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In the previous issue of Witchblade, the story and art fell flat when compared to the current Artifacts mini-series. The story was pretty good, though mostly a set up as the first part of the new story arc “Paper Monsters.” In this issue the story still hits the same notes as the last one, but the colors make the art even better than they were before.
Previously, Sara and her partner were attacked by various monsters after interviewing the Neuman children about the murder of the doorman in their building. Now Sara has to take them down while her partner tries to get to the kids that are drawing the creatures and making them come to life. But what will they do with them, if they survive at all…
Unfortunately, the “creepy kids” as Sara frequently describes them don’t seem that creepy. They feel like cardboard cut-outs of possessed kids in horror movies: very over done and boring with no originality from writers Ron Marz and Saurav Mohapatra. The story follows the same pattern but it is nice to see that there is no mystery like in the usual horror flick. We automatically know the kids are not normal and the arc is not just going to focus on their capture but go much further than that, which promises some originality next issue. It is still absent here, however. The dialogue between Sara and her partner is still great: there is large comic relief throughout the issue that makes it more entertaining than the last one.
The monsters created also bring the element of horror into play and all of them are very creative rather than Godzilla rejects. Stjepan Sejic’s art really brings the monsters to life, combined with the creepy red aura the colors add to the monsters and every other panel for that matter. The colors also add to the dark mood of the comic with dark shadows and eerie lighting. It is also nice to see how simple the artist manages to make the art in the kids’ room: their drawings really look like something a twelve-year-old drew and are strikingly different then the overall art of this issue. The emotions on characters’ faces have also improved since the last issue: from the very first page you can easily see the Nanny’s worry just from looking into her eyes, beautifully reflected through her glasses.
Overall, this is another solid issue on-par with the last. But the story still feels like a rip-off from a very straight-forward horror movie that I might switch off if not for the beautiful art that portrays both an innocence in the land of children and the terrifying realm of monsters. If anything, pick it up for the art and the fun dialogue. Just don’t look for a life-changing story – this is just another filler story arc that has nothing to do with the happenings of Artifacts and is probably not something you’re looking for – but it can still be entertaining nonetheless.
Story – 6.0
Characters – 8.5
Art – 9.0
Colors – 9.5
Overall – 8.3