The world of faerie and magic invade Chicago in the flesh (lots of flesh) in Witchblade’s new story arc.
Given his background as an artist, Tim Seeley is the perfect choice to write Witchblade. Seeley fully understands that the world of Chicago-based private investigator Sara Pezzini depends big over-the-top visuals to carry the story, and he offers plenty in this new arc. Seeley creates a delicate balance between Sara accepting her destiny as the wielder of the Witchblade with all of its correspondent supernatural responsibilities and Sara the P.I. struggling to make her rent. While exhausting for Sara, her struggle makes her all the more endearing.
With the start of the new storyline, “Absolute Corruption,” Sara finds herself spending quality time with her boyfriend, magician Cain Jorgenson. Seeley cleverly uses their extended pillow talk to sum up the activities of the last dozen issues, making #167 an ideal jumping-on point for this book.
Katarina and Gulweg track the escaped criminal, Toio Mullraney, topside and battle an over-zealous pack of Alisa’s followers, which leads our visitors straight to Sara. Never forgetting the dry wit that has characterized this book from its beginning, Seeley gives Sara and Katarina a brief but fun exchange.
“I’m going to let CPD handle them. For now.”
“Where will we be going?”
“But there was a perfectly good bar right beneath your office.”
Meanwhile, Toio and Rook join forces, and Officer Wosnicki barely escapes with her life. Great attention has been given in recent issues to build up the supporting cast surrounding Sara. Both good guys and bad guys are more fully realized due to this successful effort, and that’s enough to make readers glad that Wos is still alive while still pondering what exactly Rook is up to.
The artwork as a whole is a perfect style for this book. Detailed, bold lines and an acute sense of light are expertly pulled off in an issue occurring entirely at night that offers settings as diverse as the River North neighborhood, a darkened bedroom, a bar, and the tunnels beneath Bel-Gadreyel. Diego Bernard’s beautiful pencils neatly unify a story full of different puzzle pieces, while inkers Fred Benes and Allisson Rodrigues create the feel of night in different settings through gorgeous depth. But really selling the night are the great contrasts achieved by Arif Prianto’s colors.
“Absolute Corruption” is off to a promising start and is a good place to jump on board Witchblade.
Tim Seeley (W), Diego Bernard (P), Fred Benes and Allisson Rodrigues (I), Image Comics, $2.99, Released June 19, 2013.