Writer: David Wohl
Artists: Francis Manapul(p), J. Sibal, Jason Gorder, Marlo Alquiza, A. Martinez,(i), Steve Firchow(c)
This issue of Witchblade threw me. I knew what was going on. Cultists in a secret headquarters in the bowels of Ellis Island do occulty things, but I couldn’t grasp the Witchblade universe rationale, which involves something called the darkness—related to the Darkness/Batman crossover?
I did enjoy what I could understand. Bad guys need to be stopped. Good guys like Jake and Sara stop bad guys, and Ian has a few marbles missing from his collection.
To David Wohl’s credit, he does try to explain things, and the way he explains in dialogue and narration lacks the pain of typical exposition. He makes everything sound perfectly natural which is a bonus. So even if you do not understand the events, the definitions are given out in a cool manner.
The other hero of Witchblade is Francis Manapul. It’s as if seeing the television show changed the co-creator’s attitude toward a pouting figure that is best remembered as a pair of cachongas gift-wrapped by anime pink growth.
The cover for instance although another James Bond type ballyhoo isn’t one of exploitation. Rather it’s a joke on the insulting covers of the past. Sara simply smiling is one hell of an improvement. The fact that her historic state of undress does not appear inside the book is even better.
The Witchblade manifests during the adventure, and from what I can see, it protects Sara in full. Manapul however keeps her clothed! Perhaps, Mr. Wohl always saw Sara as a serious representation of the female heroic archetype. He just needed to get rid of the other guys to fully express this understanding. For whatever reason, thanks to Mr. Wohl and Francis Manapul, Witchblade no longer seems to be a dirty joke. The writing is intelligent. The artwork is solid and good.
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