Review – Witchblade #134 - 135

Ever since the War of the Witchblades happened a few issues back I’ve been reintroduced to Witchblade and have tried to keep up with the series. It is one of those Image comics, brought to us by Top Cow that I’ve always been intrigued by. Issues 134 and 135 re-introduced a character that Sara Pezzini has fought before, Aphrodite IV. Aphrodite is a green haired cyborg bombshell (cyborgs should always be beautiful women right?) created by Cyberdata to be an assassin. We learn a little more about the company in this three part mini-storyline arc titled "Almost Human." Ron Marz and Stjepan Sejic continue to do the writing and artwork on the series and are doing a fantastic job. While this arc is nothing as epic as the recent split of the Witchblade and subsequent battle for total control, Sara and her partner Gleason always seem to find themselves in the wrong place at the wrong time. Let’s move on to the review shall we? Sara and Gleason are investigating a weird shooting on top of a building to start off the mini-series. They find untraceable bullets, here stories about a bullet-proof green haired woman and learn of a floating battleship that apparently can cloak. After investigation leads nowhere Sara calls a colleague she has dealt with in the past, leading her to Cyberdata, where she once again encounters the green-haired Aphrodite IV. While Aphrodite gets the drop on Sara, they soon find they have bigger fish to fry and are forced into working together. From there mayhem ensues as it often does in this series while Gleason and Sara’s sister, who is babysitting Hope, Sara’s daughter, are oblivious. Gleason is a patient man, but I suppose he must also feel pretty safe with his partner being the bearer of a weapon forged by the Angelus and the Darkness. The writing is interesting in this one if not a little generic. I feel like the division of the Witchblades was something that could only happen in this book, and that made it exciting and new. Here we have a hot cyborg assassin tasked with killing an ex-employee of the company that built her. Witchblade stumbles into her and miraculously convinced Aphrodite to tap into her human emotions, that I presume she doesn’t have, and do things her way. A little farfetched but I guess the point is that Aphrodite is so advanced that she is capable of seeing reason and having some emotions. Even some of the drawn on facial expressions confused me at points because the cyborg looked almost sad or surprised. Does she have emotions or not? Issue 134 is definitely the setup issue with 135 being where the action begins to kick in. One thing I do love about this series is that in an age where so many comics seem to be drawn in such dark tones, issue 135 is full of bright colors in both character designs and the fights themselves. I love the dark, almost noir feel that a lot of comics and movies take on these days, but a little color never killed anyone. There are a few panels where the faces look really awkward, particular the face of the Sara’s police captain in 134, but great pains are taken to ensure the…quality…of Sara, Gleason, Aphrodite and the other main characters. I know in one of the question and answers at the end of the issue Sejic mentions that he has been playing with some new techniques and the characters do seem a little inconsistent at times. An artist needs to try new things sometimes to keep it fresh right? Despite those minor gripes I am still digging the 3D digital art and it’s got an almost cell shaded look to it. As always, Sara is a total badass when she kicks into full on Witchblade mode. The cyborgs clearly need to have Zombieland put into their code for training because one of them shoots Sara point blank and then stops. Let’s just say he should have at least double tapped, if not more, and it will never get the chance to repeat the error. I think the final issue of the three part mini-series should have some awesome fights given the little not so surprising surprise Cyberdata pulls on the suddenly allied duo of Pezzini and Aphrodite. While I have no doubt Sara, and the Witchblade will prevail, I don’t envy the scientists that will be called to account for their actions by the time this is over. I’ll reserve judgment on the overall story until they wrap this up with part three in issue 136, but so far so good. If you like Witchblade these issues will do nothing to harm that opinion and pick them up next time you are at your local store. In the meantime, check out some interiors from Witchblade #135 below.