Witchblade was certainly a big part of the “bad girl” movement in comic books during the ’90s. And author John DeChancie didn’t back away from the sexy witch’s infamous peek-a-boo transformation in his prose adaptation from 2002.
She was, he wrote, a paradox of dress and undress. “Her metamorphosis produced a filigree of delicate metal work of swirls and arabesques crawling up her body and covering her full breasts and neither portions but leaving little else unexposed. She was nude and yet somehow completely covered.”
Even without the Witchblade gauntlet, Sara “Pez” Pezzini was an eyeful. She dressed like a tomboy, said the author, but she always looked good. “Her jeans were tight and the T-shirt under her jacket was inevitably undersized, allowing her feminine lineaments to come through nicely. She was tall, thin, well proportioned, and had a face that could launch several navies. Legs up to the neck. Oh, those legs! And there were other parts of her body that shaped up just as well.”
Comic books have always been slightly disreputable, and Witchblade along with similar titles such as Vampirella and Lady Death unquestionably took advantage of the media’s lowbrow reputation. This is not a criticism from us. Over the years, the character has become iconic and (dare we say it) beloved around the world. She appeared on television in 2001 and even made the transition to anime in 2006.
Witchblade: Talons is a tie-in novel specifically for the TV series, but DeChancie didn’t let himself get derailed by continuity minutia. Detective Pezzini wears her Witchblade gauntlet, she seems comfortable with it, and characters (old and new) coexist without a hitch. There’s no origin story to speak of, but the supernatural tenor of the comic book series is preserved.
Pezzini finds herself in a sticky situation involving a magical supercomputer, a werewolf, a “mahjong dragon,” a supernatural assassin, a Romanian crime boss, and a bunch of religious zealots from an alternative dimension. Vlad Tepys (the Impaler himself) even shows up for some decapitating fun.
The whole thing is silly and beyond criticism. True believers will be happy to discover that Witchblade retains her bad girl charm in prose format (Pezzini even briefly considers launching a personal website with nude pictures of herself). The details of her ongoing story, however, are rendered inconsequential. But that’s okay. Nobody ever bought a Witchblade comic for the story.
[Witchblade: Talons / By John DeChancie / First Printing: January 2002 / ISBN: 9780743435017]