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Portal Games announced the 51st State Ultimate Edition is coming soon to Gamefound and will included new content with the crowdfunding campaign The campaign launches in February 2022 with component upgrades, reprints of hard-to-find content, and a new expansion, No Man’s Land, designed by Ignacy Trzewiczek. 51st State was originally published in 2010, and was a breakout success for Portal Games. Set in the same universe as the fan favorite Neuroshima Hex , 51st State offered players a new way to fight for resources in the wastelands of America. The release of the 51st State Master Set in 2016 brought together the core game and both the original expansions, Winter and New Era in one box with an all-new look and improved gameplay. Three additional expansions have since been released for the Master Set, growing the line to a fan favorite. Portal Games wants to give players the definitive experience they deserve with the 51st State Ultimate Edition.  The 51st State Ultimate Edition coming

Featured Review @TopCow Witchblade #172 @TopCowMatt @RonMarz @LauraBraga_rt @TheThirdG



Witchblade #172 - Borne Again, Part Three


Sara Pezzini will soon discover who the Witchblade chose to be its next bearer…




Preview


See the 10-page preview of Witchblade #172

Review


See the Review Rating Overview page for more information on how I rate each comic


Cover & Solicit 4/5


For this issue we get two covers. The first is drawn by Stjepan Šejić (Aphrodite IX, Cyber Force, Inhumans) and features Sara being hunted by what appears to be an angel of death. While I normally like Stjepan's work I'm not really a fan of this cover. The art isn't his best and the color scheme of green and red doesn't do it for me. I would have much rather seen the originally solicited cover (see the 10-page preview and header image). The second is from Nelson Blake II and is a Top Cow Store Exclusive for Valentine's with Sara being given a box of chocolates by a gremlin. I also want to point out the solicit is slightly off as Sara doesn't discover the Witchblade's new host but who has stolen part of it.

Art, Colors & Inking 4/5


I'm still impressed with the work newcomers Laura Braga (Cyber Force) and Besty Gonia (Cyber Force, Think Tank, Bushido) are doing on this title. Like the last issue the art in this one is pretty good, and I have nothing major to complain about. I will say however the colors on this issue seemed a little subdued while in the present, while the flashback scenes seemed to be a little more vibrant. These two newcomers for Top Cow work great together and are bring new life to this book.

Layout & Flow 5/5


I appreciate that Top Cow continues to have the recap at the beginning of the issues. As an added bonus in this issue they also started a new section called The Witching Hour that recaps their "big and complicated universe". The one in this issue explained a little about the Angelus and it's motives and relationship with the Darkness and the Witchblade. I found this very useful as I just recently started reading the Darkness, Artifacts, and the Witchblade again. The pacing works very will in this issue with the events that occur in the Hospital and the flashback to Sara trying to remove herself from the Witchblade. Laura also does a great job with her panel layout and the flow from scene to scene comes natural.

Story 5/5


The issue continues the Bourne Again arc with Ron Marz (Green Lantern, Artifacts, Silver Surfer) on writing duties. In my opinion he is doing an excellent job at keeping the book new reader friendly allowing almost anyone the ability to pick up the title and jump right in. This issue continues with the unknown assailant and the Angelus' minion in Sara's room. The assailant is unsure why who he believes to be the Angelus is silent. Believing it wants a sacrifice, he attacks Rooney with a blade. We also discover that the assailant is the one who had the "Witchblade gun" from issue #170 when the blade he has changes shape into the gun. Upon revealing the Witchblade the Angelus' minion makes his move and stabs his would be worshiper. Rooney is not out of danger as the minion takes control of the Witchblade before being shot by the now conscious Sara. Marz then takes us back two years prior where we find Magdalena assisting with the removal of the Witchblade with little success. It eventually takes Tom Judges arrival with his artifact to finally control it so it can be placed into the reliquary. I believe Ron did a perfect job of telling this backstory and paced it well over the last three issues. Back in the present Sara takes back part of the Witchblade before its revealed who has the other part. Again Marz does an excellent job telling the story and getting just the right amount of information in while leaving you wanting more.

Verdict - 4.6 (9/10) (Buy Witchblade) SAVE 10%

The team of Marz, Braga and Gonia continue to impress me each week. The story Marz is trying to tell is excellent and very accessible, and with Braga and Gonia on art duties they are really bringing this next chapter of Witchblade to a new level. I can't wait to see what they have in store for Darkness Falls and I highly recommend adding this series to your Pull-List.

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