"Witchblade: Redemption - Volume 4" Trade Paperback Review
Written by James Ferguson
Published by Top Cow Productions
Originally published as Witchblade #146-150
Written by Ron Marz
Illustrated by Stjepan Sejic
2011, 162 Pages
Trade Paperback released on February 14th, 2012
The saga of the Witchblade is one that has been going on in comics for well over a decade. It's also made its way into two different TV shows. Despite all this coverage, I hadn't read a Witchblade comic until just a few months ago, which happened to be the last issue of Ron Marz's epic run on the book. This last arc, the closer of the Redemption storyline, was recently collected and although this was the first trade I've read of the series, I had no problem getting right to the story with little to no questions.
Witchblade centers on Sara Pezzini, an officer with the NYPD who wields the powerful titular artifact which keeps the balance between the Darkness and the Angelus. When not in use, the Witchblade looks like an ornate bracelet, but it can quickly turn into full body armor and magnificent weapons at a moment's notice if Sara is in trouble. This trade picks up with Sara in a difficult position. Internal affairs is after her job as she's sent two partners to the grave and she's shacking up with a third. To make matters worse, an ancient evil named Tiamat has risen to seek vengeance on the Witchblade and the Angelus.
As this was my first Witchblade story, I was concerned I'd have to do a lot of reading to catch up. I might still have to do that, but the creators have included a quick recap of the events to date to get you up to speed very quickly. Then it's right down to business. Sara's got a big bad she's got to take down and that comes with a lot of monster whup-ass that needs to be doled out.
Marz gives Sara a voice that makes her quickly relatable. You can see that she's got some tough decisions to make and unlike the rest of us, her choices could have some life-or-death consequences. She handles this burden with courage and determination to see it through. Actually, let me rephrase that. She doesn't see the Witchblade as a burden. She sees it as an opportunity to improve things and make the world a better place.
Stejepan Sejic drew these issues and he did a tremendous job. The artwork is beautiful, which is saying something considering there's a giant four-eyed monster with huge elephant-like tusks halfway through the book. The panels look painted and the style is just perfect for Witchblade. Of course, the ladies are gorgeous, which is never a bad thing, especially when they're kicking ass. There's a huge variety of monsters that pop up throughout this trade too, so Sejic got to play with many different designs to put Sara up against.
Sara's story with the Witchblade is far from over, but this trade paperback is a fitting end to Ron Marz's run -- which I now realize I have to go back and track down so I can read it in its entirety. To Top Cow's credit, this is an easily accessible book, so anyone even remotely interested in Witchblade can jump right in and have an understanding of what's going on without having to worry about sifting through years of continuity.