Publisher: Top Cow
Writer: Ron Marz & Matt Hawkins
Artist: Abishek Masluni, Michael Turner, Stjepan Sejic, Nelson Blake II, Isaac Goodhart, Linda Sejic, Philip Sevy, & Randy Green
Cover: Stjepan Sejic
My first review for ComicAttack.net was Witchblade #129 and as I was slowly becoming a fan of Stjepan Sejic’s art, it was evident Ron Marz was turning Sara into one of my favorite comic characters. Unfortunately all good things must come to an end and it looks like Top Cow is releasing the final issue of one of it’s flagship titles. Things haven’t been this emotional for me since Hope was kidnapped and later Marz left the title for a brief time. Now the big sendoff is here and the creative team takes us through Sara’s journey and sets us up for something new down the line.
The issue is broken up into two chapters with the first by Marz & Masluni while Hawkins handles the second with contributions by several artists. Marz takes us back to where it all began for Sara and as usual he makes this a pretty comfortable story if you’re just a casual reader. Those who have been along for the ride over the years will get a richer experience but that fact that someone just picking it up won’t be lost is a plus.
The story begins with the shift in Sara’s life and her decision to finally depart from the Witchblade. A subject that has been touched on before but there is a finality that is consistent throughout the story that lets you know that this is quite possibly the end. It’s a series of moments like this that have made Sara such a great character when Marz has her. As much of a badass detective/warrior she is, he can also make her regular qualities just as strong and prominent to move the story. Now, there is a bit of action in here that further shows off the talents of Masluni along with Neeraj Menon and Zsolt H. Garisa in what is already a very good looking chapter.
With the second chapter, Hawkins gives us the turn as Sara is actively seeking out a successor which kind of plays with the mythology of the Witchblade a bit. What is also great is that he establishes Sara’s age and acknowledges the 20 years that have passed since that night at the Rialto Theater. It’s a pivotal moment that reinforces her decision to move on from her former life and gives it much more weight. The three women she has in mind are all familiar faces as we see Danielle Baptiste, The Magdalena, and a character with a very strong connection to the new Cyberforce/Aphrodite IX storyline. This quest of hers is brought together by some of the best artists around. Starting with classic Michael Turner pages all the way to an intense vampire fight sequence drawn by Sejic. To sum it up the second chapter is just a cornucopia of some really strong artwork!
An issue like this one is geared more towards those longtime fans who are hopefully satisfied with the end result. This finale doesn’t end with a bang or some extended, violent fight sequence but with something more. It’s an emotional kick as Marz is saying goodbye to an old friend while Hawkins closes this chapter and sets the Witchblade on a new path that is hopefully as exciting as the last.