It sucks when a comic artist injures their shoulder for any reason, but it’s especially bad when it’s a writer/artist who’s the main creator in a series with such a legacy behind it. After Witchblade ended last October, Switch came along to help us Witchblade fans find some sort of replacement. The first two issues are great, but Stjepan Sejic’s back and shoulder gave out and he’s been on the mend for a while now. Switch 3 finally released this week, and it’s actually worth the wait.
Switch follows the adventures of Mary Parker, a teenager in an alternate universe version of the Witchblade series, where she is chosen by the ancient artifact instead of Sara Pezzini. Of course Sara is still involved in this series, just as a cop who’s witnessing all the craziness from a distance. This issue has a lot of story development regarding Kenneth Irons and what he planned for the Witchblade, while also giving us a great fight between Mary and the Angelus.
Mary’s usage of the Witchblade is unique compared to the others. Somehow, she channels previous bearers, borrowing their talents and attitude. It makes the fight exciting and kind of funny with Angelus’s confusion. Afterward, there’s the explanation of what the Witchblade artifact actually is. It’s done similar to Sara Pezzini’s version, just taking place much earlier in Mary’s journey, and with an ominous former bearer who may or may not cause problems later on.
Sejic’s art is fantastic as usual. The opening pages show Sara in the police station, showing great joy in drinking her coffee after a rough week, only to show frustration when she learns of a weird fight happening blocks away in broad daylight. The fight between Mary and Angelus is intense, with a lot of debris, blood running down Mary’s face and good use of both Angelus’s energy attacks and the Witchblade’s blades whipping around. There’s an otherworldly glow in the scene where Mary directly interacts with previous wielders, and some of the close-ups in these pages almost look like photographs. Everything is bright and colourful too. And last but not least, there’s an amusing image along with Sejic’s apology for the issue being so late, teasing his injuries.
It’s great to see Switch 3 arrive after such a delay. Hopefully Sejic recovers so that this series can release on a more regular schedule soon, but in any case, this issue is awesome. It strikes a good balance between intense action, suspense, character moments and fun. Witchblade fans should check this series out, as should anyone who likes Sejic’s work or is interested in a delightfully weird fantasy comic.