Some Thoughts Before The Review: Even though they tend to be ultimately forgettable in the larger scheme of things, I enjoy the random Darkness/ Witchblade one-shots because they always manage to enrich the mythology or characters of the Top Cow universe in some way.
The Darkness: Diyafa by Philip W. Smith II (Writer), Sheldon Mitchell (Pencils), Joe Weems V (Inks), and Arif Prianto (Colors)
Witchblade: Assahiya by Philip W. Smith II (Writer), and Admira Wijaya & Sunny Gho (Art)
Angelus: Chermera by Philip W. Smith II (Writer), Tom Grindburg (Pencils & Inks) and Sunny Gho (Colors)
The Story: In “Diyafa,” a young man seeks out “The Dark Wyrm” that uses the Darkness in order to rescue a loved one. In “Assahiya,” the Witchblade’s balance is divided between two sisters. In “Chermera,” a man must kill a lover that has been corrupted by the Angelus.
What’s Good and What’s Not So Good: The visually impressive Top Cow one-shot Blood on the Sands amounts to more than the sum of its parts. That said, I’m not really sure how much more because I’m certain that Blood on the Sands would have worked better as a mini-series as opposed to a single one-shot. Taken individually, each short story is simple, rushed, predictable, and, truthfully, not all that interesting. But, taken together, each short story weaves together with the current Darkness/Witchblade/Angelus situation surprisingly well.
The artwork is easily the highlight of Blood on the Sands. Each story is done in a specific, (mostly) fitting style that makes up for some of one-shot’s shortcomings. I would love to see each art team given a full issue to work on.
Conclusion: Blood on the Sands is a solid enough fix for fans of the Top Cow universe, but it’s far from an essential read.