Friday, April 6, 2012

Witchblade Rebirth: Jump in now!

Based on the artwork and reviews I've seen of Witchblade in the past, it seemed like little more than an excuse for a nearly-naked hot woman to be grasped in all her most intimate areas by some kind of arcane creature while they slice people up together, so I hadn't been interested in reading it at all.

So when I was at the Image show in February, I asked this question at the Top Cow booth: "What do you have that's urban fantasy but without blood and guts everywhere?" He handed me Witchblade: Unbalanced Pieces. The look on my face must have made my doubt clear, because he immediately started trying to sell me on it.

It worked.

It wasn't blood and guts, and it wasn't nearly as tawdry as I'd thought it was. Just as important, the "Top Cow Rebirth" series does not require readers to know the entire backstory and all the events of the main character's past. He described it as a jumping off point for new readers, and as a completely new reader to the series, I'd have to say that it works perfectly.

Mention is made of Sara Pezzini's past as a cop, which does come into play during the story arc a number of times. There's some violence and death, but it's not intestines for two pages followed by decapitations and assorted maimings. There's some hot scenes with a bit of fondling, but it's not Batman and Catwoman screwing on a rooftop. The amount of skin actually makes sense considering the circumstances, and Sara does make sure to mention that she's not thrilled about it.

Here we have a heroic, strong female character who's working hard to do the right thing. There's a lack of gratuitous evisceration, for which I'm very grateful. There's more skin than I would like (there's that male 18 to 30 demographic again), but it's not just for the sake of being slutty. There's a timeline at the back in case you want more information about the major events, and a little character "diary" for even more details.

If you've been thinking about giving Witchblade a try, this is the time to do it, starting with Unbalanced Pieces. From there, you can keep reading the new material as it comes out, and get some of the backlist as well if you choose. Overall, a good read with solid writing by Tim Seeley and beautiful art by Diego Bernard. Well done, Top Cow.

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