One Mad Dog

[Witchblade Compendium, Vol. 1 Hardcover] – (Brian Haberlin, David Wohl, Michael Turner, Christina Z., Mat Broome, Brian Ching, Clarence Lansang, Dave Finch, Dan Fraga, Randy Green, Keu Cha, Kevin Wiggins, Louis Small Jr., Billy Tan, Steve Nelson, Rick Veitch, Paul Jenkins, Michael Zulli, Francis Manapul)
Compendium 1 collects Witchblade #1 to #50. This is a monster of a book and it is pretty difficult to physically read at times due to its weight. It also forces you to hold the book sideways to read the double splash pages which is a challenge. The paper is good Quality and glossy as is the norm for these Top Cow behemoths. The book can be quite text heavy (with thought bubbles) at times and I found some of the stories to have slightly confusing plots but it didnt really get in the way of the action.
The art is good and really jumps off the page in vibrant colour. It is ladened with scantily clad women with ridiculously voluptuous figures especially on the cover art that precedes each chapter. I suppose many people just buy this series for the art but its just an added bonus for me.
When I began reading it I thought it wasnt as good as “the darkness” and the crossover story lines where the darkness appeared were some of my favorite. Around Issue 20 or so it started to find its way better and the story became a lot more engaging. The main first arc winds up in Issue 39.
I really enjoyed the “Pez Dispenser” story arc that ran through to issue 46. Probably my favourite in the book. Issue 47 had a change of artist to Michael Zulli that really didnt fit in well with the rest of the series. #48 through 50 started an exciting new story arc.
One of my main criticisms of these omnibus editions in that they should really be inclusive of the story line (the Darkness Omnibus has the same problem). There are times when the story jumps to crossover issues which often makes it difficult to follow the plot. A good read.  [ISBN-13: 978-1582407982]. 7/10