By Ron Marz (writer), Stjepan Sejic (artist), Troy Peteri (letters)

Ahead there be (small) spoilers. Consider yerself warned.

The Story Angelus comes in to provide backup when Tiamat proves to be a little too strong for Sara and the Witchblade to handle alone. Lieutenant Phipps continues to make a rather large nuisance of himself, and we also learn that Mr. Marz has not forgotten Tiamat’s mythological lineage as a creature of the sea.

What’s Good: Although I’ve almost always loved Witchblade and Ron Marz’s work on it, this arc has me ready to start a kickstarter campaign just to keep him on the book. Not that a new direction will be a bad thing (and I’m certainly looking forward to an Artifacts ongoing!) but it will definitely be the end of a wonderful era for Sara and company–and I’m not sure I’m ready to embrace that yet.

This issue handles the various plot threads a lot more smoothly than the last one did, which is very nice to see. Although the plot is still moving forward, this issue seems much less cramped. (Bringing in LT Phipps at the end did feel like a bit much, but then again–given the last page–could also help bring a quick and expeditious end to Sara’s issues with Internal Affairs!)

Sejic’s art is still beautiful. It feels redundant saying that since it’s always the case, but credit where it’s due. I especially love the ornate panel boarders on the double-page spread of all the past Witchblade bearers. That’s a huge moment, both for Sara and for us as readers, and taking the time to emphasize it visually the way that Sejic does elevates it even further. (Not to mention, it just looks damn cool.)

What’s Not So Good: I really, really don’t want this creative team to leave. Sara’s adventures will continue, no doubt, but it just won’t be the same without them.

Conclusion: This issue–and this story arc–gets back to what I feel is the core of Witchblade: Sara using her Artifact and brain to battle otherworldly threats. Tiamat herself makes a fantastic villain, and once again I’m looking forward to learning more about her (and her grudge against the original Witchblade Bearer) in the next issue.

Grade: B+