Writer: Caitlin Kittredge
Art: Roberta Ingranata
Publisher: Image Comics
A Review by Greg Brothers
The 90’s comic book world became known for muscle bound heroes with big guns and women wearing shreds of clothing with disproportionate bodies. It is really a shame because some of those books had some great concepts and storytelling. One of the books that fell under that group was Witchblade. Sara Pazzini was a New York City cop who was bonded with the Witchblade. Which is a supernatural sentient gauntlet that fights evil spirts.
Witchblade #1 introduces us to Alex Underwood. Alex is a former investigative reporter, who now works as a victim advocate. Her latest job involves protecting Myra Groves, who is the soon to be ex-wife of Detective Blake Groves. Over the years Detective Groves has been abusive towards Myra, using his connections to make sure he was never punished. Alex is working to make sure that he finally pays for the years of abuse.
Although Witchblade #1 is based on a series that is over twenty years old, this issue is very friendly towards new readers. Kittredge’s use of Alex’s internal dialogue allows the mystery to begin to unfold both for the character and for the reader. For longtime readers of the series there are enough changes in the Witchblade that the story does not feel like a simple remake. While the Witchblade is a mystical creature and previous incarnations of the comic have delved deep into that mysticism it is not the focus in Witchblade #1. Instead the use of real world issues allowed for the exploration of Alex and who she is before the Witchblade takes hold. Some of the time jumps were not as easy to follow as others. With the combination of past, present, and possible futures all built in several times I found myself revisiting panels once it was revealed where we were in time.
You can not talk about the art without mentioning the previous volumes of Witchblade. Being a product of the 90’s the previous volumes, while having intriguing storylines were marred with disproportionate bodies, and a Witchblade that left its previous wielder without clothing most of the time. Thankfully Witchblade #1 moves away from that particular wardrobe malfunction. Instead the character designs are on the more realistic side. Meanwhile the Witchblade manifests itself as a grey cloud, and later a light projectile. Whether it will continue in future issues we will have to wait and see. Throughout Witchblade #1 contrasts come into play in the art. Particularly the reds of blood versus the snow-covered streets, or the blues of Alex’s eyes. It at really accentuates the calmness of those streets versus the violence that they see. When exploring Alex’s, the art team decided to use a splash page of her face, and intermingle panels designed to look like pictures of her past. It is something that is rather a unique look and works particularly well. The Talisman while looking a little different, has the bright red center that will look familiar to longtime readers.
Buy! It does not matter if you are a first-time reader or long-term returner, Witchblade #1 is worth a spot in your weekly purchase. It does an excellent job creating a story that is intriguing and allows readers to ease into the legend of the Witchblade. The art eliminates many of the concerns of the original series, while adding on some unique takes on how the powers work. I for once think that based on Witchblade #1, the future is bright for the franchise.