Witchblade #178

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

An action-packed issue complete with narrative articulations once again confirming that Ron Marz and Laura Braga are among the finest two-piece teams in all of comicdom. | Vibrant colors from Top Cow editor and colorist Betsy Gonia. | A flashback which, despite its brevity, expresses the consistent heartache endured by one of Top Cow's most beloved character; it is both revelatory and heartbreaking--a masterful stroke to pull off in such a short span of pages.

That all said, the events in this entire issue could easily be summarized in one or two sentences; not a crucial issue.

Witchblade #178
Ron Marz, Laura Braga, Betsy Gonia
Top Cow Productions/Image Comics
2014

(Read my review of Witchblade #177 HERE, where you can also locate my reviews of previous issues.)

Last issue, upstate New York County sheriff Sara Pezzini, wielder of the Witchblade artifact (itself the offspring of the Top Cow universe artifacts the Darkness and the Angelus, meant to be an equalizer and intermediary between the two—not unlike some sadly mistreated child from a broken home) and her partner, deputy Kate Rooney, decided to explore the former New Jersey residence of the now-deceased Darkness host Jackie Estacado. In the mansion’s basement, they discovered that not all of the Darkness’ influence had dissipated, as they encountered a remnant of the Darkness virus which subsequently infected Rooney.

This issue picks up seconds after the last left off, as Pezzini finds herself not only at odds with the physical manifestation of the Darkness’ viral echo but also fighting to save her now-infected friend.

Now, it’s important to note that, some issues back, Jackie Estacado acquired the ability to alter reality and did so—bringing back to life deceased members of his history in an attempt to construct his own personal Eden. Like all things built on idealistic self-interest, however, things began to crumble not long after, and we discover just how that occurred in this issue.

Laura Braga continues to elate my graphical sensibilities every time a new issue drops. Her clear line work, bolstered by Top Cow editor Betsy Gonia’s colors, just makes for some of the most consistently enjoyable artwork in the biz. Ron Marz, whose run on Witchblade stretches back to 2004, clearly still has many stories to tell within this universe, and it’s an absolute treat to be able to watch his work unfold with such capable and enabling collaborators.

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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.
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