-This article was possible due to the gift of a review copy, QWERTY, and rolling natural 20s.
Guest Writer: Stonie Williams
Writer – Caitlin Kittredge
Artist – Roberta Ingranata
Colorist – Bryan Valenza
Letterer – Troy Peteri
“Yes, let’s do that. Right after I douse myself in holy water and move into the chapel down the street.”
Fair warning! This is issue three of the incredible re-imagining of Witchblade. If you haven’t read the first two issues… well, you should think over some of the events in your life that have led you to such terrible decision-making skills. Be prepared for some minor spoilers.
Last time we left the new bearer of the Witchblade, Alex Underwood, she was being investigated for the death of a client’s violent policeman husband. The looming, shadowy, as-of-yet-to-be-named bad guys were pushing back a little harder. They were threatening Alex’s friends and family. And she hadn’t completely accepted the Witchblade, what it was, or what it meant to her.
This issue picks up with Alex heading up another case as a victim’s advocate. A girl is missing and the mother isn’t quite right. She claims she killed her daughter without any evidence and little explanation. Oh, yeah, and she’s possessed. By what? Well, the verdict is still out on that one.
There seems to be a connection to the aforementioned bad guys. The black tendrils Alex keeps getting glimpses of seem to be a similar manifestation. So Alex seeks helps.
This issue introduces a character I’m excited to see more of. A roguish antique dealer, Majil, who has helped Alex in the past. He claims he helped bring down “two very scary Russians” by testifying against them. Majil seems to have considerable knowledge of the occult and mythology. WHEN Netflix picks this up for a series, they better steal Rahul Kohli from iZombie.
This issue ups the scare factor but a notch. The possessed mother and the glimpses of what lies beneath lends another layer of gravitas to the story. Ups the stakes by a bit. This issue brings us a little deeper into the world they’re building. It shows us that things are bigger and worse than the already sizable known threat made it out to be. Frustrating in all the best ways, we still don’t have any solid answers on what Alex is facing.
Kittredge is building the framework for a world that has the potential outlast her. She’s doing an amazing job of it. Not to be overlooked is her sense of dialogue. The banter between allies and back and forth between adversaries draws you in. Each character has a unique voice. Even a character with two lines, the way she phrases those lines puts a distinct voice in my head.
Ingranata’s art is continuing to be top notch. She’s become one of my favorite artists ever. The way she’s portraying the powers of the Witchblade is fascinating and beautiful to see unfold. Valenza colors are consistent, which is a big deal to me anymore. I’ve given his colors high praise in previous reviews. His lighting of scenes is one of the things I love most about his work.
Final thoughts: This is a book I’m enjoying getting to share with my teenagers. I recommend to anyone else their age and up. It’s not as scary as it could be, and I expect that to change from issue to issue as the series progresses. This book is my favorite of everything I’m currently reading. Until next time, happy reading!