Guest Writer: Stonie Williams
Writer – Caitlin Kittredge
Artist – Roberta Ingranata
Colorist – Bryan Valenza
Letterer – Troy Peteri
This article is possible due to the gift of a review copy, QWERTY and rolling natural 20s.
“Hey. I’m thinking your policy of scotch after shitty days is becoming mine too.”
Fair warning, mild spoilers from the last issue. If you haven’t read Witchblade #1… Well… Read it.
Alex Underwood died. The Witchblade saved her. The Witchblade is an artifact that’s down through generations. It chooses its vessels as instruments of its purpose. Alex isn’t sure what that purpose is yet. But she has one of her own. After killing the abusive husband of a client she’s trying to protect, Alex is discovering there’s something weird going on in her city. Something sinister with strange tattoos and people stronger than they should be. How was the husband involved? Is there an even bigger connection that Alex has yet to uncover?
Second issues can be hard sells. They’re very rarely as exciting as the first issue. Readers expect more world building and the fleshing out of character development. It requires more information given, to answer questions that the first issue posed. Or at least move those questions forward. Information is hard to keep exciting. The second issue has been the downfall of many a series.
Witchblade doesn’t have that problem. Issue 2 sees this new world open up and it gives us even more questions. More questions are good. It’s a good kind of frustrating. Keeps us coming back. Kittredge gives us a story that mixes the best of Buffy, Constantine, and Conviction. (Hayley Atwell’s short-lived tv show) Alex isn’t only a ‘strong female lead’. She has depth, flaws, and is someone you get invested in. I want to know more about her past and I’m eager to follow her into her future.
One of the things all the tv shows I mentioned have in common is their amazing supporting cast. It’s a big part of what makes them so great. A lead can’t hold any story on their own. Ash, the protector of the Witchblade is a mystery. One part mentor, one part roguish hunk. I’m interested to see if he is a future love interest for Alex. ADA Debbie Maddox is fun and snarky. We haven’t gotten to see enough of her, but I get the feeling we’ll see more soon.
I can’t get enough of Ingranata’s artwork. She ticks all the boxes for me. Her art melds with Kittredge’s story seamlessly. Her characters are expressive actors. It’s jaw-dropping stuff. She can take you from mundane to creepy-as-hell and back again effortlessly. Or, at least it looks effortless!
Valenza’s colors are incredible, giving mood that drives scenes home. His colors are also consistent. Even with a greyish blue background, you feel the cold of the New York winter. There’s a cool color tone that envelopes everything. There’s something about those outside scenes that is almost serene. Until it’s not anymore.
Peteri’s letters are fun and dynamic. The thought bubbles are my favorite part of his work. They give you not only the information, but a voice you can hear in your head when you read them. Whether it’s Alex or the Witchblade.
This issue expands on the connection between the weird stuff Alex has been experiencing and her work as a witness aid. It’s all tied together in a way that’s exciting. It’s got a little violence and some dark themes. I’d recommend this title to anyone who loves the supernatural, crime thrillers, or any mix thereof. Buffy, Constantine, X-Files, Supernatural, could all influences. I’m thrilled with this series so far and can’t wait to see what comes next. Until next time, happy reading!