Comic book movies and TV shows are in vogue right now, but NBC hasn't had a great history with them. Now, the network is working hard to change that — we'll soon be seeing the DCTV show Powerless. But that won't be all; NBC had just signed up to a brand new series of Witchblade, a supernatural comic book with a massive fan base! It's not the first time Witchblade has been adapted for the small screen, but with the current boom in comic-book shows and a top creative team, it looks as though NBC is hoping it's got a hit on its hands!
What Is 'Witchblade'?
Back in 1995, Marc Silvestri, David Wohl, Brian Haberlin and Michael Turn created Witchblade. The concept is a fascinating one, steeped in mysticism. In the Top Cow comic book universe, you see, there are two powerful forces: one of light, one of darkness. They're known as the Angelus and the Darkness, and they're locked in a constant battle for supremacy. At one point, though, they sired a powerful mystical force known as the Witchblade, which has both an Angelus and a Darkness aspect to it. It manifested as an amulet; because the Witchblade is male, it will always seek out a female host.
The most notable of these hosts is homicide detective Sara Pezzini. While on an undercover case, Sara was almost murdered — but was saved from death by the Witchblade, which bonded with her as its latest host. What followed was a fascinating series, part police-procedural, part-supernatural fantasy, as Sara plunged into a fantasy world hidden from the eyes of mere mortals. Witchblade stories are dark, atmospheric, and in truth, very heavily sexualized — in part because the Witchblade famously shreds a host's clothes when it manifests as an armor.
What Do We Know?
According to The Hollywood Reporter, NBC has recruited some top talent for the series. Top Cow's Marc Silvestri and Matt Hawkins will serve as executive producers, alongside Rick Jacobs and Dave Alpert, from The Walking Dead. The series is helmed by Carol Mendelsohn, best known for CSI, and Caroline Dries, who's departing The Vampire Diaries. NBC has clearly put together a team who have experience in both police-procedurals and the supernatural, giving Witchblade real potential.
As THR observes, it's the supernatural side of Witchblade that seems ideally suited to CBN. The network's popular mystical series, Grimm, is about to come to an end, leaving a pretty significant gap. Witchblade is a perfect fit.
This Isn't the First 'Witchblade' Series
Of course, this isn't Witchblade's first rodeo! The series has already inspired a surprising number of adaptations — including a made-for-TV movie, and a two-season series in the early 2000s. The comics have even been adapted for both anime and manga versions, while Satoshi Ichikawa penned a Japanese novel!
If you're looking to check out the comics, though, you're out of luck. In a surprising move (especially considering Top Cow was celebrating the series' 20th anniversary), the comic was canceled. It was briefly replaced by Stjepan Sejic's Switch, a webcomic that he'd published on DeviantArt that was brought into the Top Cow universe. Sadly, that particular move wasn't exactly successful.
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The truth is that comics offer a lot more diversity than just superheroes, and Witchblade is the proof of that. It's going to be fascinating to see how Witchblade is adapted for a modern TV audience; it combines strong female leads with a series that transcends the boundaries between police procedural and fantasy. As a result, this Witchblade show has the potential to be something very, very unusual indeed.
Are you excited about the 'Witchblade' series?
(Source: The Hollywood Reporter; Poll Image Credit: Top Cow)