So – issue #130 of Top Cow’s Witchblade - one issue, three potential covers.
The final issue of the “War of the Witchblades” which hits in September, and so far, Top Cow is remaining mum on who will 2) be the new Angelus and b) be wearing the Witchblade. But they’re being mum in a different way.
Top Cow Publisher Filip Sablik and Ron Marz shed some light on the idea behind the three covers for Newsarama.
Filip Sablik: So Ron, you want to tell folks why they are staring at three versions of essentially the same cover for Witchblade #130?
Ron Marz: Well, we prepared three covers of the new Angelus for Witchblade #130 ... but we'll only be publishing one of them. The whole thing here is trying to keep a lid on the surprise, which is hard to do when you have to solicit a book three months ahead of publication. Trying to limit spoilers becomes a real trick thanks to the internet and that three-month solicitation window. We've said all along that in issue #130, somebody ends up with the Witchblade and somebody else ends up being the new Angelus. Could be Sara, could be Dani, could be Finch. We just don't want you to know who's who until the actual issue hits. We could've just slapped a cover with certain parts blacked out into Previews, but I think this is more fun.
FS: I think it's more fun too. I must have, I greenlighted the crazy idea after all. Who came up with the original idea to run three potential covers?
RM: I'll take the blame here as the one who came up with the idea to have Stjepan essentially come up with three takes on the covers. Writers are always good at coming up with more work for artists. Hopefully, because Stjepan works digitally, it wasn't too much of a hassle. Once we came up with the overall layout, he just had to sub in different identities for the Angelus.
FS: The great thing about Stjepan is he is the kind of artist who enjoys these sorts of ideas. He's a fan of Witchblade first and foremost and I think he tends to look at challenges like this less from an artist's viewpoint and more from the viewpoint of a "what would I want to see as a fan." Plus there are so few surprises in comics these days with the 24 hour news/solicitation cycle, right?
RM: This is a storyline we've been setting up literally since issue #100. It would suck to put this much time and effort into the planning, and then blow the denouement with the last cover.
FS: So do you think it's working?
RM: Issue #128 just hit last week, and I've already seen reactions from readers who are pissed off because they're convinced this story is going to end in one way or another. Which is a great reaction to get.
FS: (laughs). You can't beat ticked off fan reactions! At least it means they are still passionate about what we are doing.