With today’s issue, the Absolute Corruption storyline, and Tim Seeley’s run, comes to an end. Every villain introduced since Sara Pezzini moved to Chicago plays their part in this epic storyline, for good or bad. It’s a fun conclusion, but it feels as though it could have been better.
This issue’s a bit chaotic as an evil entity known as the Corruption Cataract is trying to awaken beneath Chicago, with the delightfully twisted Alisa Spencer acting as a servant of sorts. Sara Pezzini was captured at the end of the last issue, with a former witchblade bearer wielding a portion of the artifact. It’s the former bearer, a magician, a police officer and one of the villains fighting their way to the core of the Cataract to rescue Sara, who’s being used as some sort of catalyst.
If that last paragraph sounds confusing, it’s because this issue kind of is. It throws in all these concept and solves them by the end. As fun as this issue is, and as much as it was an easier read the second time, the whole thing feels rushed. Absolute Corruption only lasted three issues, and as the conclusion to Seeley’s run, it probably could have used one more to spread this issue out. There’s something about the Cataract trying to tempt Sara to allow it into the real world, but it’s completely glossed over. Considering all Sara has been through since War of the Witchblade, the temptation probably could have filled an entire issue on its own. There are other moments regarding former villains that aren’t very well explained. What exactly happened to the magic tattoo girl? Not sure, she only gets one un-worded panel. How are all the supporting characters after the Cataract is defeated? No idea as they also get one un-worded panel. The former witchblade bearer isn’t even seen after the battle ends. Seeing as how the next issue has a new writer, I kind of doubt we’ll have a proper conclusion to all of this.
While the story felt a bit rushed, the art is pretty much flawless. As the city is degenerating into chaos, the streets are full of riots. There’s a lot of visual storytelling and environmental detail here. There’s a great range of facial expressions, from the rioters on the streets magically driven to insanity to the drunken determination from the former witchblade bearer. The tattoo woman’s tattoos remain perfectly consistent between panels, which is impressive in its own right.
While this issue felt rushed and was a bit disappointing, it’s still worth reading if you’ve been enjoying the series lately. I first read this series early on in this run with number 156, and I’m glad I did. While its reputation as a series with scantly clad women isn’t entirely false, the storytelling throughout the series is actually pretty strong, as is the main character. This issue isn’t a good starting point, but if a delightfully weird series about magical artifacts and creatures in a modern setting sounds interesting, you should try this series out.