Back in 2003, Mark Millar and Jae Lee teamed up to have Sara Pezzini and the Witchblade square off against a serial killer who believed he was a demon from Hell in WITCHBLADE: DEMON. The battle ended with the killer actually being sentenced to Hell. Now he's back.
Ande Parks and Jose Luis (with Jae Lee on covers) are continuing the story set one year later. We asked Ande some questions about this story and also scored an exclusive first look at some of the interior pages.
Comic Vine: WITCHBLADE: DEMON came out in 2003, is DEMON REBORN meant to be a year later (in comic book time)?
Ande Parks: Yes. The Demon character has been in hell for about a year as our story opens. It may feel like it's been a thousand years of torment to the Demon himself, but it's been just one year of time in Sara Pezzini's world.
CV: If so, does that mean this is the Witchblade/Sara Pezzini from before Top Cow's REBIRTH?
AP: Yes. When I started to develop this series, I just had to grab a snapshot of Sara's life and cling to it. She's still in New York. Hope is a baby, etc.
CV: Will the story and action focus more on Witchblade and less on her personal life to avoid dating the story?
AP: Not really. It's a pretty personal story that deals with Sara trying to hold her life together. It's true that Sara's life is different in the Witchblade book now… that we're dealing with another part of her life, but we're also dealing with what I see as fundamental truths of the character. Her inherent values and struggles don't change.== TEASER ==
CV: Did you pitch the idea to continue the Mark Millar/Jae Lee story or were you approached to do it?
AP: Nick Barrucci at Dynamite approached me with the idea, and I pitched a sequel based on his basic premise of bringing back the Demon character. To be honest, I hadn't read the original book before Nick asked me about the job and then sent me the Millar/Lee comic. There was a lot of meat there. I immediately thought that, before we brought the Demon back to earth, we should introduce him to the genuine demons of hell. So, we get to that in our first issue. Our serial killer bad guy is, it turns out, actually something of a novice when it comes to inflicting real torment.
CV: With Witchblade dealing with a demon from Hell, does that mean the action is going to get insanely intense?
AP: Yeah. We've got demons, ghosts, gruesome serial killings and the pits of hell itself. Things get pretty rough. That was part of the appeal of the project for me. I love writing grounded drama in the LONE RANGER book. I love writing contemporary action in GREEN HORNET. This Witchblade/Demon project, though, really let me cut loose a bit. Adding the supernatural elements opens the whole thing up. I'm trying to take full advantage.
CV: The press release for this announcement mentioned exploring the "burden" of the Witchblade on Sara. What exactly do have in mind for that?
AP: I think there are parts of hosting the Witchblade that Sara enjoys. It gives her the ability to keep some very bad people from harming good people. I also think the Witchblade makes things more challenging for her. Along with the Demon, our story features another villain: a monster who has horribly violated a young woman. The Witchblade gave Sara the power to track this guy down. It also gave her the power to kill him easily. She resisted that urge because she's a police officer who is supposed to do things the "right" way. In our story, Sara is having a very hard time believing that sparing that monstrous criminal was a good idea. That places a strain on her relationship with her husband/partner, Gleason.
I also think living with the Witchblade power makes it tougher for Sara to relate to the people she loves. She is not like anyone else in her life. She carries this unique force around with her. Our story amps all that up. The Demon knows what Sara is, and he will do everything he can to exploit that knowledge in his quest for revenge against Sara- the woman who sent him to hell.
WITCHBLADE: DEMON REBORN is on sale in July. Let your local retailer know you're interested. And check out this exclusive first look at the interior pages.