Friday, February 10, 2012

"Hidden" Gem - Marz and the Top Cow Universe

As much as this may not be very hidden, I can guarantee nobody here is reading it so I figured I would share
Ron Marz has brought his Witchblade opus to it's huge, universe changing end and it absolutely did changed it. Marz first joined Witchblade at issue #80 at it was clear he was given the reins to do what he wanted and over the next seven years and about 100 issues later, he did just that. Along the way he added elements to Sara and the Witchblade that were amazing. Outta the blue, a character called the Curator comes in and reveals to Sara more of her origin than she knew. Turns out the Witchblade is one of the Thirteen Artifacts which are destined to either make or break their universe. Along with her is the Darkness and the Angelus (making up the Trinity that is the core to all 13), which were also switched around in origin. Long ago, the Darkness and the Angelus had an offspring: the Witchblade. Male in it's "gender", only a female my wield it so that the balance between it all is upheld. Along with those three, some new and old players were added to the mix as well to make the 13:
The Spear of Destiny (wielded by the Magdalena)
The Blood Sword (wielded by Ian Nottingham)
The Glacier Stone
The Ember Stone
Pandora's Box
The Rapture (wielded by Tom Judge, brought back from their 2001 series Universe)
The Wheel of Shadows
The Heart Stone (wielded by Necromancer and her demon Mali)
The Coin of Solomon (wielded by Aphrodite IX)
The Thirteenth
Separate, they will shape the core of the Top Cow Universe. Together, they will destroy it.
Which is what Marz did.
Turns out the Curator is the lone survivor of the world that came before this one. He is it's Codex. The living embodiment of that world. He has taken it upon himself to bring the 13 together in order to destroy this world and bring his back. It also turns out that Hope, the daughter of Sara and Jackie, is this world's Codex. For his world to be restored, she must die. As all 13 do battle for the word, some good, some bad, some just wanting to protect Hope, the Curator is given what he wants. All 13 together and he destroys the Top Cow Universe. In a white place of nothingness, Jackie, Sara and Hope are the only three left. Sara thinks that maybe Hope has to die to rebuild their world. Jackie thinks there has to be another way. As they argue and it appears Sara kills their daughter, the world comes back. Only different.
Sara Pezzini is not a cop in New York. She in fact, she has just moved to Chicago by herself. No family. Danielle Baptiste (the Angelus) is a New York cop who is the partner of the man who was Sara's partner and longtime boyfriend. And Jackie has it all. No longer with the mob, married to his longtime love and with a daughter, Hope. Jackie has remade this world how he wants it, somehow and he's the only one who remembers.
I know I may have ruined to full ending but this run is amazing. I never thought I would care about the story in Witchblade more than the art and Marz has proven me completely wrong. It's quite sad that he has left the title but he is staying with Artifacts to tell the new stories of Tom Judge and this new world so there is a silver lining.
This is a book that you should absolutely read if given the chance. It's easily the best Witcthblade has been and one of the best overall runs that I have read. And at only $5, the first trade is too cheap to pass up.

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