Last issue we saw Witchblade kill the Darkness, surely this, the follow up issue will deal with the repercussions of the death of one of the biggest characters in the Top Cow universe, right? HAHAHA, yeah right. The issue starts with a giant blue multihead “Hindu demon” attacking Sara, who is of course wearing a torn t-shirt and panties. After some quips, she easily defeats the monster JUST in time for two random guys to walk in through the hole in the wall. The duo mention some shapeshifter who also attacked at some point and try to convince her to meet their employer. After they refuse to answer any question about who they are or who they work for, after they admit to trying to kill her twice, and after they try to use magic to force her to change her mind and go against her will, Sara just shrugs and follows because otherwise we would be without a plot this issue.
The employer is a scantily clad woman named Amaryllis who literally tries to kill Sara the page she first appears in. Amary then says she knows all about the Witchblade and offers to pay Sara a million dollars a year to work for her. Will she accept the offer from the woman who has literally tried to kill her three times? Yeah probably. I mean she just jumped into a car with two guys who said they tried to murder her twice, and then was walking away pretty calmly after the third attempted homicide failed.
This comic is bad and there's several reasons why. First, it feels like this isn't the same comic as last issue. I mean the last two issues have sucked horribly, but some acknowledgement that this is the same story would be nice. Also, there are constant references to a shapeshifter attack that I haven't seen. I am assuming since this issue is written by Ron Marz, who has written this book before, but was not the writer for at least the last two issues, that he is continuing his story from before and not the story from last month. How is anyone supposed to be invested?
Second, the characterization of Sara is wonky. She is randomly quipy and is a Monty Python fan. Not bad things at all, but again, last issue she wasn't any of those things. Ignoring the consistency issue, Sara has literally no agency in this issue. At no point in this entire issue does she make a choice about anything. She follows a super linear path of being “tested” by random people and going with them to get a job offer. She could literally be any character who has some form of powers or abilities. Nothing would have to change in this issue besides her name and her power.
Third, while the art work is okay, I mean nothing to write home about one way or another. It does suffer from random shirt busting because we need more cleavage. The initial fight starts with Sara in a slightly torn Ramones shirt, then while she is laying down after jumping out of the way and being quippy she has no whole over her cleavage. When she stands up? Suddenly there is very convenient “battle damage” to show off more curvature of her breasts. A positive is there was only one panel where I noticed Sara was twisting in a horrible back breaking fashion to show off her body. So I will say we are pretty even, but the art was still meh, like the writing.
There was a highlight to this issue, and that was the appearance of a human sized Cthulhu. That and the Spanish Inquisition remark Sara makes randomly under her breath are the two good things about this issue.
The entire issue felt lazy. We have generic plot 37 started, and really there's nothing remotely exciting or unique here. It is entirely forgettable and that isn't what you want from the book that is the flagship of a universe. I do wonder if after this arc we will switch writers again and return to post death of the Darkness. Maybe there are actually two realities at work here and we will get a Witchblade meets Witchblade team up in the future followed by a conflict, a Crisis if you will.
Witchblade #182 Writer: Ron Marz Artist: Maan House Publisher: Image Comics/Top Cow Price: $3.99 Release Date: 4/29/15 Format: Ongoing; Print/Digital