Saturday, January 07, 2006

Witchblade Gets Much-Deserved Recognition

I picked up my first issue of Witchblade from Top Cow Comics about seven years ago. It was issue 30, and it didn't matter in the least. There was a hot chick and a hot car on the cover, drawn by Randy Green. It was worth a couple bucks, just to get the cover. The interior hooked me like you wouldn't believe. I'm a huge mystery fan, and this book was one huge mystery, wrapped around hot women and beefy guys. It wasn't your typical superhero comic.

And yes, there was a huge T&A factor. I was engaged at the time, not dead. As it happens, Ranson was with me when I bought my first copy, and teased me assiduously about it, going so far as to bring Aradia into the discussion later on, talking about it's T&A-ness, and then letting slip that I had started collecting. Ah, friendship.

Sadly, the T&A got to be more and more of the book, and the mysterious plotlines kind of took a backseat, until it got to the point that I was almost willing to drop the book from my pull-list. But I'm a big believer in reader loyalty, because I believe comics are like the stock market. As long as the title hasn't completely crapped out, there's always the chance that it will make a comeback. This has happened over and over again. I don't need to name any names. If you read comics, you can probably think of a title or two that this has happened with.

So, I waded through incoherent plotlines like the ridiculous Excalibur thing with Ian Nottingham and finally, finally! Marz and Choi took over. It was like an overnight (well, over-month, I suppose) revolution. Suddenly, Sara Pezzini, wielder of the Witchblade, was what she had once been: a feminine, highly attractive, hard-as-hell New York cop struggling with supernatural crap and trying to keep her coworkers from finding out. She got her partner hurt severely, she picked up a new tag-along who knows all about the Witchblade and most of all, she was running into supernatural stuff that was more mysterious than gory.

Oh, there was gore. And there was a bit of the Buffy Syndrome, where you need to know the plural of apocalypse. A new character was introduced that knows way more than he's telling. All the classic supernatural bells and whistles are included now, but they fit seemlessly together. None of it seems forced, and that's thanks to Choi's art as much as Marz' writing. Everything just has a connected feel that works. It doesn't hurt that this new creative team has stopped emphasizing certain of Sara Pezzini's...ahem...assets, and turned instead to her beautiful face and slightly tarnished, slightly mournful soul. Finally, Sara's inner beauty and true character get to outshine her outer hotness and hardness.

Anywho, here's an article at HeroRealm.com that agrees with me. They name Witchblade as their top book of the year. I can't help but agree.

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"Loyalty to petrified opinion never broke a chain or freed a human soul..." -- Mark Twain

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Fire does not wait for the sun to be hot,

Nor the wind for the moon, to be cool.

-- the Zenrin Kushu