Review: Witchblade #1

“LIFE AFTER,” Part One Gunned down and left for dead on a New York rooftop, Alex Underwood’s life should have ended there—but instead, at the moment of death, she became host to the Witchblade, a mystical artifact that grants the woman wielding it extraordinary powers. But the power comes with a heavy cost, and Alex finds herself thrust into the center of an unseen battle raging on the snowy streets of NYC. Demons are real and walking among humans, and every one of them is intent on taking out the Witchblade’s newest host before she becomes too strong to kill. But the artifact chose Alex for a reason, and she’s not going down without a fight.

Writer Caitlin Kittredge delivers an intense start in a brand new Witchblade, with a brand new host and direction. The new protagonist Alex is driven by a desire for justice and that’s evident through her work within the Witness Aid Service Unit for the police department. Alex’s case involves an abusive police officer which unto itself feels like a statement by Kittredge that sets her Witchblade apart. Corrupt police. Spousal abuse. These are some weighty topics as a backdrop to an issue.

The art by Roberta Igranata delivers a somewhat grounded style to the first issue that incorporates fantastical elements to the experience. Igranata reveals snapshots Alex’s life, death, and her rebirth through flashbacks. And through the art it hints at the supernatural forces that are against the Witchblade. While it’d be easy to recreate what has come before, Igranata delivers a new visual experience that’s clear by the issue’s last panel. This isn’t what we’ve seen before and feels like something new.

It’s been too long since we last saw Witchblade with some false starts, but it’s nice to see any take and especially one that works so well in its debut issue.

Story: Caitlin Kittredge Art: Roberta Ingranata
Color: Bryan Valenza Letters: Troy Peteri

Story: 8.0 Art: 8.0 Overall: 8.0 Recommendation: Buy

Image Comics provided Graphic Policy with a FREE copy for review