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.
But despite this, the Angelus leader is in excellent position to do the thing she thinks will earn her the best shot at becoming the host: killing Sara Pezzini. With Sara distracted by Dani and determined to take back the Witchblade in whole — ignoring the safety of her daughter, which shows readers exactly how much the dark side of the Witchblade has taken control of Sara — she makes herself vulnerable to attack by the Angelus warriors. And it’s that vulnerability that could be Sara’s undoing.
There’s some really interesting panel work in 127 — when Sara and Dani are fighting, their patrons (the mysterious Curator for Dani and the possibly evil stranger Tau’ma for Sara) are shown in long panels down the side of a two page spread. The center shows the battle between Sara and Dani while the Curator and Tau’ma watch, saying “No” and “Yes” respectively as Sara appears near defeat. In a scene showing both Dani and Patrick asleep in Sara’s apartment, the panels descend across the page diagonally, offering an almost dreamlike atmosphere simply by their arrangement. As Sara arrives home, she’s outside of the panel — her act of opening the door is painted next to several panels showing what’s going on inside the apartment. When Sara and boyfriend/police partner Patrick are talking, in one panel, they share dialog against a white background. In the following panel of silence, the background switches to black, emphasizing the distance between them. This is really the kind of panel work that I love — taking the medium and creating shapes and story that bend the rules and draw the eye in a different way.
Patrick is an incredibly understanding love interest here. It’s clear that he loves Sara, that he thinks she could be “the one” for him, and he struggles with the influence the dark side of the Witchblade is exerting over her. At the same time, he knows that she’s not herself. He believes it’s possible to save Sara — as does Dani.
Of course, I don’t believe at this point that either of the bearers of the Witchblade will die. I don’t know the series that well at this point, but it seems unlikely that Top Cow would kill off Sara Pazzini, while it’s also true that for the story to progress, it seems likely that the Witchblade needs to be taken away from her for a time. So while the conflict is escalating, and things look truly bad for Sara at the hands of the leader of the Angelus warriors, I’m not worried on her behalf — I’m just extremely eager to see how all of this is going to work out! If your Friendly Local Comic Shop still has issue 125 in stock, do yourself a favor and go pick up this story arc. It may even be worthwhile to read the short recap of Sara’s descent into darkness at the back of issue 127 first, if you don’t mind the spoiler of the last splash page from this issue staring at you as you catch up.
Review by Alana Joli Abbott