Media Release — Top Cow Productions, Inc. unveiled an homage cover variant provided by artist Luke Ross (Captain America) for Witchblade #128. The issue, which is scheduled for release on July 8th 2009, is the forth installment of the six-part “War of the Witchblades” story arc.
Ron Marz, who has been the regular series writer since Witchblade #80, writes Witchblade #128. All interior art is provided by Stjepan Sejic, who has been the regular artist for the series since Witchblade #116. The creative team of Marz and Sejic are committed to staying on Witchblade through at least issue #150.
In this issue of “War of the Witchblades,” both Sara Pezzini and Dani Baptiste are on the ground and it’s uncertain who will rise to reunite and claim the divided Witchblade for herself. The epic storyline continues to raise the stakes in the battle for the ancient artifact called the Witchblade and promises to dramatically change the landscape of the series by its conclusion.
Two covers of Witchblade #128 will be available: one by series artist Sejic and the homage variant cover by Luke Ross (Captain America). The cover created by Ross depicts a dramatized pose of Dani holding a mortally wounded Sara as other characters look on from the background. It is a direct homage to the famous 1980 John Byrne cover of Uncanny X-Men #136 and similarly inspired by the George Pérez cover of Crisis on Infinite Earths #7. Both covers are regarded as one of the most recognizable and “homaged” cover illustrations in comics. Comic Vine calls it the “The ‘Stand with a dead loved one in your arms expressing grief to the sky’ cover,” although the image arguably has inspirational precedents that date back to the earliest paintings and sculptures of the Pietà. The use of the homage cover for Witchblade #128 signifies the major plot developments and character conflicts that are central to the “War of the Witchblades” story arc.
“Obviously things don’t look too promising … for Sara or anyone else … by the end of Witchblade #127,” explained writer Marz, “The Luke Ross cover for issue #128 definitely takes that in account, and gives us a chance to homage two of the great covers in the history of comics in John Byrne’s Uncanny X-Men #136 shot, as well as the George Perez Crisis #7 image. If there was ever a time for this kind of cover on Witchblade, it’s now.”
About Top Cow Productions Inc.
Top Cow Productions, Inc. (www.topcow.com), a Los Angeles-based entertainment company, was founded in December of 1992 by artist Marc Silvestri, who also co-founded Image Comics earlier that same year. Top Cow currently publishes its line of comic books in 21 languages in over 55 different countries. The company has launched 20 franchises (18 original and two licensed) in the industry’s Top 10, seven at #1, a feat accomplished by no other publisher in the last two decades. Its flagship franchise, WITCHBLADE, was TNT’s #1 original film of 2000 and the subsequent TV series was released on DVD on July 29, 2008. A feature film, co-produced by Platinum Studios, Inc. and Arclight Films, is slated to begin production in Australia with director Michael Rymer. WITCHBLADE is also the first American property to be fully adapted in Japan as an original anime and manga by Studio GONZO in 2006. Top Cow’s other flagship property, THE DARKNESS, was developed into a major next-generation video game release by Starbreeze and 2K Games and achieved platinum sales status. WANTED, an Eisner-nominated miniseries published by Top Cow from 2003-2005, is now a major motion picture from Universal Pictures starring Angelina Jolie, James McAvoy and Morgan Freeman. Virtually all of Top Cow’s other properties are in development as feature films, live-action television, animation or video games. Top Cow has also successfully licensed and merchandised its franchises into toys, statues, clothing, lithographs, puppets, posters, magnets, shot glasses, lighters, lunch pails, wall scrolls, mouse pads, die-cast cars, calendars, Christmas ornaments, Halloween masks, trading cards, standees, video games and roleplaying games.