Witchblade’s protagonist is Sara Pezzini, an order of NYPD Detective with a side of destiny, chosen by a seemingly harmless gauntlet only to become judge, jury, and executioner (most often) of all things supernatural. Yes, it is an awesome concept. And, if you jump on the early years with art and words by comic book legends Michael Turner and Marc Silvestri, it is not only awesome but also beautiful. I jumped on when Ron Marz took over the writing, and it was glorious.
Then, Artifacts happened.
I won’t go into details, because Artifacts is a must read. Seriously, go and read it. And, while you’re at it, grab a copy of Witchblade: Case Files #1.
This hamburger helper of a retrospective breaks down the Witchblade story for longtime fans, as well as peeps just wading in the Top Cow kiddie pool. A compilation of story arc summations, origins debriefs, as well as anecdotes penned by Sara herself (thanks to writer Ryan Cady), this first issue of case files summates the lengthy and complex run of the Witchblade saga.
A lovely stroll down memory lane, Case Files #1 reminds readers of a time before the universe fell apart, only just, before jumping head first into the Sara storyline post-Artifacts. Though seemingly trivial, this books helps readers like me tremendously, who showed up late to the party after Sara’s universe got rocked. To read what happened, albeit brief, has been helpful and reinvigorating.
This book not only serves as a cheat sheet for the Witchblade fans of yesterday, but, more importantly, as a primer for the Top Cow fans of tomorrow. The arc summaries and character breakdowns still demand some clarity. The built in comic, “Working Late,” by Jed McPherson and Mike Crawford shows the complexity of the characters in the Top Cow Universe. But, what clenches the title round is Ryan’s closing essay, pointing out that when the heroes are human, there is always room for error. To me, that is where Top Cow shines. Theirs is a world where happily ever after is a scarcity and apologies are even harder to come by. And, after reading Case Files #1, I cannot wait to jump back in.