Witchblade AnnualWitchblade Annual 2009
Written by Jay Faerber
Pencils by Eric Basaldua
Inks by Rick Basaldua, Dulce Brassea, and Alix Minjarez
Colors by John Starr
Published by Top Cow
After a bit of a delay Top Cow's Witchblade Annual 2009 is hitting comic store shelves this week. Though Sara Pezzini and her magical gauntlet has been around for about 15 years, I was surprised to know that this is their first annual. The almost 40 page issue is actually two stories, one a backup story about Ian Nottingham and his new cell mate, written by Joshua Cozine and Joe Henderson and penciled by Sheldon Mitchell.
The primary story has Sara and her partner/boyfriend Patrick Gleason chasing after beautiful women who suddenly have psychotic breakdowns and killing random people. After they catch the first murderer, who tries to severe Sara's arm off with a meat cleaver, she is taken into custody and questioned. She can remember her name, but not the events of the past few hours, so that takes care of the total amnesia theory.
Later, while Sara and Gleason are discussing the case, a fellow officer congratulates them and compares the girl they brought in to a girl he caught. At one table over, another officer says something similar about a gorgeous young woman bashing in some random guy's head in. And doesn't remember it.
Sara uses her detective skills which leads herself and Gleason to an unusual place: a plastic surgeon's office. Later, there is a scene that I don't think you would see on nip/tuck (then again, knowing that show, I wouldn't put it past the writers). I liked this issue for a plethora of reasons. Namely, how the readers get to see Sara as a detective, which echoes perfectly what Ron Marz has been doing on the title.
There is plenty of dialogue and Eric "Ebas" Basaldua could have turned a "talking heads" book into something bland, but he nailed the panel construction magnificently. The angles are exciting and doesn't make one feel they're looking at just boxes on a page. There is some action in the issue, but it's mainly at the end.
Fans of the series will no doubt want to grab this when it hits stores Wednesday.