Publisher: Top Cow
Writers: Ron Marz
Artists: Stjepan Sejic
The new era of Witchblade featuring the creative team of writer Ron Marz and artist Stjepan Sejic continues! The pair committed to staying on the title until at least issue #150 and their second complete arc together entitled “Crown Heights” is collected in this trade paperback. More importantly, this storyline sets the stage for and leads directly into War of the Witchblades. The volume collects Witchblade #120-#124 plus a cover gallery featuring Stjepan Sejic, Matt Haley, Tyler Kirkham, and plenty of other bonus materials.
I must start out by saying Stjepan Sejic is amazing! His realistic artwork is jaw dropping. I’m just waiting for the characters to move by themselves. The artwork in this book is the equivalent of a Pixar movie. As far as Marz’s writing is concerned, what else can be said except for great story telling. I must admit, prior to this, I’ve only read one Witchblade story (when detective Sara Pezzini first becomes the bearer of the Witchblade), but it doesn’t take long for someone to get hooked by a character.
The main story in these collected issues is actually split into three parts. You have a reporter, Gretchen, who is on to Pezzini and her Witchblade weapon, along with the other supernatural happenings throughout the Top Cow universe. You have Pezzini trying to balance the case of a dead rabbi and later a dead Jewish boy in Crown Heights without letting a race riot between the Jews and the Blacks take place, throw Gretchen off her scent, and battle an evil spirit who is behind the murders only to draw Pezzini out. Then you have Dani Baptiste, who also possesses a Witchblade (given to her by Pezzini), who’s attempts to help someone in need backfire. Now, one would think, with so many subplots the book has to be a total mess, but not with Ron Marz at the helm. The stories intertwine beautifully. This all leads up to an event called Broken Trinity (which I have waiting to be read, but haven’t had the chance to). There is some action, some suspense, and a lot of drama.
Within these stories you have one underlying theme: when pressed in a situation to help or walk away, which road do you take? All three of the characters above were faced with this choice. One excelled and two failed. The reporter, Gretchen, succeeded in following Pezzini and finding out that the Witchblade is real. Of course, she also finds herself being saved by Pezzini when the evil spirit tries to kill her. In the end, she had the story set to give to her editor and expose the detective, but she didn’t. In fact, she deleted all her files on Pezzini and the Witchblade. There are times when we need to be a whistle blower, and times when we don’t. Gretchen could have had her big break as a reporter, but she made the selfless choice.
Detective Pezzini was faced with two big decisions. The first, was finding some Jewish boys who had built a “Golem” in an attempt to get the upper hand in the rising race war. This was the time that she needed to blow the whistle. She let the boys go with the promise of not saying that she saw them and saw what they were doing. Unfortunately, one of the boys went back to try to get rid of what they had built, and unwittingly became the stories 2nd victim. Her decision blew up in her face. Now obviously, she had no clue that would happen, but one wonders what would have happened if she just turned them in to the community elders. Sometimes we need to stop and think of the worst possible consequences of our actions, when we discover people making decisions that could potentially harm not only themselves but others. Maybe blowing the whistle was the better choice.
Pezzini’s second big decision is in connection with Dani. Dani attempted to help a student of her dance class, who was being forced by her boyfriend to become an escort. Unfortunately, things went wrong when Dani used her Witchblade to scare the guy. Things go horribly wrong. The boyfriend’s friend pulls out a gun, and in the attempt to shoot Dani, shoots and kills the girl’s boyfriend instead. Dani goes to Pezzini for help. Between the two, they make it seem as if the girls boyfriend shot himself out of shame for committing the murders that the evil spirit had committed. Dani’s intentions were good, but she went about it the wrong way, and ended up causing more trouble. Pezzini’s other big decision to do something illegal was also wrong. In all this, the biggest outcome was the broken friendship between Dani and Pezzini.
Our choices define who we are, but also affect those around us. The Bible gives us simple, obvious advice when it comes to making choices: “Seek His will in all you do and He will show you which path to take.” – Proverbs 3:6
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