Overview

Witchblade #123

Review

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Witchblade #123

Credits

  • Words: Ron Marz
  • Art: Stjepan Sejic
  • Inks: Stjepan Sejic
  • Colors: Stjepan Sejic
  • Story Title: Crown Heights, Part 3
  • Publisher: Top Cow/Image Comics
  • Price: $2.99
  • Release Date: Jan 14, 2008

Top Cow does two things very wisely in this issue. They continue their recent tradition of an intro page for new readers (paying attention, Marvel and DC?) and kick the story off with an in-your-face opener. A skeletal woman atop a similarly lifeless horse chasing a pretty young lady down an alley is a great attention grabber and Ron Marz and Stjepan Sejic do their darnedest to keep your attention through the remainder of the issue. The woman being chased is Gretchen, an investigative reporter who owes her life, and potentially, a great career, to New York cop Sara Pezzini, long-time Witchblade wielder. Sara shows up, in full Witchblade regalia to save Gretchen’s life once more, leaving the mysterious horse rider to vanish shouting something about her boss, who has apparently set his eyes on Sara.

Sara then continues her paying gig duties and investigates the recent murders within an Orthodox Jewish sect in Brooklyn. This leads her to visit Mama Hosanna, who is apparently the woman in the know when it comes to strange happenings. Hosanna is reluctant to reveal too much, but does let Sara know how to summon her new enemy with a few rituals at midnight. Of course, Sara does so, with Gretchen sneaking in close behind, and Marinette shows herself once more. However, seeking answers, all Sara gets is a bloody beating before the rider vanishes. The issue ends with a nice retreat to action to change the pace. Gretchen is faced with an opportunity to reveal her Witchblade photos to the world, but chooses loyalty to Sara over a quick ride to the top. Finally, dancer Dani Baptiste shows up at the house of one of her friend’s boyfriends and unwisely shows her supernatural powers to the cocky young man and his friend. Undoubtedly Dani’s eagerness will have ramifications in future issues.

Marz crafts an interesting tale as always and places developed characters around Sara, such as the keen journalist Gretchen, who is in way over her head, to Mama Hosanna. Where he takes Dani’s reliance on the ‘blade and Gretchen’s integrity will be interesting to see. Sejic’s art continues to shine too, with a realism that would make Alex Ross fans sit up and take notice. I’ve always compared his work to the look of cinema, with great textures, lighting, shifting focus and page design that pops. The only quibble here would be the grammatical error in the midnight summoning scene (I sometimes think my mutant ability is to notice these things).

However, this is simply another great issue in the series. This arc in particular is filled with an intriguing premise and with Marz and Sejic behind the wheel Witchblade will stream away from its seemingly one-note good girl roots.

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