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REVIEW: Witchblade #179 by Ron Marz, Laura Braga, and Betsy Gonia


Witchblade #179 as well as the series under Ron Marz and Laura Braga has been a joy to read every month. It's been as comfortable and as inviting as being wrapped in a fleece blanket in a comfy chair by a warm fireplace while sipping on a mug of hot cocoa. That's not to say it isn't an exciting often action-packed adventure but in this issue in particular it relies on the chemistry between Sheriff Sara Pezzini and Deputy Kate Rooney which makes #179 accessible to new readers as well as a nice detour for fans. 

Out of the city and onto a cow pasture, Pezzini and Rooney are in 'X-Files-mode' investigating a series of bizarre animal mutilations. The scene is horrific but the banter between them is light and engaging. Marz has an easy time making them likable without trying too hard. The dialogue flows naturally and has become just as much a draw as the action that inevitably takes place when you have the holder of the Witchblade gauntlet. 

The investigation leads to some interaction with a hot park ranger and the cranky jerk Mayor but the shallow storyline works because even if it's just a transitional issue setting up something bigger it's still more entertaining than most of the stuff available from the Big Two publishers. 

Marz has the help of the fantastic artistic duo of Braga and colorist Betsy Gonia that makes Witchblade look great. Braga draws a strong but not sexualized version of Pezzini, who reminds me of a young Nicole Kidman, and allows her actions do the talking. In her battle of the monster especially was designed with an energy and cinematic eye that  jumps off the page. Gonia masterfully captures the nightscape of the forest vividly with dark browns and greens and the white shine of the moon directly on the combatants as you'd expect it to be.

Witchblade may not get the hype of other independent titles but it's worth seeking out every month. Don't be dissuaded by the issue count since reboots of long standing titles have been manipulated to corral new readers by other publishers. It's a fun and entertaining series with strong engaging female leads that are rare these days in almost any medium. With its easy to follow recaps at the start of every issue there's no excuse to not get on this title now. Add Witchblade to your pull list and tell your friends. 

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