The main topic of the most recent Off The Rack podcast, which I host along with my 8 Days A Geek compatriots Brandon Williams & Jason Hughes was the current TopCow Talent Hunt. In an effort to better acquaint myself with the current state of this universe I picked up some comics I don’t normally read; namely Witchblade.
I’ll admit that when I was younger and series first came out it seemed like the kind of thing nerdy boys would love because it was riddled with massive boobs on tiny women: which is what every guy wants right? (please, please note the sarcasm dripping from that sentence).
Turns out the story isn’t terrible. I picked up a run by Ron Marz, issues 80-85, which is labeled the Witch Hunt storyline; seemed like a natural jumping on point, right?
In many ways it was. The story, while hinting at a much larger history and character I was unaware of it never made me feel utterly lost. This could be because I am a different breed of reader; one who accepts things as-is. When in doubt, let the story play out. If science fiction movies and television cartoons have taught me anything it’s that stories don’t have to be completely laid out for us, some things just have to be taken on faith.
The first issue opens with Sara awakening from a coma with only nightmarish memories of what caused the event. A cop, from internal affairs, visits her at the hospital and is very interested in her (setting the stage for this outsider to become part of the main story).
An overarching theme of this story is that of Sara’s, and by extension the Witchblade’s, connection to religion. This was something I wasn’t expecting, though that could just be my ignorance of the character in general. I found much of what Marz wrote fascinating. He was able to seamlessly integrate religious overtones with mysticism (which, to many, is basically the same thing) to tell a larger story.
Sara, in this arc, both loves and hates the Witchblade. She wants to rage against the life it has brought upon her but at the same time she accepts the responsibility and desire’s to rid the world of evil.
The interesting twist of this story is that the church is evil; part of an unbelievably massive conspiracy to bring forth a beast from an alternate dimension to be the new God of this reality.
Of course this is a failed idea. The beast is a demon, not a god, and he would only destroy them and everything else in this reality to make way for his own dominion. Sara, with the power of the Witchblade, battles the creature and, rather too easily, forces it back through the portal. It’s really a little too reminiscent of the Hellboy movie with the space god creature thing and how it’s pushed back through the portal and all that jazz.
I don’t want to give too much credit or take too much away from this comic as a whole. Ron Marz is, truly, a great writer so I will take careful consideration when reading other non-Marz storyline’s to see how Witchblade truly stacks up as book.
It is and unavoidable fact that the book is designed to visually appeal to the sad, sad minority of readers who desire big-breasted protagonists like Croft to grace the pages of their books. But what Marz proved with this story is that a well-written book can push past these staples (still included even here) of sexy images of buxom babes to provide depth of character and an interesting, page-turning plot.
Witchblade Vol 1 gets a solid B from me. It’s worth taking a look, if only for Ron Marz…or the boobs, if you’re into that sort of thing.
If you have suggestions for future Bin Fodder reviews, drop me a line in comments! Or e-mail me at email@example.com.
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Till next Wednesday…