Comics On TV: 'Witchblade'

Witchblade

by Ryan Rigley

Great news for comic books fans this past weekend as a number of huge announcements were made at this year's San Diego Comic Con. On Friday, Marvel held a surprise screening of Joss Whedon's "Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D." pilot for those lucky enough to attend their panel. On Saturday, DC announced their plans for a Batman/Superman crossover movie, directed by Zack Snyder and starring Henry Cavill as the Man of Steel.

But that's not all! Lest we forget about all of the other comic book publishing companies out there, Top Cow revealed their plans to release a film based on "The Darkness" which, as they also revealed, will be featuring non-other than Sara Pezzini, a.k.a. Witchblade. This isn't the first time that Ms. Pezzini has made the crossover to film. In fact, not too long ago she was the star of her very own TV series!

Series Statistics

Network: TNT

Broadcast Date: 2001 - 2002

Seasons: 2

Episodes: 24

Based on the comic book series of the same name, "Witchblade" featured Yancy Butler as the NYPD homicide detective turned supernatural demon slayer Sara Pezzini. As in the comics, the Witchblade is portrayed as a sentient and ancient artifact of immense power that has been around for nearly as long as humankind. However, in the TV series, Sara happens upon the Witchblade while on a case at the local museum, whereas in the comics the Witchblade literally chooses Sara to be its new wielder after it witnesses her take a bullet for her partner.

Despite its very limited time on air, "Witchblade" was actually considered to be a huge success in its original run. It was the seventh most watched basic cable drama when it was cancelled back in 2002. In fact, it was and still is the highest rated TV series to ever be cancelled. So what happened? Well, simply put, Yancy Butler had a drinking problem and the series had to stop so she could go to rehab.

Notable Episodes

Parallax

Taking place after the events of the made-for-TV movie, Sara Pezzini slowly discovers more about her mystical weapon while simultaneously looking into a secret military program that breeds deadly assassins known only as Black Dragons.

Sacrifice

While investigating a series of ritual killings, Sara learns of an ancient Celtic legend in which human beings are sacrificed as a means of resurrecting a warrior queen. In this episode, she also meets, and later falls in love with, an Irish rock singer named Conchobar.

Periculum

Sara is forced to undergo a trial of worthiness, called the Periculum, in which she meets the former wielders of the Witchblade who explain to her the powers and origins of ancient artifact. They also inform her that if she fails the Periculum, she will die.

Destiny

When Sara's partner, Danny Woo, is buried alive, Sara uses the extraordinary powers of the Witchblade to save his life. Meanwhile, Sara's arch-nemesis, a criminal mastermind named Kenneth Irons, procures an ancient weapon of his own, the Longinus Lance, and intends on using it to murder Sara.

Ubique

After waking from a terrible nightmare, Sara discovers that the Witchblade is no longer fixed to her arm. With all of New York City in a panic, due to an insane killing spree, Sara must face Kenneth Irons and the new, evil wielder of the Witchblade without any of her special powers or abilities.

Still not convinced that "Witchblade" is worth a watch? Well then, check out this awesome fight scene between Sara Pezzini and a priest possessed by a demon!

This is Comics On TV, the column that celebrates the classic comic book TV series that blazed the trail for modern day hits like "Arrow," "The Walking Dead" and "Marvel's Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D." If you have any favorite episodes of this week's series, let us know in the comments below or hit us up on Twitter!