Tuesday, September 29, 2015

October Marks Big Changes for Witchblade’s 20th Anniversary

Witchblade #185 (Michael Turner's Cover for Witchblade #1)
By: Nicole D'Andria

It has been twenty years since Top Cow Productions launched Witchblade. The series will be celebrating its 20th anniversary with several special items including a special hardcover, a commemorative lithograph and Witchblade #185. This issue will be Sara Pezzini’s final appearance as the Witchblade bearer... and will supposedly be the last issue of the series.

Witchblade #185 is a double-sized issue with Sara Pezzini, the Witchblade bearer for the past 20 years (in real-time at least). In this issue Sara is looking for someone to become her successor. The story will also settle Sara’s return to New York and her relationship with Gleason. 

The main story will be written by Ron Marz, who left the Witchblade series after issue 150. There will also be a backup story co-written by Top Cow’s President/COO Matt Hawkins and the CEO/founder of Top Cow Marc Silvesti. Several Witchblade artistic alumni will be working on the illustrations for this issue including Keu Cha (Raising Stars), Stjepan Sejic (Sunstone, Rat Queens), Randy Green (Emma Frost, New X-Men), Nelson Blake II (The Magdalena, G.I. Joe Reloaded) and Brian Ching (Star Wars: Knights of the Old Republic, Conan the Avenger).


There will be two covers. I’m surprised they didn’t go with 14 variants like some comics. Cover A will be the same as Michael Turner’s (Fathom, Supergirl) cover from Witchblade #1. He unfortauntely passed away in 2008. This is a memorial cover in his honor. It can be pre-ordered using Diamond Code AUG150499. Cover B is by Keu Cha and can be pre-ordered with Diamond Code AUG150500. Both covers will be available on October 14th, 2015. The issue will be $5.99.

Top Cow Productions will be releasing a deluxe WITCHBLADE 20TH ANNIVERSARY “Art OF” hardcover. This over-sized hardcover is 12" x 8". It will have new original content and feature artwork from a variety of Witchblade artists including Michael Turner, Marc Silvestri, David Finch (Batman: The Dark Knight, Cyber Force), Joe Benitez (Lady Mechanika, Legenderry), J. Scott Campbell (Gen13, Danger Girl), Adam Hughes (Wonder Woman, Fairest), Tony Daniel (Batman), Laura Braga, Stjepan Sejic, John Tyler Christopher (Star Wars) and Joseph Linsner (DC Comics Bombshells). This is not the same thing as the THE ART OF WITCHBLADE. Pre-order the hardcover using Diamond Code AUG150570. There will only be 1,000 copies and it will never be reprinted. It will be $39.99.

The WITCHBLADE 20TH ANNIVERSARY COMMEMORATIVE LITHOGRAPHs will also be limited edition. They are 11” x 17”, full-color artwork by Michael Turner. This will be made available on October 28th, 2015 and can be pre-ordered using Diamond Code AUG150504. The lithograph will be $30.

Switch #1 Cover (Stjepan Sejic)

To fill the Witchblade void will be Switch, a series written by Stjepan Sejic. Switch is an alternate Top Cow universe featuring the likes of not just a teenaged Witchblade bearer but also the Darkness, Magdalena and more. Switch was originally a series online. Now, a double-sized first issue will be published by Top Cow on October 14, 2015. Stjepan compared Switch on his DeviantArt page to Marvel’s Ultimate Spider-Man in that some things will be different and some things will be the same. Stjepan Sejic is my favorite artists and I have enjoyed Ultimate Spider-Man so putting those two together in the Top Cow universe sounds like a pretty awesome match up to me.
I wouldn’t be surprised if Image Comics decides to begin a new Witchblade series with a new Witchblade bearer. I could see them continuing with issue 186 or relaunching the series with a first issue “collector’s special.” But what do you think? Is the Witchblade series gone for good? Let me know in the comments below.

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