By Ron Marz, Maan House & Betsy Gonia
Witchblade #184 marks the penultimate issue in one of the longest running comic series currently on stands and continues the “Power Broker” storyline as we reach the third and final part. Narrated strongly by series regular Ron Marz, and brought to life very well by artist Maan House and colourist Betsy Gonia, the current arc comes to a satisfactory conclusion.
Whilst the battle may have happened last issue this third part is all about the aftermath and the effects of the conflict. Sara might have been manipulated and now holds a book that doesn’t paint her boss in the best of light, even as she’s about to return to New York City with everything wrapped up. The plot and conclusion are well paced and solid as Marz continues to make Sara a well rounded, interesting character who’s one of the more developed and interesting female characters in comics. It’s been fun to watch her in the most recent arc of the series as her development has been handled well.
Maan House’s pencils may be inconsistent at times, but they’re still a mostly solid, simple effort. House is stronger when the book isn’t action packed, offering more powerful moments in the quieter scenes, and as usual, the ever-reliable Betsy Gonia on colours keeps the series looking bright, colourful and as fresh as ever. The last few pages are where the book is at its strongest on the art, and it’s a powerful finish that sets up the final issue on a very strong note indeed.
The issue itself also includes (or at least in the digital version on Comixology) the runners-up story in the Top Cow 2013 talent hunt from Ross Hardy, Brian Rogers and Sophie Campbell who handle the script, art and colors respectively in a backup entitled Chicago Blues. It’s a nice story that is handled well as a one-shot and serves as a fairly solid companion piece to Witchblade #184, even if it is completely unrelated to the main plot.
As a final note, Witchblade has been a really underrated series that deserves a wider readership than what it currently gets. Marz is a confident writer and both House and Gonia provide some good artwork as it sets the stage for Sara’s last issue, #185, and hopefully, Witchblade can end on a high with everything in place for the series to do so.