First Born #3
Written by Ron Marz
Art by Stjepan Sejic
Covers by Marc Silvestri, Stjepan Sejic
Letters by Troy Peteri
Top Cow Productions
Cover price: $2.99; On-sale: Nov. 28, 2007
And now we come to the end of Top Cow’s big summer event, or big fall event such as it is. Much like the first two issues of this mini, it does a decent job, and has some very nice artwork, but is basically unspectacular and kind of lost on me. This has been an event for fans of the Witchblade and Darkness properties, and is not a bad jumping on point, but could definitely have been done better.
Sara Pezzini, the former Witchblade, has her pregnancy come to full term in this issue. Meanwhile Jackie Estacado, the wielder of the Darkness, is forced to protect his baby’s mama from the forces of the Angelus. This is the big fight issue with most of the issue taken up with the battle between the Darkness and the Angelus.
Ron Marz paces the issue well, splitting the time between the main characters well and making sure the reader feels the excitement of the situation. The ending has a decent surprise, although it’s a bit deus ex machina, and isn’t really explained that well. The dialog isn’t bad, but is pretty much interchangeable. The characters don’t really have much personality, and again, your enjoyment will be based on how much you care about the characters already. This whole series has been much more of a thank you to long time fans than it has been a good jumping on point. That being said, if you were looking to jump into the Top Cow universe, this wouldn’t be a bad place, but let’s be honest, if you’re not reading already, you probably never will.
Stjepan Sejic is the real find of this series and it’s nice to see that he’ll be continuing to work in this universe on the regular Witchblade series, although I’m curious to see how he’ll handle the monthly schedule. His designs for both the creatures of the Angelus and the Darkness have been breathtaking, giving the creatures a sense of the weird and other-worldly. The characters can come off as a bit emotionless though, falling into the always big problem with painted work where the people just come off flat. Fortunately, the battle scenes make up for this problem, and I have to say that I really enjoy this style.
So, is this series for everyone? Probably not. It’s built on knowing the Top Cow characters and is really geared towards fans. Those who are fans will certainly be entertained and will look forward to where the individual series go from here. More casual fans or readers new to the universe may be a little lost, or find themselves just not caring that much about what happens. But if you’re looking for some great art, then definitely check this one out. Sejic is a great talent and you should keep a lookout for his work.