Friday afternoon, California-based Top Cow Productions announced that its long-running series Witchblade would be ending with October's #185. Although Cyberforce was the series which the Marc Silvestri-led company that publishes under the auspices of Image Comics was founded on, Witchblade quickly became one of the company's flagship titles after its launch in 1995 alongside The Darkness. When asked about the reason for ending the series, Top Cow President and Chief Creative Officer Matt Hawkins said changes were needed.
"Over the past three years we've had far more success with self-contained titles and less with the continuity heavy "universe" titles," Hawkins explained. "We'd been talking about what to do with Witchblade for the past several years and with the 20th anniversary looming we knew we needed to make some changes. Like The Darkness, we decided internally that the best thing to do would be to wrap up the storyline in the main title and give it a chance to breath."
October's Witchblade #185 finale will feature two stories featuring Silvestri, Hawkins, long-time series writer Ron Marz as well as a host of past Witchblade artists including Randy Green, Nelson Blake II, Brian Ching, Stjepan Sejic, new work from Silvestri and a re-purposed story illustrated by the late Michael Turner.
"Ron's story will wrap up the details of Sara Pezzini's personal life and will give fans good resolution on her twenty year journey," said Hawkins. "My story with Marc is actually a series of short vignettes about possible new bearers of the Witchblade so that it ultimately wno't fall into the wrong hands."
Hawkins calls this "the end of Sara Pezzini as the bearer of the Witchblade," but the item itself will be featured in other series, such as Hawkins' Aphrodite IX and a new series by Stjepan Sejic titled Switch.
Given Witchblade's place as one of, if not the, flagship title for Top Cow since it's launch in 1995, the obvious question to be asked of Hawkins of what this ending means for the company as a whole.
"No change really, we'll continue to publish four to five titles a month," said Hawkins. "Our focus has always been comics and will continue to be so."