Witchblade #177

8.3 Overall Score
Art: 8/10
Dialogue: 9/10
Story: 8/10

This story's really cooking now | Ron Marz keeps things moving at a brisk pace while not hanging the reader out to dry - a narrow tightrope to walk | Laura Braga's line work is rock-solid and she draws a gorgeous Sara Pezzini | That cliffhanger... O_o

This issue is quite dialogue-heavy, which isn't necessarily a bad thing, however there are only so many ways you can depict a conversation before the visuals become a tad bit redundant.

Witchblade #177
Ron Marz, Laura Braga, Betsy Gonia
Image Comics/Top Cow Productions
2014

(Read my reviews of Witchblade #s 173, 174 and 175. Nobody gave me issue #176 to review.)

Try as she might to convince herself otherwise, Sara Pezzini will always be a detective at heart. She accepted a job as sheriff in rural Upstate New York, rid herself of the Witchblade artifact and all but cut herself off from her previous life. But life has a way of dragging you back into old habits – especially ones that, in your heart of hearts, you feel inextricably connected to.

Such has been the case over the course of the last few issues. The Angelus – one of two primal forces (the other being the Darkness) responsible for the creation of the Witchblade – sought Pezzini out after acquiring the Witchblade for itself. Assuming a new host, its bark proved worse than its bite, and although Pezzini failed to destroy the being permanently, she managed to wrest the Witchblade from its grasp and ascertain the identity of its new carrier: Jenny Estacado, the wife of the deceased Jackie Estacado, a former mob boss and Darkness wielder.

After reestablishing her connection with the Witchblade, Pezzini and her deputy, Kate Rooney, go searching for answers. This issue, entitled “Darkness on the Edge of Town: Part One,” tells the next chapter in her story.

The two women soon find themselves in New York City, Pezzini’s old stomping grounds. Estacado’s absence has allowed for other undesirables to take his place in the underground food chain – and not all of them are necessarily human. Pezzini manages to glean some information off of a reluctantly cooperative demon, however it’s inconclusive and not of much help.

They’ll have to visit the one place Pezzini dreaded going in the first place: the empty house of Jackie Estacado.

I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again: Ron Marz really knows how to write this book. Everything moves at a steady clip, the banter between the characters is believable and has a pop to it and there is nary a lull in the entire issue. He also knows exactly where to drop the hammer on the reader as well; just as I was beginning to think to myself, “Man… this issue might just be a filler book,” he gut-shot me in the final few pages, my jaw left agape at what I’d just bore witness to.

Laura Braga’s line work is still rather great, though there are some inconsistencies in this issue regarding fine details. To her credit, much of this issue relies on dialogue, and I suppose there are only so many angles you can show one person talking to another person. As usual, Pezzini is absolutely gorgeous, and there is one scene in particular – where she recalls how she lost her daughter while holding a teddy bear – that was pure brilliance.

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Jesse Scheckner
Author: Jesse Scheckner View all posts by

A freelance writer who regularly produces work for MMA Owl, Tuff Gnarl, Broward Palm Beach New Times, Florida Geek Scene and Miami’s Community Newspapers.
Moderately relevant. Follow me on Twitter @JesseScheckner.

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