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Raider Grudgematch: Battle of the Top Cow Stars
by The Red Fox and John Madden
Cyberforce v2 #0 vs. Witchblade #96
Crap is a word thrown around fairly often these days, especially when it comes to just about anything reviewed by The Daily Raider, but I have to say that this Grudgematch's subject matter takes the cake. Not only are both comics published by one of the worst comic book studios known to man, Top Cow [a studio by Image floatsam Marc Silvestri - only good for Rising Stars, Midnight Nation and to a lesser extent Darkness by Garth Ennis - Debaucherous Doom], but the comics are also utterly horrible unto themselves. There is action, drama, talking, and...well...that's about it. This may be one of the hardest Grudgematches to figure out the winner, I hate these comics so much.
And they were never seen again.
CYBERFORCE: I'm guessing this is based on a former comic created by Top Cow, or some other decent company that they stole the concept from, but whatever they did to it is atrocious. It starts with some guns being fired, which is followed up on in the comic, which then switches to an ice breaker most likely at the north pole. There is some crazy captain looking for a ship, who then finds said ship and boards. There is some danger because a snow storm comes but danger is a necessary element in all comics, right? So, the captain searches with a party of his crew who proceed to fall into a hole and find a place with a lot of green lights and tubes. They find a journal by some girl from a hundred years ago that tells about her and her team, Cyberforce, who were being killed by some virus so the two remaining Cyberforcians went to find some magical cure. When they reached to the place, the crew attacked them, killing her male companion, and leaving her to bury the rest of the crew. There goes through some magic ideas how the frozen people there came on a space ship and are the ancestors of the mutants yadda yadda... Anyway, the girl somehow makes a ship to escape and the modern day captain wonders where she is. As it turns out she somehow revived her male companion who proceeds to take over the minds of the crew, somehow, ending the comic. I don't really get it.
WITCHBLADE: Just to point out, I hate this series. That being said, the comic starts out with two cops, one Witchblade, who are interrogating a criminal who murdered some little girl. The guy starts yelling at the black criminal about how he is going to get it and that the guy needs to sign a confession. Things happen, mostly just talking about the girl, and eventually Witchblade starts to "interrogate" him with her super transforming arm power and huge rack. After losing control of her arm she eventually lets the guy go and he signs the confession. Then the victorious team go to the local pub for drinks and an implied relationship when a guy is thrown through the window. To be continued indeed.
DA WINNAH: Cyberforce. I liked the plot because it at least had some action in it other than thirty pages of conversation. Cyberforce only had twenty-nine of those pages.
CYBERFORCE: Cyberforce contains, at most, four characters that are of any importance at all to the advancement of plot. First is the mutant, I don't remember any of their names so don't ask, who is basically the narrator of the last two-thirds of the book. All she seems to do is to be lazy and live in a cave of ice, so there is not much their to work with. There is also the mutant guy who kills a lot of ship members only to die a few seconds later. My inclination is that he is gay but that is only because he is shirtless and takes over the minds of several men. Plus his corny dialogue and severe lack of interest in the only female of the book. The third character would be the captain of the expedition to find the ship, who does so for some asinine reason so I don't like him off the bat, with the fourth being everyone else. They all are horrible and none of them seem to have any emotion.
WITCHBLADE: Bearing in mind my hatred for this series, these are some of the worst characters ever to come into existence. First there is Witchblade herself, who seems to have her only character trait located in her breasts, who acts like the tough cop. Beating up perps is one thing to demonstrate emotion but having that be the only emotional outburst this character has makes no sense. Next comes her sidekick, who knows her super secret, who is even more wooden than she is. Even with facial expressions he has no emotion in it, making it seem as if the writers were just trying to make a detective stereotype. There is also the black guy, who is racially offensive, and is the basic minority thug. It's great that Top Cow bought a new set of cookie cutters just for these characters.
DA WINNAH: Cyberforce for having some depth to their characters, even if that depth was only slightly deeper than the sandbar that is Witchblade.
CYBERFORCE: There are plenty of good artists in the world but it seems Top Cow can't hire any of them. Marc Silvestri, in yet another attempt to revive his once non-abysmal career with this new version of Cyberforce, is one of those artists who need to figure out how to make a deadline. His art isn't really incredibly abysmal but for the time it took for him to pencil it is very sad. Many artist can emulate the style of art Silvestri uses and render it in a lot less time, and better, so it just seems as if he is trying to act better than he is. The only upside to this point is the fact that the next issue of this comic won't come out for months to come, if it ever comes out at all.
WITCHBLADE: One thing that always surprises me about this comic is it's almost passable as real art, if by art you mean slightly above Infinite Crisis. The characters look like the outlines of real human beings but there are no real features of which to speak, besides overexaggerated cheek bones and mustaches. There is one feature the characters have, the female characters anyway, but that is to be elaborated on later in the review. There are a whole lot of of problems dealing with how the blood looks as well as some questionable pictures of a guy with several arrows through his body. Small problems like these pile up to form many catastrophic problems.
DA WINNAH: Witchblade. It was only slightly better than Cyberforce but it was better by a marginal amount. They just tried to hard to make cool ideas but failed while Witchblade kept to basic and didn't fail as badly.
CYBERFORCE: However bad everything in this comic is there is actually some mild form of action to be done. In the comic one of the main characters is attacked by a ship full of gun slinging sailors who want them dead, which is a good premise, but is downplayed by the story's voiceover interrupting all the action going on. The guy is able to go through three pages of cutting through parka wearing sailor with his claws, after being shot repeatedly while being sick, so there is some action that happens. That gets a major plus, but having the rest of the comic a sad story about how the other girl cries about how her companion died really isn't a good move.
WITCHBLADE: There is action here, alright, but it covers about one panel and is very sad. Supposedly the entire comic is supposed to have a dramatic climax ending with beating the shit out of the black guy who killed a little girl. What happens on this panel, she uses the Witchblade to hold the guy against the a wall and yell at him. That's kind of interesting because I thought normal people could do that too. Also, the male cop punches one of the guys teeth out but that should just be normal for a cop drama.
DA WINNAH: Cyberforce. A rampaging Wolverine like creature is better than a choke holding half demon female. Seriously, just trust me on this one.
CYBERFORCE: Whoa, it seems as if the showing is all over the board for this team. There is one female, which I noticed right off the bat mind you, but she puts me down from her fully clothed parka to her Steelers style face paint. There is a player that goes shirtless in this comic but he looked more horrible than when I saw Gilbert Brown take off his shirt during a scrimmage game. All I wonder is how they didn't give this kid a penalty for this kind of behavior.
WITCHBLADE: This comic is a touchdown all the way in my book. The main character reminds me of a Dallas Cowboy cheerleader, one of which I had quite a close acquaintance back in 98, that I can imagine right now. She may have an evil alien living in her arm but it doesn't matter because I can't take my eyes of those footballs. And when she is wearing a dress, WHOO, I don't think I was ever able to turn the page.
DA WINNAH: Both teams did great, all across the board, but in the end it seems that Witchblade comes out victorious. Hey, I'd rather have clothed cheerleaders than shirtless linebackers any day.
A John Madden Conception.
This was a close race, but with a score of 3-2 Cyberforce is the clear winner today. I have problems with both, actually, but only one didn't make me want to throw a chair out of the window, which almost did happen when first writing this review. As with all comics, at least the ones I review, I advise the reader, even though there is a winner of the two, don't try to read either of them. After all, the lesser of two evils is still evil.