple of Shadows, is also written by Ron Marz and illustrated by Laura Braga. It tells the tale of a Japanese woman, Shiori, who was the bearer of the Witchblade during the 17th century. She does battle with an oriental beast that looks like a cross between a man and a dragon. The artwork is very good and it hints at a recurring cycle between stories and events, a concept which I personally find intriguing.

The third tale, 4 for 5, is written by Ashley Robinson and is told from the perspective of Patrick Gleason, Sara’s former partner. I liked this vignette because it explores a male character’s journey to acceptance that he is not as powerful as his strong female partner. I think that some men have difficulty reconciling their masculine roles when in a partnership with a strong woman, whether that be a work relationship or an intimate one. Fortunately, I feel that traditional gender roles are being challenged and that we are moving more toward gender equality. I hope that one day we get there.

The issue concludes with a bonus: draft sketches from Ms. Braga. I found these very interesting, particularly since I am not artistically inclined when it comes to drawing. I enjoyed seeing how the characters and scenes are sketched and outlined. It was enlightening for me.

Overall, this was the best Witchblade issue that I have read in a while. It’s worth picking up if you have not yet done so. Cheers!

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Witchblade: Issue # 171

Witchblade_Issue171

So I really like the direction the series is taking. There is definitely a strong female energy here and it works really well.

Sara is in the hospital after being shot with an unusual bullet that is clearly some type of mystical artifact. She is still in critical condition, but as the doctor says, she is a strong woman and will likely survive. We have another flashback scene to when Sara tried to relinquish the Witchblade with the assistance of the Magdalena who suggested placing it in the Reliquary of St. Vitus to nullify the object’s mystical power. That, needless to say, does not turn out well. The episode ends with Deputy Kate Rooney entering Sara’s hospital room to find a blade-wielding person there, who summons the Angelus, the mystical being who is the embodiment of The Light.

As I said, I really like this chapter so far. My only complaint is that there is not much nuance or symbolism to elaborate on. But the storyline and artwork are outstanding. I can live without symbolism if the story and the imagery is strong enough, and so far that is certainly the case here. I’ll be reviewing Issue # 172 soon.

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Witchblade: Issue # 170

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This issue marks the beginning of a new chapter in the Witchblade saga, with a new writer (Ron Marz) and new artist (Laura Braga). I have to say, I was very happy to see that a female artist was brought on. I think a woman will bring a different perspective to the series. It may be psychological, but even though Sara Pezzini is depicted as very sexually attractive, she just seems less objectified. Anyway, I’m glad that there is a woman’s creative input now. I think it bodes well for the development of this strong female character.

Sara has now left Chicago and returned to New York where she is the sheriff of Saratoga County. She is investigating a string of ritualistic murders where the victims are hung on a wooden X and decapitated. There is also a flashback where Sara is seen losing her control over the Witchblade, and as a result, sought the help of the Magdalena to see whether she could rid herself of the gauntlet. The issue ends with Sara being shot at the Sheriff’s Office and her deputy, Kate Rooney (another strong and intelligent female character), entering to find her bleeding.

I have to say that I am very excited about this new chapter in the saga. I love Witchblade and I am looking forward to seeing the direction that the story takes, which I hope will have a more feminist perspective. I am definitely not one of those men who are threatened by strong and independent women. I welcome the change and look forward to the subsequent issues.

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Witchblade: Issue 162

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I have to say, I got a good chuckle out of this issue. Sara ends up going on a date with Cain Jorgenson to see the Cubs play the Mets at Wrigley Field. Sara is a staunch Mets fan and her fervor reminded me of how much I loved going to see the Mets play at Shea Stadium when I was a kid. I confess that I have lost my interest in team sports over the years, but I had some good baseball memories.

There is an interesting passage in this issue regarding the use of magic to manifest things in the real world. Two criminals capture a “bargaining spirit” and are deciding what to do with it.

Bee Bee: Are… are you going to use him to make wishes?

Rook: Aw, hell no. Magic’ll always screw ya. Wishing ain’t no way to make money.

I have heard magic defined as the ability to cause events to manifest in accordance with your will. But we know from chaos theory that everything you do, and I would venture to include everything you think, has a rippling effect throughout reality. While I don’t assert that practicing magic as a means to generate prosperity is inherently wrong, one must always be prudent. Magic is not an exact science and sometimes things manifest in ways that we do not anticipate.

The saga is “to be continued” in issue 163, which I already have and will be reviewing shortly.

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Witchblade Issue 161

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This was kind of an interesting issue. On one hand I really liked it, but then it left me feeling like there is something missing. Maybe this was intentional on the part of the writer. It is sort of a stand-alone tale, but it also ties in with other sub-plots and also ends with “To Be Continued.” I guess I will have to read the next issue to see how things resolve.

In this installment, Sara gets hired by a young, accomplished, professional woman who thinks she might be haunted. Sara discovers that the spirit of the woman’s twin sister is in fact watching over her. This twin spirit is covered with tattoos, which have a mystical power.

What intrigued me about this issue was the spiritual bond between the twin sisters. I have experienced spiritual connections with other people and I believe that the closer you are to a person, the stronger that spiritual connection. I can only imagine how intense that connection must be in the case of twins.

That’s about all I have to say regarding this issue. It was very good, but like I said, it left me feeling somewhat uncertain. I am curious to find out what happens next in the saga. I’ll let you know as soon as I acquire the next issue and read it. Cheers!

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Witchblade Issue 160: Saviors, Part 2

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This issue continues Sara Pezzini’s conflict with Alisa Spencer, the dark scion. While I found it better than Part 1, I can’t say that there is a whole lot for me to elaborate on. The writing is good; the artwork is good; I like where the story goes. My only criticism is that there is no resolution and there are no choice sections worthy of elaborating on. Still, it moves the overall story forward and sets us up for future installments. And that’s fine. Not every issue can include deep, thought-provoking material. Sometimes, you just have to move the plot along.

My apologies for the short post, but no need to waste words.

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Witchblade Issue 159: Saviors, Part 1

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First, let me say that this issue is pretty graphic. There is liberal use of red ink. While this does not bother me, it may disturb others, so I figured I’d point it out.

The story is a kind of an inverted “Da Vinci Code.” Just as there was a scion which was the bloodline of Christ and Magdalene, this comic explores the idea of an anti-Magdelena. This dark scion is embodied in a young hipster chic who is all bubbly and smiley as she manipulates others to carry out her wicked plans.

I’m not sure that this storyline is working for me, possibly because it feels a little hackneyed. I also find Dan Brown to be irritating, so something that seems to be inspired by one of Brown’s novels just isn’t all that exciting for me. That said, I didn’t hate it. The artwork is vivid and stunning as always, and the writing is solid, it’s just that the plot is not that interesting to me, but again, I am a little biased because of my feelings towards Mr. Brown.

I will read Part 2 and see where the story goes. I have not been disappointed with Witchblade yet, so I remain optimistic. Worst case scenario, I suffer through another issue strewn with “Da Vinci Code” references.

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Witchblade Issue 158: Portals, Part 2

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This issue concludes the two-part “Portals” story. As I expected, it is packed with action and excitement as Sara battles Katarina (a former Witchblade bearer), a crazy little gangster named Toio Mulranny, and even a dinosaur. It makes for very entertaining reading, especially when combined with the lavish illustrations.

There was one part of this issue that I found particularly interesting. Mulranny captures Lady Auslinn, an elfin princess, who he plans on executing. Auslinn seeks the halting of illicit importing of contraband from our world, particularly weaponry. Mulranny expresses his love for human technology, which he sees as part of evolution.

No. Goods that make our lives better. Easier. Wondrous devices and technology that spur this stagnant world to greater heights. Evolution at work. An evolution you would halt with your appeal to the council of wizards.

This made me think about one of my favorite movies when I was a teenager: “Wizards.” It was very cool back in the 70’s, but the animation is pretty dated compared with today’s. But the story was what haunted me with that film. There were two brothers who were wizards in a post-apocalyptic world: Avatar and Blackwolf. Avatar represents the forces of magic while Blackwolf represents the forces of industrial technology. Blackwolf discovers old film footage of the Nazis and uses the propaganda to terrify his enemies and inspire his troops. There is a great twist at the end. The movie is on YouTube. If you’ve never seen it, I suggest you check it out. Click here to watch it online.

On that note, I will leave you with the trailer for “Wizards.” Like I said, it’s pretty dated, but was one of those films that had an impact on my life.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YjSFujG6Uhg

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Witchblade Issue 157: Portals, Part 1

Witchblade_Issue157

This issue is a geek’s dream come true. Not only is the writing great and the artwork stunning, but it incorporates some of our favorite nerdy things: fantasy, alternate dimensions, Tolkien, faeries and elves, steampunk, even LARPing. What more could one ask for?

The story follows Sara Pezzini through a dimensional portal. After moving through the portal, she finds herself in a world that is a sumptuous blending of steampunk and Tolkien’s Middle Earth. She is taken into custody by elfin authorities who bring her to Sheriff Godliffe. The sheriff turns out to be a woman whose first name is Katarina. Once Sara meets her, she discovers that Katarina was once a bearer of the Witchblade, but the gauntlet rejected her because she was drunken, selfish, and prone to violence.

There is a lot of tension building in this issue; unfortunately, though, there is not a lot for me to elaborate on. I sense that the writer, Tim Seeley, is setting the stage for a fantastic conflict in the next issue, which I conveniently have already. As I finish this up, I am figuring I will read Part 2 after I grab a bite to eat. Expect my review of Part 2 tomorrow.

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Witchblade Issue 156: The Space Between Us

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I LOVED this issue! Not only is the writing flawless and well-crafted, but the artwork is superb. In addition, while it ties in with the larger Witchblade story, it is a stand-alone piece that can be read on its own. Basically, Sara Pezzini is investigating an apparition’s recurring visit. The spectral woman, who howls in agony, appears to her boyfriend who is tormented by his inability to end her anguish. It draws on the theme of the transition between life and death, particularly the purgatorial realm between the planes.

Early in the episode, Sara muses on the reasons why displaced spirits haunt particular places.

They say that haunted places are the home to people that couldn’t move on. That the ghosts found comfort in their old stomping grounds.

I see this as true on a psychological level also. As humans, we seek solace in those places of our psyches that are comfortable to us, that we associate with our ideal of what was good about our pasts. I have often found myself retreating and haunting the areas of my mind that are connected with pleasant memories. I see spiritual “hauntings” as the physical manifestation of our innate desire to return to a place of safety and familiarity.

The purgatorial space between dimensions populated by ghosts is referred to as the Ashen Lands. It is visually depicted as a spectral realm, void of color and painted with shades of grey. One of the ghosts explains the main reason why they choose to remain in the Ashen Lands: fear.

It’s the world beyond the Ashen Lands. Where the dead are meant to be. None can know if it’s heaven or hell, or an eternal, silent sleep. Those of us here… we were too afraid to go.

There are two appendices to this comic. The first is a supposed excerpt from a book that discusses The Ashenlands. It works really well and there is a great passage that describes the difference of appearance between the living and the dead.

You may think me mad to have such a preoccupation with hues after such a traumatic event. But when one walks the Ashenlands, one comes to learn that it is the colour that sets us apart from the dead.

Finally, the part of this story that I found the most fascinating is the inclusion of urban legends. The second appendix is a recounting of a Chicago ghost story that is referred to in the comic, that of Resurrection Mary. I did a search online and found plenty of sites discussing what is deemed as Chicago’s most famous ghost story. Click here to read a short summary of the tale.

I love stories that blur the lines of distinction between real and fantasy, between life and death, and between the conscious and the subconscious, and this comic does that masterfully. If you can find this issue at your local comic store, I highly recommend that you pick it up and read it. You won’t be disappointed.

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