Ever since Sara Pezzini moved to Chicago, there have been a lot of new supporting characters and villains introduced in the Witchblade series. There’s a woman who can control people with her tattoos, some cute chick with unexplained demonic powers, various dimensional gateways to a magical realm inhabited by elves and lion monsters and a number of cursed individuals, just to name a few. Absolute corruption throws all of these characters and storylines together in what could turn out to be epic.
This issue forces Sara to work with a former Witchblade wilder against someone who has escaped from the magical realm. Meanwhile, each of the different villains has plans of their own in motion. Despite this, there’s still plenty of room for character development including an amusing pillow talk scene near the beginning. It’s also fairly easy to follow, and while each villain’s shtick isn’t explained in this issue, their plans are at least hinted at. There’s a lot to like about the story. Despite the number of plotlines within, it should be relatively easy for new readers to understand. The recap page inside the front cover and the info page on two of the villains certainly don’t hurt.
The art is also very good. While there’s certainly a lot of cleavage in this issue, it doesn’t feel overly exploitive. Character art is very good, and really helps separating the normal people from the villains, including the one that looks like a child. The former Witchblade’s take on modern fashion is hilariously misguided on her part. And of course the previously mentioned tattooed woman has consistent tattoos across different panels – impressive considering how covered she is. There’s also plenty of background detail, from the individual bricks on the buildings to the assortment of objects on office desks.
If a delightfully weird comic suits your fancy, than there’s a lot to like in Witchblade 167. There’s action, comedy, character work and an interesting story all in one. It’s the first issue in the absolute corruption storyline, and it’s a good introduction to the series.