I like comics. A lot. One of my favourite writers is Ron Marz, whose work I first discovered on the Silver Surfer. Unfortunately, back then I followed characters rather than creators, so carried on with Surfy after Marz left, and didn’t have the pleasure of his work until about 60 issues ago (that’s 5 years, kiddies) he took over the writing of Witchblade, a comic I had been reading for a little while at that point. Witchblade is a comic with a certain image in the minds of many:
It’s fair to say this image was correct for the early part of Witchblade’s history. The late great Michael Turner bestowed implausibly impressive … errr … attributes upon Sara Pezzini (the bearer of the Witchblade), and some of the later artists – especially a fill-in artist for #66 and 67 – let it get really out of hand. When you couple that with the Witchblade’s habit of not just shredding Sara’s clothes when it activates (as you can imagine it would) but in fact obliterating them – and not not covering much of her itself – yes, things can get somewhat T&A in there.
But that’s a long time ago now. From memory Francis Manapul’s Witchblade (#54-#75) wasn’t particularly lascivious. The covers could be a bit pinup-ish occasionally, and Sara remained implausibly proportioned, with a predilection for tiny t-shirts and singlets, but it really wasn’t aimed at Beavis and Butthead.
Except for #66-67. They were truly bad: completely naked save for a few scraps of biomechanical wossname covering some astronomically inflated anatomy. Not good (and not Manapul either, I must add).
Enter Ron Marz with issue #80:
That didn’t actually continue in the pages of the book though. After a few pages establishing Sara in a coma, we have 6 pages of two guys arguing – no fighting, no superpowers, no metal bikinis, nothing like that – then most of the rest of it is one of the guys talking to an old fulla in an antique shop, with the last few pages being Sara remembering flashes of a gnarly fight (she’s clothed, with bits of Witchblade armour over her clothes), and then waking from her coma.
Y’see: Ron tells stories. It’s not that he’s shy of the female form, but it really truly does come down to what the story is about, and his stories, don’t tend to need a cheesy 70s funk soundtrack. Funnily enough, Sara actually had sex for what appears to be the first time (in the comic) during Ron’s run, but duh: she’s an adult, with a serious boyfriend. Avoiding it for 5 years would be somewhat puritan and twee.
Not that we saw anything, so don’t bother searching out the relevant issue on the strength of that.
On second thoughts: do. You might get hooked by accident on a great comic book. 8)
Anyway, what was the next point? … Ah yes: when Sara goes into battle, instead of shredding and obliterating her clothes, the Witchblade now encases Sara in full-body armour:
Kinda makes sense really. Also does tend to decrease the T&A content even further.
Now Ron has been writing Witchblade for 5 years. It had been notably less T&A for a while before he took the book on, and he has steered it masterfully into the realm of a great story-driven book. Yes there are shapely womens, but not (quite) as implausibly-built, and not nearly so nekkid – and when they are a bit, it’s only because that where the character and the story lead:
Like I said: Sara finally got some.
So what’s the point? Why am I going on about this? It’s because I went searching online for information about the (supposedly) upcoming Witchblade movie. The listing on IMDb says it’s in development and details are only available in IMDbPro – and suggests one looks at the forums. Ok then, I did. And the first topic: Why this will fail – from which I will quote:
Because they’ll give to some well known actress with small boobs, thinking her acting abilities matter for this at all, and skimp on the near nudity due to some silly crap in her contract.
Because women deserve respect and all, of course.
Some of the following replies also bear repeating for lulz and idiocy:
and no PG-13 nonsense. Just do it the way it was always intended and let her be mostly nude. If you want a modest outfit you picked the WRONG character to make a movie about.
Many actresses are uncomfortable showing the amount of flesh shown in the Witchblade comics
Que? These people clearly do not read the comic book they are sounding off about. Twits. Ok, it’s just a few twits, but (1) that was just one thread, and I didn’t bother with any more), and (2) that is still the view that a lot of people seem to have of Witchblade.
Get. Over. It. It’s been years since the comic was like that. It is full of strong characters, excellent story, great writing, and amazing art.
In fact, if you don’t read it, you should.
Unrelated footnote: major win was had in the comic shop today, when my wife found for me the first two issues of a new series of Thunderstrike. And it is by Tom DeFalco and Ron Frenz. ZOMFSM!!!1!1!!111!!1!1 Two of my angriest moments in comics were when Thunderstrike was killed (and the comic, for obvious reasons, cancelled), and then some time later when his son became Thunderstrike and was part of A-Next, and they went to fight in another dimension, and when they returned … He. Stayed. >_< So now I’m happy. I love DeFalco’s writing, and Frenz’ art, and I have a bit of an attachment to Thunderstrike – though still most of all to the original: Eric Masterson.
Not toally happy though, as I see that dreaded “limited series … 2 of 5″ on the cover.
Bloody Marvel. Keep killing any book I like.