April 17, 2013

Top Cow Reviews: Witchblade: Day of the Outlaws

Witchblade: Day of the Outlaws
Publisher: Top Cow
Writer: Joshua Hale Fialkov
Artist: Nelson Blake II & Dave McCaig
Cover: Nelson Blake II & Dave McCaig

When Fialkov introduces us to Sheriff Enola, the action pretty much starts immediately, but after she’s seen using her powers things get ugly. She’s branded a witch and forced out of town, and after some entertaining colorful language she leaves them to their own devices. Just in time for an ancestor of Jackie Estacado to show up with his band of boys to terrorize the town.

The story itself is pretty straightforward, but does a great job of entertaining as it goes along. Most in part due to Fialkov quickly establishing Enola as a great character while setting up a pretty solid story. Remember, this is a one-shot so we don’t have time for tons of exposition or a serialized format of story development here. Fialkov hits you with the action and keeps things going from there, and then kicks things up with the appearance of the Darkness. It’s the unexpected ending that truly delivers and is just as fun as the rest of the issue.

When you see Nelson Blake II’s name there shouldn’t be any worries about how good the issue is going to look. He and McCaig deliver quality panels throughout, which makes this an even better issue. What’s pretty interesting and always a visual treat is how different Witchblade bearers use the power and how the artist will interpret that. The guys show off a bit of that here if you pay close enough attention. There is a fight scene that was over way too fast, and I say that only because there was so much potential for some really cool visuals from the artists.

A one-shot like this can be a nice intro for someone who has never read Witchblade, or has just had only a passing curiosity about the character. And since the Witchblade itself is an artifact that has been around for thousands of years, every now and then we get a look into its past and the women who have wielded it. Days of the Outlaws is one such tale, and the creative team does everything right in making this issue one very fun look into the Witchblade’s past.

Infinite Speech



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