"Witchblade #2" Comic Review
Written by James Ferguson
Published by Image Comics / Top Cow Productions
Written by Caitlin Kittredge
Illustrated by Roberta Ingranata
Colored by Bryan Valenza
2017, 32 Pages, $3.99
Comic released on January 10th, 2018
Alex Underwood wants to do good in this world. She was accomplishing this goal working within the Witness Aid Services unit of the District Attorney's office. Alex is killed during a spousal abuse case involving a corrupt NYPD detective, only to be reborn thanks to the Witchblade. Now she's seeing all kinds of crazy, demonic things and she's being hunted by dark forces. Moreover, the detective in question is somehow tied up in all this. Fortunately, he's dead, but unfortunately, he's not staying that way either.
I am so glad Witchblade is on the comic stands again. It was sorely missed. Since we have a new wielder of the powerful artifact in Alex, this is mostly an origin tale. We had almost two hundred issues with Sara Pezzini, the last person to use the Witchblade, and everything that could possibly be established was done so. This series is a fresh start and it's hitting the ground running.
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Alex is understandably confused and frustrated by all of this. These things just don't happen, but now her eyes have been opened and she's beginning to embrace this strangeness around her. We haven't seen her in the full Witchblade armor just yet. That may come with time. For now, writer Caitlin Kittredge has crafted an exciting and compelling story around Alex on her own as she slowly works her way into this supernatural world.
We're piecing together the recent events in Alex's life just as she is. There are some absolutely haunting images of her covered in blood with a vacant look in her eyes. She's not entirely sure what happened. Artist Roberta Ingranata and colorist Bryan Valenza create these chilling shots that serve as a nice contrast to Alex's otherwise clean appearance. When she's not in the middle of a murder scene, Alex looks like she belongs on the cover of a fashion magazine.
Ingranata has some excellent art direction in Witchblade, guiding your eyes through each panel. The scene following the murder where police are interviewing the would-be victim stands out. There are subtle differences in each panel as Alex moves around a bit in the background, ultimately disappearing before the cops have had a chance to talk to her.
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The mystery that begins to unravel around Alex is pretty cool. It reminds me of The Shield, only instead of Michael Chiklis getting into drugs and gangs, it's a group of cops dabbling in the dark arts. Tell me you wouldn't watch a version of that show if they dealt with demons and monsters. We're just scratching the surface of this right now, but there's more than enough here to draw you in.
The one thing I'm not entirely sold on in this Witchblade reboot is the Watcher-like character that's popped up to guide her and her use of the Witchblade. It's a little too convenient, as he can quickly turn into an exposition machine to explain everything if needed. Fortunately, Alex doesn't rely on him at all, pursuing her own leads in this case and going it alone.
Witchblade is back and I could not be happier. This is a bold new direction for the franchise and I'm super excited about it. It really is a more modern day take on the concept. The comic takes the core elements that make the original series great and puts a new spin on them. This pays homage to what came before while making something entirely new.