Created by: Matthew Erman & Lisa Sterle
Colors: Gab Contreras
Letters: Jim Campbell
Publisher: Vault Comics
In Witchblood #1 by Matthew Erman, Lisa Sterle, Gab Contreras, and Jim Campbell, introduces readers to Yonna D’arc the well-dressed witch, her feathered friend Bhu, and her trusty steed, Ramblin’ Rose.
There’s a reason that this debut issue, out today, has already gone back for a second printing (with a very cool Jonah Hex #1 homage variant, no less): Witchblood #1 represents a stellar creative team firing on all cylinders.
Witchblood looks amazing
If you’ve had the pleasure of feasting your eyes on Sterle’s gorgeous Modern Tarot Witch Deck, you already known that the artist has a penchant for combining the aesthetics of modern fashion with arcane symbols. With Witchblood, she gets the opportunity to fully apply that penchant to a narrative, and the results are every bit as incredible as you might imagine.
But it isn’t just sartorial splendor that’s delivered by Witchblood #1: the issue also features outstanding page composition, often allowing the panels to settle around stylish character shots. Not only does this keep the action moving along (as is suitable for an on-the-road tale), when combined with the outstanding colors, it delivers page after page that – like the cards in the Modern Tarot Witch Deck – are immensely satisfying to behold.
It bears mentioning, too, that it isn’t just Yonna who drips style: her antagonists, a roving band of vampires, are all dressed to the nines, as well (but that doesn’t mean they aren’t dangerous – they’re so evil that even the letters in their word balloons have been stained blood-red, a very nice touch).
An introduction to the realm
Over the course of Witchblood #1, we are swiftly and effectively introduced to the cast of characters, and – thanks to a few tight action sequences – we get a good idea of the sort of magical action we can expect from future issues. It’s all executed through a nice, somewhat self-contained story in the first issue, which shapes Yonna’s introduction with a clear beginning, middle, and (as is suitable for serialized storytelling) semi-conclusion.
In other words, it does exactly what you want out of a first issue: it delivers on the “Satisfying Chunk” theory espoused by The Beat’s fearless Editor in Chief, Heidi MacDonald, all while piquing your interest about what’s to come. And as if that weren’t enough, this is definitely reads like the type of issue that will be rewarding to pick up and page through again down the road a spell, once we’ve gained a deeper understanding of the characters a few issues hence, so you can expect to be satisfied all over again.
In addition to the pleasing aesthetics of the issue, the dialogue is also excellent, utilizing different dialects without distracting from the action or slowing down the reader. And through the issue, Yonna’s jarred spells are labeled with familiar song names, a nice flourish on an already jam-packed package.
Hit the road
If you’d like to get your hands on an especially rare variant of Witchblood #1, the Vault Comics online store is currently selling an extremely limited edition cover which pays homage to the poster for the 1969 film Easy Rider (and glows in the dark, too – neat). Featuring art by Sterle and designed by Tim Daniel, his edition is limited to 100 copies and will set you back $100.00 and they’re selling out quickly, so you’ll want to gun your engine if you’re hoping to get your hands on one.
Are you going to put the pedal to the metal and pick up Witchblood #1 from your local comic shop in the next few days? Or are you investing in the exclusive glow-in-the-dark cover (or one of the other really cool variants for the issue)? The Beat wants to hear from you, either in the comment section or on social media @comicsbeat!