It is hard to believe that it has been twenty years since Sara Pezzini was introduced to the comic book world and brought along with her, the gauntlet known as the Witchblade. Created by the collaboration of editors Marc Silvestri, David Wohl, writers Brian Haberlin, Christina Z and perhaps being the most famous work of artist Michael Turner, the Witchblade was one of the most popular titles ever to come out of Top Cow.
The Witchblade first appears in Cyblade/Shi #1, with a back story to tell its origin. The Witchblade is a supernatural artifact which bonds with its host creating a powerful weapon. It is a gauntlet worn on the host’s arm and can only be wielded by a woman. It also has the added ability to shred its host’s clothing when activated so that it creates a costume as it comes into being.
Sara Pezzini is a New York Police Detective who comes into contact with the Witchblade and is subsequently possessed by it. As she learns its powers she finds herself to be under attack by various supernatural sects and powers who which to control the Witchblade for themselves.
The story of the Witchblade, like much of what Silvestri brings to the table, is much grander and darker than the usual comic book fare and that is a good thing. Top Cow, one of the companies that make up Image in the early days, was also one of the few that tried to do the unthinkable for the eary Image comics run. They told a good story and did not rely solely on artwork. But don’t make a mistake on the artwork here, Witchblade was a coming out party for one of the best and most influential comic book artists going today. Michael Turner.
In its twenty year run, Witchblade also had its off shoots. Most notable, The Darkness with its uber sexy bad boy Jackie Estacado. A mob enforcer/assassin that tries to take possession of the Witchblade and even impregnates Sara to somehow become more in tuned with the Witchblade. Together they have battled and fought side by side throughout the run of the Witchblade with various results of victory and treachery.
Sara and the Witchblade haven’t been confined to the comic book world alone. In 2001-2002, the Witchblade was turned into a television series starring Yancy Butler. It was loved by fans and critics alike, but unfortunately did not last long. Rumors of a Witchblade were bandied about in 2009 but that fell apart. It was converted into a Manga series that did very well and released in Anime and an American animated series as well. There was even a novel written. Nor has the Witchblade been kept to Top Cow alone. There have been many, many crossovers. Sara and the Witchblade have faced or teamed with the Justice League with Wonder Woman wearing the Witchblade for a time. With Tomb Raider, Electra, Wolverine, Vampirella, among so many others.
But now, it is rumored that October, 2015 issue of Witchblade, #185, will be its last. It is worth picking up, only to remember that for a time, the Witchblade did rule all of comicbookdom.