Posted on February 17, 2011 by alanajoli
Back in the mid-1990s, Top Cow launched a daring new series about an artifact that could be wielded only by women — and the man who tried to take possession of it. In Witchblade: Origin, the first eight issues of Witchblade are brought to an audience who missed them the first time around. It’s a great origin story: Sara Pezzini, the tough cop who becomes the bearer of the Wicthblade, is far more vulnerable here than we see her at the current point in the series. She’s largely alone in the world: she has an irresponsible sister, a neighbor whose murder leaves her with a teen girl seeking her advice, and a partner who dies in the first issue. Her parents have been dead for some time, but she still thinks of them, often, talking to them in the box text. While she knows she has her boss — who is much like a father to her — and coworkers who care about her, she hesitates to share herself with them, especially when she is feeling weak.
Posted on September 3, 2010 by alanajoli
When we last left off (back in March, embarrassingly enough), Sara Pezzini — aka, the bearer of the re-united witchblade — was facing off against cyborg assassin Aphrodite IV, who has previously tried to kill her. Twice. But being surrounded by enemy robots does a lot to make you rethink your position on being enemies, so as Witchblade 135 opens, the two team up. It’s clear that something is not right here at robots ‘r us — I mean, assassin robots should clue a person in on laws being broken — but while Aphrodite’s mission is about killing the traitor to her programmers, Sara’s determined to bring the law down hard instead. Surprisingly, the cyborg assassin agrees. But, of course, it’s not that easy — there are more robots to face, and, in the final panel, a whole lot more sexy cyborgs than anyone knew existed.
Posted on August 3, 2010 by alanajoli
Here is is, folks, Artifacts #1, the first issue of the big cross-over event of the Top Cow universe, just now out at your local comic shop. And is it ever off to a bang. In several of the Top Cow series, we’ve been hearing about the 13 artifacts and how dangerous it would be to bring them all together. (Potentially, you know, the end of the world.) Some of the artifact holders are actively working toward that. Others are, of course, working against it, not wanting to be a party to Armageddon. But when Tom Judge is released from Hell bearing the Rapture, one of the 13, it begins to look like fate (or some power like it) is at work, bringing them together.
We open in New York with Sara Pezzini, the bearer of the Witchblade, fighting a minion of hell who is killing priests, looking for one in specific, the aforementioned Tom Judge.
Posted on July 1, 2010 by Flames
The Event FIVE Years in the Making!
Thirteen mystical Artifacts, including the Witchblade, the Darkness and others, guide the fate of the Top Cow Universe. For centuries, it’s been whispered that bringing together all 13 Artifacts would herald mankind’s destruction. But a mysterious figure has been manipulating events, laying plans to put Armageddon into motion. The final phase begins here, with the abduction of Hope, the daughter of Sara Pezzini and Jackie Estacado. What ensues will remake the entirety of the Top Cow Universe, from the Witchblade and the Darkness, to the Angelus, Magdalena, and countless others. Artifacts #1 is the perfect place for faithful readers to see their loyalty pay off, and for new readers to experience the Top Cow Universe.
Flames Rising is pleased to present several preview pages from this new series by Top Cow Productions.
Posted on May 10, 2010 by alanajoli
It’s hard to tell, at first, where Broken Trinity: Pandora’s Box starts. The cover says it’s #1 in the series. But it looks like it has back story, or is just jumping right into the middle of the action. In the opening, we learn that Gloriana has the Ember Stone, which can allow her to turn into a creature of fire, and possibly a dragon. Finn has the Glacier Stone, which can turn him into an ice giant. Gloriana wants to unite the 13 artifacts; Finn’s duty as the Glacier Stone keeper is to stop her. But what are the thirteen artifacts? One of them appears to be Pandora’s Box, which is being sought after by a cult known as the Disciples of Adam.
With a little web research, it’s revealed that three of those other 13 artifacts are the Trinity: the Witchblade, the Angelus, and the Darkness.
Posted on May 1, 2010 by Flames
FlamesRising.com is pleased to present an interview with Filip Sablik, publisher from Top Cow Productions, Inc. In this round of questions, we offer you an inside look into this unique comic book company by discussing WANTED, their upcoming ARTIFACTS series and more!
How has the movie WANTED changed your visibility as a comic book company?
This movie impacted our company in a variety of ways. For starters, the movie had great visibility because of the actors and actresses who were cast in the film. Morgan Freeman and Angelina Jolie allowed WANTED to get more exposure. That, in turn, has changed the way that Hollywood views us; now they look at us as a content provider for production companies. As a result of those strong promotional efforts, WANTED was a really big success for us in the mainstream book market.
Posted on April 28, 2010 by alanajoli
Top Cow has several series that expand the Witchblade universe, and over the summer, they sent me a preview of a one-shot: Trinity: Blood on Sands. It depicts a 14th century tale of the battle between the Darkness and the Angelus, balanced, of course, by the bearer of the Witchblade. Written by Philip W. Smith II and featuring art by Sheldon Mitchell, Admira Wijaya, and Tom Grindberg (some of whom team with other artists for inks and colors), Trinity deepens the Witchblade mythology a little bit in twenty-five pages and three short-story like episodes. As a stand alone, however, it would do little to draw an audience into the series. Using the current mythology in which the Witchblade can be broken into two, the one-shot features a pair of siblings who share the Witchblade, one cruel and dark and the other good and loving, a trope which, when pitted against the Witchblade storyline during the time it came out, seems too simplistic.
Posted on March 25, 2010 by alanajoli
A new three-part arc is launching on Witchblade, featuring the assassin who (apparently) attacked Sara Pezzini earlier in the series: Aphrodite IV. The green-haired, probably mechanical assassin is hunting a fleeing scientist for a shadowy organization, and after a witness sees her get shot by a space ship that then disappears, Special Cases is called in to investigate. Sara and Gleason hit a lot of dead ends with their attempts to figure out either the weaponry or where their quarry may have gone until Sara recalls a mysterious contact: Argent. After a chatty phone call in which much is revealed (except for Argent’s real identity), Sara decides to go solo and investigate on some leads without calling to let Gleason know where she’s headed.
Posted on March 9, 2010 by alanajoli
Back with another overdue review of Witchblade (provided for review by the publisher in pdf format). Usually I don’t comment on the alternate covers (many of them have way too much cleavage for me to appreciate), but I have to say that Chris Bachalo’s Cover B is brilliant for this issue — it’s an almost Disnified version of Sara wearing very little Witchblade armor, but she’s just so cute that her scantily clad bod seems secondary to the hair and earrings being featured. None of the covers are particularly relevant to the content inside in this issue, so the cute factor goes a long way.
Sejic and Marz continue their excellent work in issue #131, which is really a wrap-up to the “War of the Witchblades” story line. Poor Julie’s been left out in the cold, not knowing about Sara’s secret, paranormal life.
Posted on March 2, 2010 by alanajoli
It makes a lot of sense for a small press like Top Cow, which has a lot of great titles on the market, to put everything together into an art book and showcase some of their best pieces. In The Art of Top Cow preview that I received from the publisher, I got to see thirty images of the more than 300 pages that will appear in the final book. Two of them, unfortunately, were nearly naked images of Sara Pezzini of Witchblade that look more like pinups than gallery images; another is a Top Cow poster that features three of the Top Cow women in all their busty glory. Hopefully those three images are not representative of a large portion of the included art (though certainly part of Top Cow’s target audience will surely appreciate them — just not my part of the market share!). In the preview, some of the pieces are really quite excellent, and I’ll highlight some of them quickly here.
Posted on February 26, 2010 by alanajoli
As you could tell from my reviews of the first half of the “War of the Witchblades” arc, back in May, I was loving them. Matt would send me a new PDF from the publisher, and I’d eagerly open it to see the next installment.
Except when I didn’t. That’s right, I completely neglected to download Witchblade #128. Rather than miss the fourth issue in the saga after the download period expired, I did what any self-respecting comics reader (and reviewer) would do — I waited for it to arrive at my friendly local comic shop (FLCS) and bought that sucker. This was a good choice, because without issue #128, the rest of the story wouldn’t have come together so well. Since they’ve been on the shelves for awhile now, I thought I’d review the rest of the “War of the Witchblades” arc, and recommend that you all keep an eye out at your local FLCS for a trade collecting these six issues.
Posted on May 21, 2009 by alanajoli
When I said that the “War of the Witchblades” arc might be a good place to start reading Witchblade, I was wrong.
It’s a great place to start reading Witchblade.
Now that we’re in the third issue of the arc, things are really starting to come together. The Angelus Force still hasn’t picked a host, but we see that one of the Angelus is really jonesing to be the one who will become the Angelus incarnate. But while this Angelus is the leader of the Angelus warriors — winged creatures that are similar to humans but with supernatural gifts — she’s not what you’d call a role model for the forces of good. She shows no pity, no mercy, and no patience — instead, she seems so arrogant and certain that she is destined to be the host to the Angelus that it’s certain to pass her by for someone more humble.
Posted on May 19, 2009 by Flames
Top Cow Productions, Inc. proudly announced today the crossover of Cyberforce and Hunter-Killer. Slated for a July 2009 release, Cyberforce/Hunter-Killer #1 is the first in a six issue limited series that pits each team against the other in a conflict. The event follows hot on the heels of the recent events of Fusion, which crossed Cyberforce and Hunter-Killer against Marvel Comics’ Avengers and Thunderbolts.
Cyberforce/Hunter-Killer #1 is written by Mark Waid, who co-created Hunter-Killer with Top Cow CEO and founder Marc Silvestri in 2005. Artistic duties will be performed by Kenneth Rocafort, (Madame Mirage, Pilot Season: The Core) who drew the final four issues of the initial Hunter-Killer season.
Posted on May 15, 2009 by alanajoli
WARNING: This review contains spoilers. If you’re going to read the story arc, read my review of Witchblade 125 and go pick up the series yourself! If you don’t mind being spoiled, continue on ahead.
Witchblade 126 starts to explain a bunch of the questions that began in Witchblade 125. Why does the Angelus force want to kill Sara? Who is the mysterious guy who seems to be connected to the Darkness, and to Sara? As it turns out, when the Witchblade spit, it had to split along the same axis it was created to balance: darkness and light. Sara in issue 126 reveals just how far toward the Darkness she has fallen, while Dani realizes she has to take the Witchblade away from Sara for balance to be restored (and so that Sara doesn’t destroy herself and everyone she cares about).
Posted on May 8, 2009 by alanajoli
Coming into the middle of a story is always tough, even in comics. The intro at the beginning of most ongoing series catches readers up – but only if they already have a basic idea of the mythology. The delightful thing about Witchblade #125 is that, even with only half of an idea about what’s going on in the series (I’ve read an earlier volume and caught a Free Comic Book Day promo last year), the art work was so hyper-realistic and intriguing that I was drawn into the characters regardless of the plot.
Since I tend to read novels and comics predominantly for story and character, the art pulling me in so dramatically is a big deal for me. I haven’t seen this style before, and Stjepan Sejic (if he is also the colorist) is doing tremendous work with lighting, making some of his images look almost Final Fantasy realistic.
Posted on February 16, 2009 by Flames
Top Cow Productions, Inc. proudly announced today that the company’s flagship title, Witchblade, will reach issue #125 in March 2009, and the publisher will celebrate this landmark event with an oversized issue including a bonus story.
Witchblade #125 brings the series’ critically acclaimed team of writer Ron Marz and artist Stjepan Sejic together to begin the six-part story arc “War of the Witchblades” which the publishers note is the biggest and most ambitious plot they’ve attempted with their flagship character. Following the events of 2007’s First Born, the Witchblade was split into two halves and the responsibilities split between long time bearer Sara Pezzini and newcomer Danielle Baptiste. Up to this point, Sara and Dani have worked together and developed a sisterly relationship, but that will all change beginning in issue #125.
Posted on September 5, 2008 by Flames
I’ll start this with a confession. Witchblade Volume 5 is the first example of the Witchblade universe that I’ve had the pleasure of reading. I wasn’t completely ignorant of the series. I wrote a profile of artist Mike Choi a few years ago which required some research, but Witchblade is one title that’s never screamed, “Read me!” Why does this matter? Because this review will split everyone into one of three camps – Those of you who, like me, have never read the series, Witchblade fans curious to read a rookie’s perspective, or Witchblade fans who angrily utter the word, “Duh!” over the next few minutes more times than is ever appropriate. The value you get out of this review will depend squarely on where you decide to camp.
Review by Jason Thorson
Posted on August 6, 2008 by Flames
Screenwriter Rick Loverd weaves a tale of superheroes, Norse mythology and bone-crushing action.
Top Cow Productions Inc. announced at San Diego Comic-Con they will partner with Milo Ventimiglia and Russ Cundiff of DiVide Pictures to publish Berserker, a new comic book series created by Rick Loverd.
“Berserker is about people discovering they have superhuman ancient Norse powers as they’re pulled into an underground war that’s been raging for a thousand years,” explained Loverd. But the writer pointed out there are bigger themes. “It’s about people dealing with all the curves the world throws, accepting yourself,” he said. “It’s about not feeling helpless in the face of new challenges and, when someone builds a wall in front of you, smashing right through it with your bare hands. And, of course, it’s about bone-popping bloodlust, spine-crushing action, and saving the world from total destruction!”
Posted on July 22, 2008 by Flames
Publisher to unveil new exclusive comics, special announcements and a host of guests.
Top Cow Productions Inc. announced its schedule today for this week’s San Diego Comic-Con, the nation’s biggest and best comics and pop culture extravaganza to be held at the San Diego Convention Center in San Diego, California from July 23 – 27.
Top Cow will set up shop at Booth #2329 and heads into the convention with exclusives, preview books, free goodies and a long list of guests, headlined by Top Cow CEO and founder Marc Silvestri (Witchblade, The Darkness, Cyberforce), artist J.G. Jones (Wanted) and writer Paul Dini (Madame Mirage).