Vol. 1: Origins
by David Wohl, Christina
Z., Michael Turner
(Image/Top Cow, 2001)
Sara Pezzini made her debut in the world of comic-book heroes in 1995 wearing a tight red mini-dress and boots with heels you could use to harpoon a whale. She's not your typical cop, nor your average superheroine. Impossibly long-legged and lean, she sparked a whole new look in the comic-book genre and, once the Witchblade came calling, she launched a new style of superheroics.
Although the current edition of Origins, the storyline that started it all, features a promotional photo from the short-lived TNT series starring Yancy Butler, don't think to compare them. They're not the same story, they're not the same style, they're barely even related.
Sara is a homicide detective with attitude, who bulls her way into criminal investigations in dangerously outlandish ways. While infiltrating a secret meeting of high-profile crooks, she and partner Michael Yee are discovered and shot. Both are mortally wounded, but Sara finds herself connecting with the reason for the meeting, the Witchblade, an arcane weapon in the form of an ornate medieval glove. It saves her life and destroys her foes before she even knows what's happening.
Before she even comes to understand what she possesses, Sara finds herself embroiled in plots and machinations years, in some cases centuries old. Multibillionaire Kenneth Irons covets the Witchblade. The inscrutable Ian Nottingham will do anything to help Irons in his quest. Various gangs are seeking retribution. Police officials question Sara's behavior. And a serial killer, dubbed the "microwave murderer" by the press, is burning beautiful young women to death -- from the inside. The volume concludes with a series of titanic battles that are visually stunning -- and will definitely have a strong impact on future storylines.
Witchblade isn't the pinnacle of character depth and development, but it still manages to tell a good story with an intriguing, unusual cast. Far from the usual style of superhero comic books, Witchblade is grittier, in many ways more realistic and certainly eye candy for anyone who likes women who are impossibly long-legged, lean and scantily clad.
by Tom Knapp