Witchblade #125


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Witchblade #125


  • Words: Ron Marz
  • Art: Stjepan Sejic
  • Inks: Stjepan Sejic
  • Colors: Stjepan Sejic
  • Story Title: War of the Witchblades, Part 1
  • Publisher: Top Cow/Image Comics
  • Price: $3.99
  • Release Date: Apr 17, 2009

A lot has been happening in this title in the last few years. Writer Ron Marz and artist Stjepan Sejic are the best team this title has ever had and have given the formerly one-note series a newfound respect. It deserves it. They’ve taken the original (in the current context) fan fave ‘blade wielder, Sara Pezzini and given her a supporting cast and a naturally developing plot. Sure this is a book about a female cop waging battle against the supernatural with an ancient mystical amulet, but in Marz’s deft hands it has never descended into the soap opera antics inherent in modern superhero books.

The "First Born" story arc was the culmination of Marz and Sejic’s world building, with the birth of Sara’s baby Hope, the rise of dancer Dani Baptiste as a new Witchblade wielder and the revelation of the Trinity involving the Witchblade, Darkness and Angelus forces. This issue, the start of the "War of the Witchblades" arc continues the great work.

What’s great about this series is that like most of Top Cow’s books, it’s instantly accessible. Every issue is effectively a jumping on point. Do you remember what the X-Men books were like in the 90s when shelves of encyclopedias and a grand memory were needed to enjoy the stories? Witchblade’s not like that. Every issue has a handy one page intro so you can get up to speed easily, and this issue opens with a prison scene between Sara and her sister Julie to fill in even more details. It does come across as slightly awkward but new readers will appreciate it.

It does have its low points though. Top Cow knows a lot of people will pick this up because it’s the 125th anniversary issue, so they have pulled out more stops than usual to make every reader feel welcome. Exposition seems to be the order of the day and at places it is jarring. It’s not indicative of the flowing plots of earlier issues and it is uncomfortably word heavy.

The growing animosity between Sara and Dani becomes more evident, as is the future role that Dani’s friend Finch will play, as witnessed in an almost girl on girl sequence. Sara and partner (in both senses of the word) Detective Patrick Gleason continue their investigation, and rooftop chasing, of a mysterious suspected vampire, and Sabine, the host of the Angelus makes a power play.

Throughout these events the book keeps up its mesmerising style. In Sejic’s hands this has become the most cinematic book on the stands, filled with a majesty that most comics envy. His work has given this series a real clarity and distinction as long as he’s been on it.

Also included is an 8 page back up tale written by Rob Levin with art by Marco Castiello, in a dynamic visual style reminiscent of Kenneth Rocafort. Essentially a discussion between Gleason and the antiques owner from issues past about fate, this short story only offers hints as to the future of the series, but like the rest of the book, it sure looks good while doing it.

There’s something building here, and Sara will be forced to make some tough choices. If you’ve ever been curious about the escapades of Sara and her friends and foes, dive in now.

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