Witchblade #139 Preview

On sale on November 10 is the latest issue of  Top Cow’s Witchblade supernatural action series. Below is the official desciption and a preview.

Witchblade #139
(W) Ron Marz        (A) Michael Gaydos     (Cov) Stjepan Sejic

Julie Pezzini has led a rough life, including a stint in prison. But that’s nothing compared to being the sister of an NYPD Detective who also happens to wield a powerful mystic weapon. Even Sara and the Witchblade might not be enough to keep Julie safe in Sara’s world of supernatural threats!

Full Color        32 pages        $2.99      ongoing series

Witchblade Volume 7 Preview Part 1

The Top Cow crew have steadily built an entertaining universe over the last few years with their Witchblade, Darkness and associated characters. What I’ve read of these tales has been a consistent pleasure, mostly due to writer Ron Marz and Stjepan Sejic. The duo are one of the most underrated working in comics today. If you want to see where my praise is coming from, then pick up Vol. 7 of their Witchblade epic, which goes on sale on June 16. The preview pages are too numerous and pretty to ignore, so I thought I’d post a few pages every day until it’s release. Here we go…

Witchblade Vol. 7 Trade Paperback

(W) Ron Marz (A) Stjepan Sejic (Cov) Stjepan Sejic

The new era of Witchblade featuring the 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 and leads directly into “War of the Witchblades”.  Collects Witchblade #120-#124 plus a cover gallery featuring Stjepan Sejic, Matt Haley, Tyler Kirkham, and plenty of bonus materials.

Full Color 176 pages $14.99 trade paperback

Ron Marz’s New Site

Along with Chuck Dixon, Ron Marz is one of my favourite under-appreciated writers. I’ve interviewed Marz before, for Broken Frontier, and he’s always been a consistent and reliable writer with storytelling know-how that doesn’t need to revert to “adult” tactics to create an entertaining story. Most of his work recently has been with Top Cow, and now he has a new site (it launched last month.) Marz has been writing comic for years so has some good advice and anecdotes. Check out his ideas for an Hourman series for DC from a long time ago here, and discover how it relates to his new Velocity series.

Angelus #1 Preview

Writer Ron Marz continues his great work, along with artist Stjepan Sejic on a new 6 issue mini-series focusing on Dani Baptiste, from the Witchblade series. Gorgeous preview pages below. Angelus #1 goes on sale tomorrow, December 23.

Angelus #1

(W) Ron Marz (A) Stjepan Sejic (Cov) Stjepan Sejic, Eric Basaldua

Taking flight from the pages of “War of the Witchblades”! Danielle Baptiste returns home to New Orleans to come to grips with her new role as the Angelus, the human bearer of the primal force of Light. To complicate matters she must sort out her undefined relationship with Finch while maintaining control of the Angelus host, some of whom covet her power.

Cover A – Stejpan Sejic

Cover B – Eric Basaldua, Rick Basaldua and Caesar Rodriguez

Cover C – Eric Basaldua

Full Color 32 pages $2.99 limited series

Witchblade #130 Preview

On sale this Wednesday September 9 is the conclusion to the electric War of the Witchblades story arc by writer Ron Marz and artist Stjepan Sejic. Top Cow describe it like so:

“War of the Witchblades” Part 6 (of 6)

(W) Ron Marz (A) Stjepan Sejic (Cov) Sejic, Adriana Melo

“War of the Witchblades” concludes here!

Will Sara Pezzini or Dani Baptiste emerge as the sole bearer of the Witchblade? Or will it be a completely new bearer? And who is the new Angelus?

Featuring a cover by regular artist Sejic and two variant covers by classic Witchblade artist Adriana Melo (Ms. Marvel)!

Cover A – Stjepan Sejic

Cover B – Adriana Melo Sara

Cover C – Adrian Melo Danielle

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Witchblade #126 Preview

Below is a preview of Top Cow’s Witchblade #126, which goes on sale on April 22. Written by Ron Marz with great art by Stjepan Sejic, it’s the second part of the War of the Witchblades storyline, in which Sara Pezzini, long-time ‘blade wielder and newbie Dani Baptiste become increasingly hostile towards one another. Despite the preview, it really is about more than just women in lingerie.

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Witchblade #125 Sneak Peek

The 40 page anniversary issue, Witchblade #125 is out from Top Cow on March 18. It’s another biggie in the series, and also the start of the War of the Witchblades story arc. It’s by the usual dynamic team of writer Ron Marz and artist Stjepan Sejic. Check out some pics below.

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Perty Pics

Out now is the final one-shot of the Broken Trinity arc, from Top Cow. This story by Ron Marz and Brian Stelfreeze (it’s awesome to see that name on the cover of a comic again!) focuses on the female Angelus. A few preview pages are below. They look great and that’s just of people standing around talking!

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Kirkman and Marz at the Station

In my continuing effort of shameless promotion, here is my article about Walking Dead & Invincible creator Robert Kirkman’s recent plea for creator-owned properties, and my interview with legendary writer Ron Marz about his groovy new series Dragon Prince. There’s also my review of Station #3, BOOM!’s excellent thriller in a space station title.

Witchblade #121 Review

I’m a recent convert to this title, after the awesome Vol. 5 TPB and the even more awesome talents of artist Stjepan Sejic. Writer Ron Marz continues to build upon the mystical gauntlet’s mythos and shows once again that his deft hand is capable of fitting in to any genre.

Dancer Dani Baptiste (absent in this ish) is now, thanks to the recent events of the First Born arc, the wielder of half of the Witchblade, while long-time cop Sara Pezzini wields its twin. However, that doesn’t mean Sara has half of the trouble to deal with. Although in this issue, the first of the three part Crown Heights story arc, the only time Sara breaks out the blade is not in the midst of a frantic battle, but in the shower with her lover, fellow cop, Patrick Gleason.

The pair travel to Brooklyn’s Orthodox Jewish community, specifically the Chabad-Lubavitch sect to investigate a rabbi’s gruesome murder, while tip-toeing around sensitive race issues at the same time. Meanwhile journalist Gretch tries to convince her editor of the existence of the Witchblade to run it on the front page, and hounds Sara until she gets some answers, which it looks like she just may get in following issues.

Although there is no fighting or hectic action to speak of, Marz still captivates with his swift pace and well crafted intrigue. Once again, the art is gorgeous. Sejic’s beautifully rendered figures add much realism. He also adds nice touches like soft focus backgrounds, reflections on windshields, and sunlight pouring into downtown streets. All this gives the book the grandeur of a Michael Bay film in comic book format. Top Cow are blessed to have an artist of Sejic’s talent on their roster.

The cover sums this issue up perfectly – Sara in full Witchblade get-up surrounded by staid priests. It’s like Witness, if Harrison Ford was a beautiful woman operating a powerful supernatural weapon. Future issues will certainly ramp up the action, as secrets are uncovered and the tight Jewish community reveals its true colours. For now, this first issue is a classy set-up.

Dragon Prince #1 Review

Starting any comic with a wounded crimson dragon being attacked by gun wielding motor cyclists in an ancient rice filed is certainly attention grabbing. Writer Ron Marz (Green Lantern, Witchblade) is no stranger to the worlds of mysticism coupled with heroism, and here he distinguishes himself from the pack yet again by offering another creator-owned adventure. We soon learn that the man versus dragon battle is being relayed by a single mother to her young son, Aaron. The boy seems vaguely interested in such bed-time tales, until the next day at school, when his regular bullying gets him all riled up, triggering a transformation within him in which he vomits fire and turns pale green. How embarrassing. Running away from school, leaving a crispy bully in his wake, he arrives home to find his mother, who is not surprised at all by these life changing events. In fact, she expected them. She tells Aaron that it was only a matter of time until his true heritage would be shown. With elements of teens becoming something other than human and manifesting new powers it resembles early X-Men, and together with the whole “My Dad’s a dragon?!” vibe, there’s also a tinge of Phil Hester’s Firebreather. And that’s a good thing. Lee Moder’s art is superb as always, giving both the home/playground settings as much familiarity as the more fantastic realms, but with a dynamic nature evident in both worlds. Where the series goes from here will be an interesting lesson in patience. Hopefully Marz manages to pull a few surprises from his hat to keep both newbies and jaded fanboys entranced until the final issue. A kid-friendly, simple story with a cool looking tattooed dragon hunter and a boy on the run, and in way over his head. Dragon Prince will be an oasis to those seeking relief from the “edgy,” and mature epics currently clogging the shelves.

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