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Witchblade: Due Process #1

Posted by Luke Brown On August - 18 - 2010

Often occupied with the more fantastical elements and events of its lead character, Witchblade doesn’t often delve into the more procedural aspects of Sara Pezzini’s police work. With a title like Due Process, I figured maybe this one-shot would showcase another side to Sara that we don’t usually get to see on a monthly basis. Unfortunately it doesn’t, and the book is just another day in the life of the Witchblade bearer, and it’s a pretty boring one to boot.

Written by PHIL SMITH
Art and Cover by ALINA URUSOV

Due Process follows Sara as she tries to set right a wrongful conviction that went down while she was a rookie on the force. The only problem is, the man she helped put behind bars doesn’t really want her help. You see, he’s gone and made a deal with the Aryan brotherhood and the demon they worship. All he has to do is help them out with a favor when he’s released. It’s very much “be careful what you wish for,” and nothing happens in this book that you don’t see coming from a mile away. I’m not saying there should be surprises around every corner, but when your plot is as run of the mill as this issue’s was, you’ve got to have an interesting hook to keep the reader interested. While the regular Witchblade book by Ron Marz and Stjepan Sejic continues to push the character forward, and makes Sara Pezzini a legitimate contender for the most bad ass female comic lead, this book somehow manages to water down everything that’s interesting about the character. What’s more, the fact that Sara could have been replaced by any other police officer gives the impression that the story was adapted from another idea, and made to fit into the Witchblade mythos.

Even though the story wasn’t anything spectacular, there was a glimmer of promise with the interior art. Urusov’s cover is beautiful, and I was hoping for some of the same Josh Middleton-esque style on the inside (which makes sense considering the first place I saw Urusov’s art was on one of Marvel’s NYX minis). What I got was more akin to Alex Maleev, but that’s not necessarily a bad thing. I actually do think there’s a lot of potential in Urusov’s interiors, and even though the art isn’t consistently tight page to page, it suited the story pretty well. The quiet moments and the close-ups are all solid, but the action sequences aren’t broken down in a way that speaks to Urusov’s strengths. Without seeing the script, it’s difficult to say whether or not the awkwardness of the combat falls on the writer or the art, but at least a little of the blame lies with both of them. I’m willing to see what else Urusov has to offer going forward, and hope to see her name on a book again soon.

It’s a shame this book wasn’t very good. I think there’s a lot of potential with the Witchblade universe to branch out and explore aspects of Sara’s life as a police officer that we normally wouldn’t get to read in the monthly book. There were glimpses of a decent plot in there, but the whole package ends up falling short, and what you’re left with isn’t much of a good story. It’s got to be tough to try and hold a candle to what Marz and Sejic are doing on the monthly book, but sadly, Witchblade: Due Process can’t even hold a match to the regular title.

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