Monday, January 11, 2010

Waiting For The Trade Reviews Witchblade Vol. 4

Writer: Ron Marz
Pencillers: Adriana Melo, Stjepan Sejic, Sami Basri
Inker: Mariah Benes
Colourists: JD SMith, Annette Kwok, Imaginary Friends Studios
Letterers: Troy Peteri
Collects: Witchblade 101-109

Witchblade is a book that’s better than it has any right to be. A book about an attractive female cop that’s famous for losing most of her clothes should not be this good, but it is, and we should all be very thankful for this.

Due to a powerful combination of laziness and a relatively steep retail price in the UK it had actually been somewhere in the region of 6 months since I read any Witchblade, and in that intervening period a whole lot of comics passed my eyes. And yet Ron Marz managed to write the story such that I picked up seamlessly and not once found myself reaching for the previous volumes to get back up to speed.

This 4th volume in the “new” trades picks up with Sara Pezzini coming to terms with some startling news which makes her question not only her role as a detective but her role as the bearer of the Witchblade, and which challenges her relationship with her partner at work…who also happens to be her partner in a more biblical sense.

We’re introduced to a new pivotal character Danielle Baptiste who, it should come as no surprise from the cover image above, gets a new toy to play with by the time things are all said and done. She’s not a hugely likeable character, in fact when we first meet her I desperately wanted Pez to kick her ass. In a few short issues though we get a bit more of an understanding as to who she is as a person and without being blatant or giving us a “saving a puppy dog” moment Marz gets her to turn the corner into being an engaging protagonist.

About halfway through the volume the art changes from Adrian Melo to Stjepan Sejic. Melo was doing a good job, managing to avoid going too cheesecakey but retaining some sauciness to the art but Sejic just presses all my buttons, this art is absolutely beautiful! Not only that but it’s dynamic, something that painted art sometimes loses, but has strong storytelling.

I don’t know if it’s been raised before but there’s even a nice explanation of why Sara’s earlier use of the Witchblade so famously led to her constant near-nudity.

As well as the 9 issues and their covers there’s also a nice “Best of” covers selection at the back picked by Witchblade luminaries. Realising this was 9 issues makes the cover price seem a lot more reasonable.


Source: Waiting for the Trade

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