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Witchblade #143 – Advance Review + Witchblade #142 Review!

After issue #142 served as a set-up to Witchblade #134 showcased terrible art and a sub-par story that did manage to intrigue me with the ending.  Since it has been reported that Witchblade would be taking a short breather in 2011 (hopefully in order to spend more time trying to perfect the quickly decaying Artifacts mini-series), these will be the last two new issues fans will be able to enjoy for a while. The first part of “Upstate” stars Sara’s boyfriend and partner Patrick Gleason on a solo job retrieving a criminal for their station with the help of residential rookie cop Kate Rooney.  Here, the story continues after all the cops are slaughtered while Petramale, the deadly criminal, remains in his cell, leaving us to wonder who the killer is when ghosts appear. This issue served as more of a large set-up issue that really did not have any appeal to me until the ending.  Witchblade #143 Cover by Stjepan Ron Marz has crafted many fine stories, but Witchblade #142 hits a continuously flat note. Just reading the description you can hypothesize the many problems this issue could have:  Fans of the Witchblade, the point of the series itself, never appears.  Only her non-super powered-boyfriend.  It is nice to see Marz trying to show how strong Gleason can be by himself, but he does not come off as much of an interesting and dynamic character that he has been in previous issues of Witchblade, like when Gleason talked about the 9/11 tragedy in Witchblade #139.  The ending still managed to interest me and created a mystery that I really wanted Gleason to solve, and I hoped his character would be portrayed better in Witchblade #143. Stjepan’s art got me really psyched to see what kind of masterfully ways he would bring out his artistic style in these issues.  The art was a huge let down when I realized Stjepan was only going to do the cover and would continue the art in Witchblade #144 and #145.  Instead the issue is being handled by Mattew Dow Smith with art that, when compared to Stjepan’s, is no more awe-inspiring than stick-figures.  Even without the comparison, the art lacks detail with the trees all having scraggily drawn branches that looklike tooth-picks and the colors do nothing to accentuate the art.                  In Witchblade #143 the story picks up immediately with a quick hanging that tries to be a sufficient back story and Gleason, Rooney and Patramale running for their lives from the ghosts when Patramale escapes. This issue is by far better than the last one.  Ron Marz’ characterization of Gleason in this deadly situation proves just how capable Gleason is without Sara.  He is great in this issue, though one of his actions surprised me and irritated me since I thought it was not in his character, maybe not to do the action, but how he simply brushed it off as if nothing had happened – and to find out what I’m talking about I suggest reading the issue since I don’t want to give everything away!  But one character that did outshine Gleason was Patramale.  Ron Marz crafted his dialogue very well and I immediately got the sense of what kind of person Patramale was – a smug and arrogant jerk that was begging to be slapped.  If I had to pick a character to kill I would pick Patramale from Witchblade and my defense to the jury would be that I could not withstand his smart-ass smile. At the same time I loved how riled up I got over him and admired Marzs’ ability to create such a character. His characters were all very distinct and I enjoyed all of them.  The only problem I had with the story was with the ghosts.  Their back story is quickly gone over in a quick fashion that was not satisfying and could have been further explained.        The art also remains the same and I still can not help but hate how the previously masterly crafted monsters from Witchblade #140 and #141 are replaced here with poorly crafted zombies.  But I felt it was satisfying enough for this story since I was more focused on the characters and story anyway.  Witchblade #142 and #143 should have been packaged together as a jumbo issue for fans while we wait for the series to come back.  #142 was just a huge set-up for the next issue.  I hated the art but the overall story was great.  Since I easily summed up Witchblade #142 I would suggest skipping it and just getting #143 unless you are a die-hard fan of Witchblade that must have every issue. Witchblade #142 – 4.0 Witchblade #143 – 8.0 Upstate Arc Overall – 6.0 


Meet the Author

About / Bio
An all-around nerdette, I’m a comic book connoisseur, horror aficionado, video game addict, anime enthusiast and an aspiring novelist/comic book writer. I am the head of the comic book department and the editor-in-chief of Entertainment Fuse. I also write and edit articles for Comic Frontline. I am also an intern at Action Lab Entertainment, a comic book publisher at which I edit comic book scripts, help work on images in solicitations and help with other comic book related project. My own personal website is comicmaven.com.

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