Crimespree on Comics: Jo Schmidt – WITCHBLADE

Witchblade: The Best Book You Never Thought Would Be Any Good

I know. How on Earth do you take her seriously? Look at her. She’s some lonely comic artist’s desperate fantasy of a woman. She’s a cop with a living gauntlet that tears off her clothes when in use. The ultimate bondage desire. And for 80 issues, not taking her seriously was exactly how to see the title “Witchblade.”

The fact an independent comic can last 80 issues is, itself, beyond impressive. But, at issue 80 the book got a writer of some notoriety, the man who killed Hal Jordan and changed entire status of Green Lantern, Ron Marz. Ron had a plan. A plan to take, not just “Witchblade,” but the entire Top Cow Universe to an entirely new level. He saw something in the book and brought quality to this odd little super hero book. He brought Witchblade from a character of nothing more than TnA to a female character women could look up to and respect.

Sara Pezzini is a simple New York cop that got wrangled into what she thought was a simple mob-run auction. Until the Witchblade met her. It was meant to be. The living weapon attached itself to her and the rest is, well, pointless until issue 80. Stuff happened, she met people and fought things, but honestly, the middle 70 some issues are just forgetful. Like most current fans, I came aboard with Marz. And in the first couple issues of his run he nicely introduced you to who Sara is, what she stands for and who her supporting cast of characters are. Best of all, he creates two things “Witchblade” was missing; a direction and a mythos. He gave reasons for everything unexplained and introduced multilayered stories and subplots. Her world became bigger as we found out other Top Cow characters had connections. From the obvious like the Darkness to little know Necromancer and everything inbetween he didn’t create the universe, he just made it bigger.

We met a second Witchblade, a surprise baby (without having had sex), new villains, love and reintroduction of lost family. A lot has happened and it all mattered. That is how you write a comic.
We’re now at issue 150 and Marz is moving on. The world he’s perfected, all based around Witchblade, is a fantastic one. It all culminates in the almost-completed “Artifacts” maxi-series. One hundred and fifty issues of clues and hints are finally coming to fruition and it’s a huge story. It’ll be very sad to see Marz leave. As well as his co-collaborator Stjepan Sejic. His art is immaculate. He’s on time and brings a new digital painted look to comics that we can now realize, we missed. There are huge things on the horizon for him. Even if we can’t pronounce his name, we will all be attempting to soon.

All Marz’s issues are collected in graphic novel form (with the first one only $5 bucks you have NO reason not to try it out!) and I know it’s nothing you would be willing to give a chance to, but do, you’ll be more than pleasantly shocked how brilliant it is and how quickly Miss Pezzini becomes a character you’ll need more of.

Jo