By Ron Marz, Laura Braga & Betsy Gonia
Witchblade has been a consistently underrated and under read series from Top Cow, Image’s imprint. Having lasted a massive 178 titles (in comparison, there is no title that has this many issues currently ongoing at both DC and Marvel) and whilst that has put some readers off jumping on board this series it has certainly made sure that those who read this book, whether they’ve started from the very beginning or have taken the plunge more recently.
This second part of Darkness on the Edge of Town picks up threads from the first issue in this arc which ended on a massive cliffhanger featuring Rooney in dire peril. As opposed to the slow building atmospheric last issue, Witchblade #178 is a lot more action packed but still manages to contain the high level of consistency that has kept this series readable and entertaining. We see Sara attempting to free the evil that has possessed Rooney and it’s a very tension-filled issue as you’re not quite sure what can happen next, which is something that readers don’t have at the big two comics. They know that their characters will make it out alive and if for whatever reason they do get killed, they will be brought back from the dead in the foreseeable future, in one form or another. And that certainly isn’t the case with Witchblade.
The book itself is full of great character moments. The cast of this issue is small with most of the action (aside from a brief ending scene which sets up the next arc) only involving two (three if you count a possessed Rooney as a different character) characters. Marz balances the action with development well, and as a result, this book really pays off making it one of the stronger reads from the previous week in comics.
Laura Braga’s artwork is exceptional. She’s been consistently making this book look amazing since she first started pencilling this book, and with Betsy Gonia’s colours, Witchblade looks great. The amount of details put into every character is incredible and the atmosphere created by both Braga and Gonia really helps add to the overall awesomeness.
In conclusion then, Witchblade #178 is another stellar issue from the excellent creative team that continue to keep the book incredibly entertaining. Newcomers won’t have too much trouble understanding what goes on here even though it is the second part of an arc, and this reviewer strongly urges you to consider adding Witchblade to your pull-list if you’re not already. It really is top notch stuff.