Review: Witchblade #172

This is the issue I’ve been waiting for. I was bored with the last two issues and was borderline on returning for this issue. I figured I’d give it until the end of the arc depending on how this issue went and it looks like I will be here until the end of the arc. The success of this issue is in the pacing. Whereas the first two were slow-moving with slight jumps in action or backstory, this issue keeps a steady pace always plunging forward. It picks up in Sara’s hospital room with the crazy serial killer looking to end Sara and Kate… until an Angelus soldier shows up. Crazy guy decides that he needs another sacrifice in order to talk to him and goes for Kate, but the Angelus dude guts him instead and takes the portion of the Witchblade that he’s been using to kill people.

Already we have a new interesting aspect of the Witchblade as he uses it to make a knife and a gun before he’s stabbed. Then as the Angelus is about to gut Kate, Sara shoots him in the side of the head at point-blank range.

We flash back to two years in the past (which is interesting to know now) and find Sara in the final stages of getting rid of the Witchblade. Two years in the future and the Angelus is waking back up and Sara tells him that if his master wants the Witchblade to come and get it. I’m pretty sure that if she wasn’t holding a gun and recently shot she would have either spit on him or at least crotch-chopped him.

WitchBlade172-CoverI’m very interested in these past two years that Sara has been without the Witchbalde. Not to see what Sara was doing since I know it’s working as a small town Sherriff, but what’s been going on with the Witchblade and the other Artifacts. Really having the Darkness be dead is the most interesting thing to happen to this series. I don’t think he’s actually dead since the series came out like last week, but for now it’s interesting to see the Witchblade go up against the Angelus and trying to figure out how the Witchblade even got out and in to other people’s hands. It could dramatically change the way the Witchblade is used which would be a huge breath of fresh air for this franchise.

Overall Ron Marz did a great job of keeping me interested. I’m not going to be so quick to jump ship in the future and if you were in the same boat as me then give it a moment. This was a slow burn for sure, but this issue is actually entertaining.

The art seemed a bit rushed in this issue. Laura Braga’s was one of the reasons I kept with the series due to her work on the first two issues, but here it just wasn’t as crisp or dynamic. It feels like she had too much to do with the visuals and so she sacrificed her style some and I’d hate for that to become a habit. It’s still a good-looking book, but not as great looking as it’s been. Still, Braga’s style is a much-needed change for the franchise that started off as a cheesecake book.

This was an entertaining issue and sets up a lot of questions for the series which is great. A lot of the mystery for this series has come and gone so it’s nice to see some life injected into it. Hopefully Marz has some big plans for this series so that it has a reason to stick around.

Score: 3/5

Writer: Ron Marz Artist: Laura Braga Publisher: Image/Top Cow Price: $2.99 Release Date: 1/29/14