Review: Witchblade #181

So I have a ton to complain about this issue. From start to finish this feels like a rushed comic. A rushed comic with horrible dialogue and a complete lack of internal logic. Which means I get to rip into it with complete glee! This is part two of Darkness Falls: the Death of Jackie Estacado, it is also the finale. In two issues we get a bad reason for, and then quick death of one of the biggest characters in the Top Cow Universe. I expect next issue will begin and end the epic 404 Error: the Death of Cyberforce. Witchblade and Darkness once had a daughter (the clichedly named Hope), but Sara killed Hope to save the world. When the world was recreated, Darkness brought his daughter back to life. Last issue Sara met her daughter for the first time in the new world. Seeing what Jackie had done, and worse what Hope now is (somewhat monstrous and evily), Sara decided she must kill Bill!!! Or Jackie, whichever. So remember, all of the conflict is coming because she really is mad about her daughter being evil. Motherly instinct is the key here.

Witchblade-#181Jackie shows up, and he and Sara have a conversation. Right in front of their daughter, they discuss how Hope was killed by her mother, and her dad brought her back. No one seems phased by this. Sara shows no angst. Hope gives no indication she even heard the conversation, likely busy playing with the innards of some cat. Hope escorts the other civilian Jackie brought back to life after the world ended, and then a kung fu fight begins between Witchblade and Darkness.

Or really just random tentacle like things swinging back and forth between the two. It isn't an interesting fight to say the least. Randomly, the former Darkness bearer, Aram, shows up and hands Witchblade a sword. With a single swing of the mighty sword, she eviscerates Jackie. After a second swing, he is now decapitated and dead. Sadly Blue Beetle isn't there to yell “One cut!!!!” and bwahahahahahaing over the moment.

There's a quick little fake out where the decapitated head of Jackie starts talking, but apparently it is just the residual Darkness power sticking around. Some bad shemping later, Aram hands over a book that will kill Darkness for good. Because she is the hero, Sara reads the words and kills Darkness for real this time.

After home invasion and murder, Sara just leaves. She doesn't try to save her daughter, who she was super righteous about last issue. In fact she leaves Hope in the care of Aram, the guy who randomly shows up in rooms with the perfect murder tools. The issue ends with Hope wanting to kill Witchblade, and Aram saying he has a spell for that. Good job team good guys!

This comic is horrible. There is zero consistency to it. Sara seems to not care about any of the stakes at hand, she just randomly shouts about how Jackie is going to end the world, and how what he did with Hope is wrong. But there isn't a single panel where she looks like she really cares. The ending is abrupt, she just walks off because the issue was about to end. Leaving her daughter with Aram, a guy she didn't trust last issue, but now is cool with? I guess him being a skilled item rack makes him a good guy now? Also aren't the big bad Ancient Ones still a threat? I just don't get it!

Score: 1/5

Witchblade #181 Writer: David Hine Artist: Gabriel Rearte Publisher: Image/Top Cow Price: $3.99 Release Date: 3/18/15 Format: Ongoing; Print/Digital