Stjepan Sejic’s reimagining of the Witchblade mythos continues in Switch #2 as the new Witchblade bearer, awkward, nerdy, and occasionally funny Mary Parker comes to terms with the events of last issue where she fought and defeated Cronos, a servant of Angelus, who wants to harness the Witchblade’s power. Sejic keeps Mary’s reactions to the situations relatable as she is more freaked out by getting more attention at school or scaring her brother than being able to tap into an almost unlimited supply of power. Switch #2 also introduces Sara Pezzini, who is the Witchblade bearer in the main series, but is a police officer in this comic and from her responses and facial expressions actually buys Mary’s story about being attacked by armored winged beast and surviving getting hit by a truck and full force.
Thankfully, the main focus of Switch #2 is on Mary’s emotions about being bonded with the Witchblade, and how she tells her friends and family about the power. For some reason, she tells Sara Pezzini the complete truth about her experience, and Sejic uses an even dozen page grid to show the matter of fact way of telling about her experiences, which also acts as a recap of the previous issue without sounding like awkward exposition. Her Mulder-like reaction to Mary’s story sets her up as a possible ally instead of going the whole heroes vs. police route. Sejic uses wider panels for Mary’s reunions with her parents with big hugs and gestures whereas with her little brother Tim, who was at the epicenter of Krono’s attack, he uses a sadder touch with a slammed door, shouted dialogue, and the kicker, “You’re a monster.” The Witchblade is a dark, almost parasitic force, and the way it manifests visually can be frightening for ordinary people.
Another bump in Mary’s road in her second day as the Witchblade is that her close friend Rudy, who she shared a lot of quick witted banter with in Switch #1, thinks that her story about fighting a monster is a product of the concussion when her parents’ store was rocked by a completely normal explosion. Sejic gives Rudy a good dose of side-eye and a toothy grin while Mary seriously tries to comes to terms with what attacked her showing her bookish side by comparing Krono to a monster from Sumerian mythology. But Rudy thinks it’s all a joke. However, she still isn’t a bad friend and totally empathizes with Mary feeling overwhelmed by the constant questions from randos, like Aaron the transfer student, about her experience. Mary doesn’t tell these students the truth about her experiences not out of some superhero-ish desire to have a secret identity, but because she feels uncomfortable with all the attention she is getting. Her connection to the Witchblade is intensely personal, and sharing personal details with peers, who may make fun or bully you, is painful for any teenage introvert. (Definitely speaking from personal experience here.)
After spending a lot of well-needed time with Mary and her support system, the last third of Switch #2 kicks into high gear with Stjepan Sejic using a molten gold color palette as he sets up a conflict between the Witchblade and Angelus. The presence of General Celestine starts out small with a little gold bird flying in as Mary muses about wanting some time and personal space after all the drama over her incident and then bursts into the statuesque figure of Celestine and her taunting, yet slightly diplomatic (from a place of power) dialogue. By the time, issue 2 rolls to its conclusion, Mary is faced with a war on two very dangerous fronts, but slowly becomes comfortable with her power in a rousing, yet awkward final page featuring some Witchblade Easter Eggs for veteran fans of the franchise.
Switch #2 continues writer/artists Stjepan Sejic’s focus on Mary Parker’s feelings and reactions to being the Witchblade bearer and its effect on her personal relationships while keeping the larger mythos elements, like the Darkness, Angelus, and the purely evil and 100% human Kenneth in the intriguing background. His skill with facial expressions and changing up layouts adds some extra zip to this conversation heavy issue.
Written and drawn by Stjepan Sejic
Published by Image Comics
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Logan is a nerdy, bisexual ginger, who recently graduated university with a degree in English Literature and Overanalyzing Comic Books. He loves comics, music (especially New Wave and BritPop), film (especially Quentin Tarantino and Edgar Wright), sports (college football and NBA), TV, mythology, and poetry. Joss Whedon is his master, Kitty Pryde is his favorite superhero, and his current favorite comic is The Wicked + the Divine.