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Review: Witchblade #136

The one where Sara meets the Cyborg...


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This issue of Witchblade is the third of three parts in the series and closes out the 'Almost Human' storyline, acting as it's finale. It also acts as an introduction between Sara Pezzini and Aphrodite IV. 
 

The Good

The scenes between Pezzini and Gleason toward the end make the issue worth reading. One thing that this comic did manage to do was make me want to know what will happen next.  
 

The Bad

I have always had a bit of a problem with establishing new characters and killing them off quickly without putting thought into the repercussions. In this issue, this happens on three occasions. The threat of these three characters is built up at the end of issue #135 giving the reader the impression that they will create a challenge for Sara and Aphrodite. However, we quickly realize that this is not the case and that these characters are easily eradicated. Why introduce three characters if only to kill them off in a couple of pages?  A character death should be treated in a way that will create an impact on the reader and on the story. If there is no plot or character development as a result of a death then the deaths have been in vain. The story provides little plot development and progression and revolves primarily around a fight sequence between Sara, Aphrodite IV, Hera, Athena and Artemis. 
 
Another major problem I had with the story was the characterization of Aphrodite IV. We are told she is a cyborg, but how much of the character is still human? She is capable of passing judgement and making amoral decisions. She "played Sara," which implies that she is capable of manipulation and free thought based on logic and reasoning. These seem like relatively human traits to me, not the traits of a cyborg who is just told what to do and follows orders.   
 
The art in this issue was also disappointing. There were several panels that felt both rushed and unfinished. There is one in particular where one of the characters has black scribbles on her face. I have the impression that the pencils may have been good, but the coloring is incomplete. Had the artist taken the time to ink the panels, the art would have been better defined and better executed. 
 

The Verdict- 1.5/5

While I am curious to see this issue's continuation in Artifacts #0, I am disappointed in the majority of the content of this issue. I felt that Sara's character was weakened and easily manipulated and that it was unclear just how human Aprhrodite IV is. Of the three parts that made up the 'Almost Human' storyline, this was somewhat of a let down.

3 Comments

Avatar image for foxxfireart
Posted By FoxxFireArt

DAMN!! That is harsh. I normally check out the rating before I read reviews. I just had to learn what earned this comic that rating. I knew something was up when the bad segment was about six times the size of the good. In a weird way. I wanted to learn what eared this a 1.5 rather then a solid 1.
 
Death really is an overused tool in comics. You should see how little death is in the manga One Piece. In that series deaths are very plot related, but all was told in flashbacks. The manga began in '97. Only this year was there a real death of two major characters that appeared in real time. Those two deaths are major turning points not just for the lead character, Luffy; but for the entire balance of power in the world. 
There is not a lot of death, but when it happens. It is huge.

Avatar image for grifter78
Posted By grifter78

Overall, "Almost Human" was nothing but setup for Artifacts.  Which was fine but I agree it shouldn't have taken 3 issues to tell this story. 
And although I agree killing off the 3 cyborgs was a little premature, I think the fact that they're cyborgs is probably why they were treated this way since it's so easy to bring them back.
Avatar image for crom_cruach
Posted By Crom-Cruach

I liked Almost human personally. That she was easily manipulated seems like an outgrow of her trying to purge what happened in War of the Witchblades from her and you know... be a better person. It wasn't close the best Witchblade story but it wasn't bad to me.
 
I'd give it a 3.5 out of 5