Wednesday, March 21, 2007

Is This Gratuitious? Witchblade: Shades Of Gray #1

In the comic book store today, the multiple covers of Witchblade: Shades of Gray #1 really caught my eye for both the colors and the slightly naughty covers. My shop had actually put this behind the counter for customers that didn't have Witchblade on their pull file. People had to be aware that the book had come out and request it. Yikes.

At any rate, here is the Billy Tan cover for Witchblade: Shades of Gray #1. Here Sara is posed in an uncomfortable manner on what appears to be sheets. She isn't exactly well clothed, and the fella behind her looks to be enjoying the show. While this doesn't take the cake in terms of nasty, sweaty nudity, it does seem pretty prevocative to me.

What do you think? Is this gratuitous?

12 comments:

Mark Engblom said...

Like my dad always said, "If you have to ask, it probably is."

Yes...it is.

Carl said...

Hmmmmm, isn't the whole Witchblade style gratuitious? A chick with a weapon on one arm and "armor" that barely covers anything? Red Sonja would love to hae this deal...

Eaglewing said...

I'll admit I know very little of Witchblade, except for what I saw of the short lived TV show, which I actually liked.

However, of all the comic images / covers I've seen, they all seem to be in this vein for the character. So, is it gratuitious? Probably, on the whole of it, but it seems to match continuity. It's not out of sync of the character design or done merely for shock value. Just my two cents, but like I said, I don't really know a lot of it.

inkdestroyedmybrush said...

so par for the course, we probably need to exclude witchblade from the "is it gratuitious" debate.

redlib said...

GRAT! Witchblade, Vampirella, Red Sonja, in the gratuitious Hall of Fame (shame). Have you seen that new Red Sonja statue? She's wearing like a chain metal thong (um, ouch?)

Lisa said...

I would really love to know the ratio of men that read Witchblade compared to women and then compare that to a book like Supergirl or Wonder Woman - something that is also about a female super hero. I don't read Witchblade and none of my female customers do, but we do have a handfull of male readers. Witchblade covers often look gratuitious to me, which is one reason why I never picked one up and read it. This one is no different - she doesn't look like she has a single stitch of clothing on. And how is it that her armor forms itself into dangerously high heels?

James Meeley said...

Eaglewing, Ink & Lisa: Actually, since writer Ron marz took over the Witchblade main title, the T & A factor has been subtancially less. I actually feels more like the Witchblade television series felt. Marz has come out saying that he wanted the book to feel more like NYPD Blue, but with a mystical undercurrent. I think it's a fair assessment of how the series has been under Marz keyboard. While Sara is still a very attractive woman, she doesn't end up looking like she does on the cover to this mini-series.

Lisa, I'd stringly advise you to give the book, under Marz, a chance. His run began with issue #80 of the series. Tthere is currently, i believe two trades with the first dozen or so issues of Marz's run on the book, as well. I think female readers could really get more into the book the way it is now. Heidi herself, who liked the book before, has noted that Marz has made the book more reader friendly to women.

Marz himself understands the stigma that surrounds the book, with it's longstanding past of focusing more on what Sara ISN'T wearing, as opposed to how her character is broadened and grown. For all of you who think Witchblade is just about pandering to "fanboy service", I'd really urge you to check out Marz work on the book. Try to start at the beginning of his run (issue #80, which I'll say again, for those interested). Witchblade has grown beyond the need to just see how fast Sara's clothes can be shreded off her.

Eaglewing said...

Thanks for the info, James. I might have to check out Marz's run in a trade. One of the reasons I liked the show (besides the easy on the eyes Yancy Butler, of course - hey, I'm still a guy :), was that it was about a cop still being a cop despite the superpowers. She had a partner or two, a captain to answer to, etc., and cases to solve. The mystical elements were added in, including some truly out there episodes, but the fact remained she was a cop. I thought it had potential for some good stories and character conflict while keeping all the mystical grounded with the ongoing police work.

Having not read any Witchblade comics, just seeing covers & images like the one here, I didn't think it would have any grounding in reality. So thanks for the tips on it.

Dean Trippe said...

I can only surmise this issue's solicitation explained the plot as involving a a brief moment of possible reconciliation after a bareknuckle battle between Witchblade and her longtime nemesis, Security Blanket. Will Sara and Blanket unite against the mastermind behind SB's mind-controlled assassinations, Giant Glowy-Eyed Guy!

inkdestroyedmybrush said...

wow, a chain mail bikini thong. what they won't think of next. Red Sonja needs hazard pay.

Yes, the hall of shame must be created to leave holes open in the gratuity contest for legit new purveyors of T&A, like that green lantern cover that showed up a couple of months back. No vampirella, red sonja, witchblade or Matt Baker covers need apply.

James Meeley said...

Yes, the hall of shame must be created to leave holes open in the gratuity contest for legit new purveyors of T&A, like that green lantern cover that showed up a couple of months back. No vampirella, red sonja, witchblade or Matt Baker covers need apply.

Charles:

Well, I can tell you now, that Heidi will never spotlight covers in this feature, that get way too much play at other blogs (like the GL cover you mentioned, of the recent Power Girl cover by Turner). She wants to keep this feature open to covers that people don't talk about or might not even see (like that Bomb Queen cover by Linsner she did).

A "Hall of Fame/Shame" sounds interesting, but again, it might limit some things. Just because a character or artist might be well-known for being gratuitious, doesn't mean they should be left out of the running for this feature.

Swinebread said...

Wow a Witchblade comic... ZZZZZZsnoreZZZZZ

sorry what...? :)