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Witchblade #56

Posted: Sunday, June 16
By: Ray Tate
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Writer: David Wohl
Artists: Francis Manapul(p), Jason Gorder, Marlo Alquiza, Kevin Conrad, Maro Galli(i), John Starr, Beth Sotelo, Val Staples(c)
Publisher: Image

Plot: Ian's bad dream trigger's the Witchblade.

Left for dead, Ian Nottingham is in fact quite alive but not doing
well. Ian's nightmare is quite bizarre apart from the scanty-clad but
shockingly proportionate Sara Pezzini. The sequence certainly is
eye-catching and will immediately hook the readers of
Witchblade.

After the nightmare, David Wohl cuts to police work with Sara and
Jake, her partner. The segue between the cut is pretty slick, and I
like how the sequence progresses. The Witchblade more subtly
manifests as it does in the television show. The cover again is akin
to a James Bond-type credits montage. Sara remains clothed in the
story for the entire issue. The Witchblade only peeks here and
there.

After the episode, we discover that Sara does not watch Oprah
Winfrey
. This nugget we learn in the scene in which Sara in a
very natural way accepts a date. This means the keeper of the
Witchblade is now mentally healthier than Wonder Woman who pursues a
hairy, black lesbian named Trevor, Jennifer Jones who likes to make
herself feel bad by booty-knocking with Luke Cage in Alias,
the comic book and Tara Chace who really loathes herself.

Apart from the strong female character, this issue also benefits
from an uneasy mood setting up the confrontations to come. The way in
which Sara simply knows about the crimes puts Jake off-balance but
does not turn him into a gibbering idiot. The scene in which he gives
her the room to begin the investigation on her own is related with a
sincere conviction. It also subverts the comic book convention of the
hero ditching the outsider to work in his or her element.

The villainous Kenneth Irons makes an appearance this issue, and
he really carries off the impression of power. His humorous dismissal
of the upstart loser villain offers humor to gently ease some of the
tension in the Sara Pezzini segments.

Mr. Manupul's artwork here surpasses his previous tenure on the
title and streams ahead by light years when compared to past artists
who did this character no justice. While Sara is still busty, she's
not the Russ Meyer pinup she used to be. Mr. Manupul thickens and
gives depth to her other body parts to offset her breasts and give
her a more proportionate frame. Her neck and collar bone which Mr.
Manupul continues to emphasize with sharp lines do not seem as badly
disjointed as they did in their debut. Now, her neck is just slightly
behind her collar bone which is better than the shelf-like manner in
which she used to be portrayed. Mr. Manupul also de-emphasizes
the lines at the tip of her nose. This flourish bothered me in the
first issue that introduced me to the world of Witchblade. By
removing the lines, Sara's face looks more fuller and realistic.
Another thing that irked me were the colors, but these too offer more
variety for this issue. Although everyone has the same skin tone, the
uniformity of that hue changes with the lighting. All and all,
Witchblade continues to improve and surprise me.


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