When Ron Marz first took on Witchblade, he revolutionized the series. He revealed the history behind the artifact of power, brought about the War of the Witchblades, and introduced several new characters. As great as Tim Seeley’s run was, it’s nice to see Marz return.
This comic begins two years after Tim Seeley’s run ends (in universe), in which Sara Pezzini has given up the witchblade and has become the sheriff in a small town. Even with the massive changes in her life, weird cases seem to find her. Three ritualistic murders have occurred in the last three weeks, with very little evidence pointing to the guilty party. The mystery isn’t explored too deeply in this issue though. The comic instead focuses on the characters involved, and it does a great job at that. Sara still feels like herself, even with all the baggage she carries.
The flashbacks show the start of Sara’s journey to rid herself of the artifact, but leaving enough to show the separation in the next issue. I’m not certain exactly when it happened or when it will happen, but at some point, Jackie of The Darkness is/was killed, changing the Witchblade’s place in the universe until a new Darkness host can be found. Sara understandably wants no part of that. Throw in a brutal cliffhanger and it’s hard not to want to read the next issue. There are a lot of unanswered questions, and if Ron Marz’s previous Withblade run is anything to go by the answers will not disappoint.
The art is also very good. The snowy woods compliment the murder scene well, with blood-stained snow below the victim attached to an X-cross. Characters are very expressive with both their faces and body language. There’s everything from Sara’s shock and emotional pain from the Witchblade attacking people against her will to the confusion as the lights go out in the sheriff’s office. There’s a good use of backgrounds and environments. In the snowy landscape, you can see people’s breath. In darker locations, there’s a good use of lighting and shadows.
It’s obvious that Ron Marz is aiming for a very different Witchblade series and it’s off to a great start. As usual, this comic is delightfully weird, and it’s the perfect jumping on point for new readers. Everything you need to know is explained on the recap page or in the story itself. Having just recently finished Marz’s previous run, I’m looking forward to seeing where he goes with this new plotline.