Sometime last year, the Top Cow universe had a Rebirth initiative that wasn’t too different from DC’s New 52 and Marvel Now. While much of each franchises continuity remains, the old universe ended and a new universe began. In the old universe, Sara Pezzini, the current wilder of the Witchblade, had a daughter that died, a sister that died and a boyfriend that she had to break up with. During last month’s Progeny crossover, she was reminded of everything that happened in this universe. This issue deals with the aftermath, and it’s probably the best issue I’ve read so far in this series.
There isn’t any action in this issue, besides a couple quick flashbacks. There isn’t anything weird going on, which is usually where this series thrives the most. No, this issue is all about character development. The bulk of the issue has Sara meeting with those who were close to her in the old universe. She meets up with her ex and her now living sister in two very moving scenes. The narration and dialogue work well together in sorting out the continuity mess between these two universes while mainly focusing on the drama.
It’s also nice that this issue explains everything the reader needs to know, whether they’re completely new to the series or they’ve been away for a while. Everything about Sara’s current situation is explained in a non-intrusive way, and even the Witchblade artifact is explained as necessary. While this isn’t the greatest example of Witchblade’s entertainingly weird premise, it’s very much new reader friendly.
The art is also very good. It has a minimalistic, clean look to it that captures each character’s emotions perfectly. Nelson Blake II makes great use of environmental details, from shiny windows in the foreground to the use of background objects that trigger Sara’s memory flashes. The colouring is also great, from the extravagant fashion show scene to the orange haze around visual memories.
Witchblade 165 feels like a necessary issue for regular readers. It’s dramatic and it straightens out the most confusing aspects of the series as of late. If you read the Progeny crossover and want to check Witchblade out, this is also a great starting point. There really is nothing bad to say about this comic.
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