Thursday, September 15, 2005

Curse of the WITCHBLADE

“I read and collect comic books.” When people hear this come out of my mouth, they inevitably do a double take, just to see where I’m hiding my pocket protector. Really, it’s there—but it’s mental. Consequently, today I’m going to geek out about one of my favorite comics, WITCHBLADE.

BTW, I’m attempting to catch up on my comic reading since I’m about a year behind. I’m not joking, either. But I’m moving along, slowly but surely….

Basically, the story is about a woman who inherits a cursed-to-save-the-world responsibility. But instead of being a teen vampire slayer or Joan of Arc, we have Sara Pezzini. A few years ago, she was just your average buxom (natch) New York detective, a real crusader, when, one day, she came upon a mob meeting. Unfortunately—or fortunately—the meeting concerned an auction of an ancient artifact—the Witchblade. This is a mysterious, mystical item, and only one woman per generation may wield it. Turns out that Sara is the lucky wielder, and she quickly begins to kick some mobster butt. However, the Witchblade—a visually cool tool that resembles a steel glove with piercing tentacles and many powers that develop over the comic’s reign—seems to be bloodthirsty, and Sara must try to control its dark urges while using it to fight crime.

When I first read the comic, I was enthralled with the storytelling. It was very BUFFY, and the artwork was beautiful (Michael Turner did the penciling.). Over the years, the art and the stories have suffered from time to time, but I’m at a point—right after a miniseries called “The Death Pool”—where the suspense and tension of the original vision have returned. Last night, I sat there and read six issues in a row before my eyes wouldn’t let me continue.

Oh, and did I mention that WITCHBLADE has a hottie antihero? Ian Nottingham is this assassin/ex-secret agent who wields his own version of the Witchblade. His is Excaliber, and he, too, is just learning to deal with his superpowers. However, Ian is very, very volatile—you never know when he’s a friend or enemy. Great love/hate story between Sara and him.

An extra note: yes, there was a failed series on TNT that you might have seen during its short run. I liked the actress who played Sara (Yancy Butler), but most of the rest of the casting was weird (What was up with Ian?) and the Witchblade itself was silly. They had it looking like a steel glove, all right, but all that thing could do was pop out a sword blade. I was not impressed.

But you might want to check out this series, especially if you like reading Bombshells—stories about strong women who kick ass and take names. Sara would be just your kind of girl.

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