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Witchblade:

Whoa. Where do I start describing one of the best comic book series (my subjective opinion, but I'm sure many will back me up on that) produced by Top Cow and Image? Ok, lets try the basic outline of the plot for starters:

" ... Fabled throughout legend, revered as a religious icon, and spoken of in hushed whispers, the Witchblade has existed throughout the ages. Though many have tried to possess this mysterious gauntlet and exploit its power, it can only be possessed by one woman in each generation... and nobody chooses who may wield the Witchblade. Except the Witchblade itself.

Sara Pezzini, following in her father's footsteps, joined the NYPD to "bring bad men to their knees". Once, all she needed was her gun, but now she wields the power of the Witchblade. Since bonding with this semi-sentient gauntlet, Sara's life has been enmeshed with mystery. Her possession of the Witchblade made her a target of high-profile businessman, Kenneth Irons, who wanted to harness the power of the Witchblade for himself. Since Irons' death, others have also sought to utilize Sara (and therefore the Witchblade) for their own ends.

Sara's investigative methods are sometimes unconventional. On occasion, this has brought her into conflict with her partner, Jake, and her superior, Joe Siry, with whom she shares an almost father/daughter relationship.

Even though she is impulsive and hot-headed, Sara Pezzini has proven herself to be a reliable detective. She possesses an air of purity about her which belies a more dangerous, sensual side. Her sense of stubborn independence conflicts with a secret desire to lead a more "normal" life... something she may never know, now that she has been chosen by the Witchblade as this generation's wielder..."

source: www.imagescentral.org

This was just the outline of the first 8 or so comics. What makes this comic so much different from the others, and definitely worth your attention is the fact that Sara Pezzini is awesomely cute. No, not just your average every-day type cute. She's ... ummm ... extra-cute. Yeah. This is mainly due to the fact that the comic was originally drawn (pencilled) by Michael Turner, an artist in the class of his own. After making 25 Witchblade comics he now works on "Fathom", another beautiful comic series released by Top Cow. After Witchblade No. 25 the artwork was done by Randy Green (in my opinion not as good as Michael Turner's art, but ... I just don't feel right saying bad things about Randy Green's artwork. Go buy the comics and judge for yourself), and after Witchblade No. 40 the artwork was done by Keu Cha. Whoa. Pretty.

The other people involved in creating Witchblade are:
  • Christina Z. - Story
  • D-Tron - Inks
  • Jonathan D. Smith - Colors
  • Dennis Heisler - Letters
It was originally created by Marc Silverstri, David Wohl, Brian Haberlin and Michael Turner.

There were crossovers with "Fathom", "The Darkness" and "Tomb Raider". Arguably the best comic crossover ever produced was in the "Fathom" series, where all three major female heroes ("Aspen Matthews (Fathom), Lara Croft (Tomb Raider) and Sara Pezzini) came together. I believe that started somewhere around Fathom no. 12 or so ...

For more information on Witchblade see www.imagescentral.org. Yes, they feature some of the artwork too. A lot of it actually.
For more information on Fathom, see www.fathomcom.com, the official Fathom website.

Witchblade, the Movie
(2001)

"A new force of justice has arrived on the streets of New York."

Yancy Butler plays Sara Pezzini, a New York cop, in this made-for-TV movie pilot. Sara's father was killed in the line of duty some time ago, and more recently, her best friend from high school was also shot. Sara suspects the same man for both, but can't prove it. While chasing one of his goons through a museum, she stumbles across a strange-looking gauntlet which just happens to get shot out of the case it's in, and lands on her hand... The Witchblade. Fated to be worn by one woman in each generation, the Witchblade has led its wielders to great victories, only to abandon them when they needed it most. Sara must master the powers of the Witchblade to bring the man who killed her father and friend to justice.

Adapted from the comic book series, Witchblade does its best to maintain the panelled-feel of a comic book with dark sets, strange angled camera shots and excessive use of strobing and the "Matrix-effect" (circle-panning during a freeze frame in the middle of combat). Yancy's portrayal of Sara is about the only justice in the entire movie - compared to her co-stars, hers is an Academy Award performance. Faced with two-dimensional characters and lines written for cartoon bubbles, it's difficult to breathe life into such a role, but Yancy does admirably well, mostly by alternating between hard-nosed cop, and confused ingenue. Unfortunately, all the good acting in the world fails against excessive use of deus ex machina and forced character manipulation - and this movie has both in abundance, which unfortunately, detracts from the overall excitement - you root for the hero, only to have victory snatched by stupid writer tricks. Of course, it does work both ways - as Sara gets saved on a number of occasions by the enigmatic Ian Nottingham (Eric Etebari).

Intended to be the pilot episode, WB sold the series to TNT, where it currently airs in its first season.

If you've read the comic book series, this movie is probably a pass. If you haven't read the series, read it, then skip the movie.

Sources:
IMDB - http://us.imdb.com/Title?0169514
Collector's Paradise - http://www.geocities.com/Area51/8604/wblade.htm

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