Witchblade #95


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Witchblade #95


  • Words: Ron Marz
  • Art: Stephen Sadowski
  • Inks: Andrew Pepoy, Rob Hunter and Drew Geraci
  • Colors: Sonia Oback
  • Story Title: Artifacts
  • Publisher: Image Comics/Top Cow
  • Price: $2.99
  • Release Date: Feb 8, 2006

As Sara and her partner go to reclaim a stolen statue they find the statue would rather reclaim them.

In the second half of this two-issue arc the focus seems to be on all-out superhero-style action. Looks can be deceiving though.

Picking up from the previous issue, Sara and her partner, Patrick Gleason, have found the mysterious Curator’s equally mysterious statue. Unfortunately, that statue is now a 10-foot tall sword wielding death goddess out for any blood she can get. As Sara and Patrick fight to survive we get flashbacks to the last time the death goddess was unleashed – feudal China. Sara wants to know what all of this is about but in order to find out, she has to survive and contain this creature of death.

Witchblade impresses after ten years and a number of writers and artists. Ron Marz has taken this often taken-for-granted title and moved it into the forefront by entwining smaller stories into a larger, compelling framework. In this issue the primary focus is the fight between Sara and the statue but the ends of that fight and the history behind it give the tale another, deeper significance. It is clear that Marz is building a mystery between Sara, the Witchblade, and the Curator and this story is another block in that structure. An enjoying read on its own, the issue also hooks the reader in to want to know what may ultimately lie in store for these characters. Marz also keeps the readers’ interest with fun and fast-paced dialogue. Sara is witty and sarcastic and Gleason matches her quip for quip. There is a bit of Bogart and Bacall here that is refreshing.

Dropping in on the second half of the arc, I did find it necessary to pick up the first part in order to understand the background of the story here. However, since this is only a two-issue arc it was not difficult to pick up the previous issue and get the rest of the story.

Regular artist Mike Choi took a break for this arc but veteran penciler Stephen Sadowski has filled the breach. Sadowski’s work is always good but he has laid down some truly excellent pencils here. He slides easily from past to present and back again, capturing two different eras and cultures in perfect detail. I was not as impressed, however, with the design for the statue – it seemed a little too modern in style. This slight dissatisfaction, however, is more than made up for with the unique panel layouts and the use of art in the borders. It has been a long time since I have seen anyone put art in the page borders and make no mistake, the art there plays a role in the story.

With an interesting, complex story, and fun and compelling characterizations, Ron Marz had put this title back on the map. His storytelling skills combined with the exciting art of Stephen Sadowski make this arc a good investment for any Witchblade fan as well as a good place to start becoming a fan.

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