Kaching Comic Reviews

Published on May 14th, 2024 | by Richard Boom


Review: Witchlade (2024) #1: ferocious and powerful

I started collecting comic books when I was 21, way back in 1994. First time I stepped into a comic book specialty shop here in the Netherlands and my mind just exploded with all the fun stuff I discovered. I was a Marvel-ite once, but in discovering Image Comics, Top Cow and Harris Comics my addiction was taken to a whole new level. I was just a little too late to pick up the original Witchblade #1, but Top Cow has been there since I started and all things Michael Turner really.

So now exactly 30 years later, Top Cow feels it is time to properly reboot her flagship title Witchblade, for new generations to come. Personally I would have loved for them to go back and make those first 20 issues a bit better structured, or just leave it as it was, during the amazing run of Marz/Sejic. But it takes balls to really go back and retcon the title.. and it makes sense.

Retcon-ing a fascinating franchise is just well-etablished in the media industry, be it Marvel Comics’ Spider-Man or movies like Ghostbusters, King Kong, The Crow etcetera. It is just business-wise a good idea since young folks will almost never go back and revisit the original movies, that are 10+ years old. They nééd their own era of icons to worship and their own moments of escapism.

Cue the new Witchblade.

Storywise it is pretty straight forward: the main characters are set up with Sara being part of NYPD, with also her past and her character explained. And there is this human traficking happening and there is this globetrotting artifact that will make Sara’s life véry interesting.

Is it better or worse then the original? NONE… it is different. So please treat yourself to this one, since it is fast, it is shiny and it is here for YOU!

How is that for shortest review ever, right?

But let me tell you, it rings true. This debut book reads much faster in setting up a solid base then the original take. Darn, I am still comparing here. Well, guess that just is the case cause I am OLD 🙂

Let me re-word it then: the book’s basis is set up incredibly fast. Not only Sara but also the Witchblade will be fully up and running at the end of this book and you will feel like you were on a high speed bullet train while reading this. And READ you will, because writer Bennett used every possible trick in the book to get a bunch of information over to the reader. Using voice-over dialogue boxes, you will get a solid idea what each character will be sounding. Each voice will be important, will be heared and their actions seen. To be frank, the Artifact known as the Blade, really has a new voice.. more ruthless then ever.

O and yes, the “SEEN” part is there of course. Sure, comics being a visual medium, it goes without saying. But Italian artist Cafaro is doing his best (and then some) to make sure the voices Bennett thought up, where superbly seen. His style is normally known to be a tad gritty, but for this new book, he steps up to the plate and puts up a new style that feels more ‘established’ if I could word it like that? I adore his blacks, that remind me in a weird associative state of the way Frank Miller uses blacks. I am not comparing Cafaro to Miller, but just saying I get why his blacks work so great. The intensity of his dynamic style truly shows in two double-page spreads that showcase the new Sara/Blade-connection but the real strength is probably the POV’s he is choosing per panel.

The coloring by Prianto is the cherry on top. He does not go oldksool TopCow-style but uses a solid palette to team up with Cafaro’s pencils and inks, yet makes it so the total it all feels like more!

It is not the first time TopCow has set out to rebrand Witchblade, but it feels as if this is the strongest iteration so far and I am excited to watch it. This time starting with #1 and not with #8 🙂

PS and no. There is no red latex dress this time round!

PPS read the official press release here https://www.comicsforsinners.com/witchblade-2024-promises-reboot-and-new-mythology/

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About the Author

Richard is the driving force behind Comics for Sinners. His love and admiration for female comic book characters is virtually unparalleled, which immediately explains his biggest 'sin': his Hot Mummy fetish. This sketchbook theme is philogynistic in nature and even the source of his WIP comic book series "The Sisterhood".

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