When we last left Alex Underwood she was in a bit of a pickle. Back from the dead, not unlike a certain Marvel red-head, she now possesses a power that she doesn’t have any idea of how to control. On top of that, she is in the frame for the murder of a detective who was beating up his wife, for fun. Following her rise from the dead and subsequent actions, in her words, Alex is someone else, she is something else.
This new Witchblade series, continues to take baby steps in unveiling the new owner of the armour I personally think that’s a good thing as it gives both new and old fans a chance to get to know Alex, rather than just throwing her into the deep end.
That said, writer Caitlin Kittredge is not averse to info-duping where necessary. Ash is on hand to give Alex, and there us the reader as well, a quick historical rundown before helping her move in to the investigation element, which as you can imagine, is magically imbued. Kittredge walks a tightrope of sorts; torn between driving the story forward, educating the reader and of course managing reader expectation. This is precarious path that she walks well, at least for the most part. The info dump is a tad heavy when compared to the rest of the book. The strength of the writing is in the inner monologue as Alex at first realises what she has done and how she strives to move forward.
The art by Roberta Ingranata is one of the key selling points of the book. On the whole, the book looks great. There are Silvestri-ian influences on show, but as Marc Silverstri was one of my favourite X-Men artists, I personally do not have a problem with this. As with the previous issue, Ingranata seems to bring her “A” game when it comes to the key players in the book. As an example, the detective interviewing Alex seems to go through some facial changes throughout the book. Also, the faceless intimations are back, though thankfully with less regularity. The painted color scheme from Bryan Valenza helps give the book an almost horror feel, with the snowy winds seemingly possessed observers to the death and destruction that seems to rest at Alex’s feet.
At this stage in proceedings, this series is slowly gathering speed as a great darkness starts to show is its dismembered hand or stump, if you will. Even so, long-term fans may feel that the slower pace requires a lot more patience. In Kittredge and Ingranata, you have a couple of creators who are looking to restore the horror elements to a character that closed out its previous run as more of an action book.
Writing – 4 Stars
Art – 4.5 Stars
Colors – 5 Stars
Written by; Caitlin Kittredge
Art by; Roberta Ingranata
Colors by; Bryan Valenza
Published by; Top Cow via Image Comics