Ron Marz has a thing for Top Cow’s Witchblade. He might not have been overly familiar with the character when he originally took over the Image Comics partner studio’s flagship comic, but he soon began crafting one of the character’s most well-regarded runs, helping to shed the cheesecake stigma in many readers’ minds.
For seven years, Marz penned Sara Pezzini’s adventures, until the finale of Top Cow’s 2010 event series “Artifacts,” also written by Marz, which rebooted the Top Cow Universe as its finale. With the ensuing Rebirth, Marz left “Witchblade” to focus his efforts on the now-ongoing “Artifacts” title. Since then, Tim Seeley has been writing “Witchblade,” but with October’s #170, Marz returns to the series.
Marz’s new run on the book coincides with “Darkness” writer David Hine’s plans to destroy Darkness wielder Jackie Estacado which will lead to the end of the “The Darkness” as a comic and moves right into the three issue “Darkness Falls” — which will end Jackie as a character. As for Seeley, fear not, for Top Cow has top secret plans for him down the line.
CBR News spoke exclusively with Marz about his return to “Witchblade,” where “Darkness Falls” will leave Sara Pezzini and what it’s been like getting back into the “Witchblade” saddle.
CBR News: How has it been getting back into the flow of things on “Witchblade?” Is it different from when you first took the book over?
Ron Marz: Plugging back in has been incredibly easy. Sara is an old friend, and it’s nice to be seeing her again, regularly. I think the big difference is that when I first came to “Witchblade,” I was coming to it with a blank slate. I’d honestly never read the title very much, so I didn’t have any pre-conceived notions about it. This time, I’m obviously very familiar with it. I’m following up Tim Seeley’s run, which was different from mine and put Sara in literally a different place, which I thought was great fun. Any creator should bring their own take to a book, rather than just treading water, and Tim and Diego Bernard did that. I’m coming into this intending to do something different from what Tim and Diego did, and something different than I did during my first run on “Witchblade.”
In a lot of ways, this feels like coming home. I’m not sure whether I’ve written more “Witchblade” issues or more “Green Lantern,” by the time you figure in specials and miniseries, but either way, this is obviously a book and a character that are a very comfortable fit for me. Going back to a title that you’ve worked on previously doesn’t always turn out the way you want it to. There are certainly situations where you can’t go home again. But going back to “Witchblade” feels like I’m picking up with unfinished business. I’ve missed Sara.
Has an artist on the new run been established yet?
Not that we’re ready to announce. But I can say that “Witchblade” certainly has a history of bright art talent, and that’s not something we take lightly.
David Hine told us “Darkness Falls” leads to the death of Jackie Estacado. Where does that leave Sara?
Well, I think it’s pretty obvious from the cover image that was released, that Sara is intimately involved in what happens to Jackie. To my mind, that’s how it should be, because the two characters have always been linked. They’ve been enemies, they’ve been lovers, they’ve been parents. Jackie’s death is going to have huge ramifications for Sara, larger ramifications than virtually anything else. That’s the longer answer. The shorter answer is: Not in a good place.
â€¨What kind of changes does the Darkness being no longer in action mean for the Witchblade and the other Artifacts?
The Witchblade’s purpose is to act as a balance between the Darkness and the Angelus. With the Darkness gone, the Angelus is going to be ascendant, and the Witchblade’s purpose as a balance is completely thrown out of whack. Any power that goes unchecked is dangerous, and the Angelus is no different.
â€¨It sounds like the Top Cow Universe is in a serious upheaval. Who will step in to help balance it out?Â
Sara might not be in any shape to act as that balance, so a lot of that role will fall to Tom Judge over in “Artifacts,” which I’m also writing. The nice thing about having a fairly contained number of books in the Top Cow Universe is that the coordination between titles is easy. “Witchblade” and “Artifacts” will certainly stand on their own, but reading them together will give a bit broader picture of what’s happening.
â€¨With you writing both books, will readers see a shift in focus over in “Artifacts?”
While Tom Judge is definitely the lead character in the book, “Artifacts” will include a number of the other Artifacts bearers. It’s more like the macro story for the Top Cow Universe, while “Witchblade” is obviously more concerned with a specific Artifact and a specific character.
Ron Marz returns to “Witchblade” with October’s #170, drawn by an artist yet to be named.