Tarot Witch of the Black Rose #7

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Mar 2001 | Broadsword Comics

Writing: Jim Balent
Art: Jim Balent
Colour: Holly Golightly

After a year, Raven’s back with a new plan and a new apprentice. Tarot and Jon hook up and a coven of dark witches aren’t too pleased with Raven’s actions and want her dead.

Raven Hex – Return of the Dark Witch Part One

So these guys chase down some goth girl in the woods and Raven Hex makes an appearance. Dressed as she does and obviously looking like she means business, I’m very surprised that these stupid boys still talk big. Especially when they suspect her to be that “witch in the woods.” And when she casts her first spell, they still talk big. It’s no wonder they got what was coming to them.

And this goth girl wants to be Raven’s apprentice… Not surprised. Not impressed. Not liking it at all. Raven? Seriously. Just hurry up and use her and discard her. She’s not worth your time and attention.

And what’s with Raven’s new plan? Raising a magical island where all witches can live in peace. I never would have pegged Raven for some sort of goth hippie. Can’t we just go back to punishing humans or some other typical behavior? Ugh!

I would have thought taking a break I’d be a bit more open to everything I hate about this series, but it seems that hasn’t worked. I don’t know why I even though that since I had been collecting it for so long and only so recently started reading it.

The fan service in here provokes the gag reflex I have associated with stupid. Willowry’s new spider themed outfit with the black widow markings on the front of her thong? Yeah. Gag reflex. I’ve seen better crappy costumes like this for Halloween at Spencers. I should also note that the substance of her thong is made to look like a spider. It’s legs are the straps. I wasn’t surprised either.

And seriously, Tarot. You can do better than Jon that idiot Graveyard Guardian. I hope to see his death sometime in the future. I really can’t stand that guy.

And in terms of writing?

Tarot’s body behaved like a burning ember, searing her flesh into his. The union of the God and Goddess has taken place.

She is perfect in the afterglow.

That pretty much speaks for itself. I don’t care much for romance novel cheese.  The exposition still suffers, and these characters really need some new names. Willowry?

In defense of this series, I’ll say that I’m glad that it looks like we’ve returned to a main storyline with Crypt Chick still after resurrection, Raven still plotting for a better world for witches, and we’ve got the romance between Jon and Tarot in full bloom.

Also, Raven’s lines weren’t too bad at all, so I can’t complain there. Although that bit about the devil worshipping her if he were part of her religion was right out of a bad role playing campaign. There’s a tiny glimmer of hope for the future. It’s the size of a pin head, but it’s there.

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Tarot #5

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Nov 2000 | Broadsword Comics

Created By: Jim Balent
Writing: Jim Balent
Art: Jim Balent
Colour: Jim Balent | Holly Golightly | Don Dinnen | Hilary Nelson
Letters: Holly Golightly

*sigh* So Tarot needs to find a way to prevent another burning, but it seems her familiar has run into trouble playing with a baby dragon and now has it’s mother wanting a snack. In the middle of this, we get the story of how Tarot got that flying little cat.

Please. Please. Please. PLEASE! Give me strength to go on and not stab my eyes with pencils. My brain wants to bleed through my ears and run away to Aruba where it shall melt in hot sunshine.

Do you see what I do to myself? Do you see what I subject myself? It’s all for you, you blasted spam bots, friends, visitors, and all the others who got lost on their way home from the internet. I suffer for YOU!

I suppose it’s my own fault for blindly buying all this crap. 55 issues. Great Scott, Batman! I might as well have burned those dollars in a fire pit.

The chilled air embraces her and caresses her every curve. It is as though, with icy lips, the frost fairies themselves have kissed Tarot’s flesh, their cold touch exciting her entire body.

Have you read The Hitchhikers Guide to the Galaxy? Remember the poetry readings? Yeah. I feel that pain every time the words register in my brain.

Tarot Witch of The Black Rose #3

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Jul 2000 | Broadsword Comics

Created By: Jim Balent
Writing: Jim Balent
Art: Jim Balent
Colour: Jim Balent | Holly Golightly
Letters: Holly Golightly

It is Halloween in Salem and the two of them have got to stop Raven Hex before her plan succeeds and all those poor humans I don’t care about get butchered, enslaved, or whatever.

Reading this is like reading a fan-fic doujin where the creator’s have inserted themselves. It gives me visions of two LARPers hooking up and desperately needing an outlet.

I’m certain I’ve said this in every review. Why did I buy this and keep collecting it when I haven’t even read half of it? This truly goes to show the dark, obsessive side of the comic fan. Collecting as vehemently as she reads.

Crypt Chick. Is that the best name Jim could come up with? That’s worse than The Graveyard Guardian. This entire thing is so laughable it is almost worth it. Sure, a lot of comic characters have cheesy names. Superman, Green Hornet, out of context, these names sound like strange wrestlers. So why don’t I laugh at them, and find this so humerous? Because the former actually had decent stories to back them up. This suffers inconsistent writing and Tarot has a moment that seems entirely out-of-character when dealing with the dead girl. The way she snaps at the girl explaining how she’s different felt severely out of place. There’s also a few grammatical errors that were bad enough for me notice. There’s only two things consistent in the series, so far. The art, and the cheese.

I really can’t stand this stuff. I’m not sure why it’s turned out this way. Maybe they’re trying to hard. I don’t know. It just constantly misses the mark and a lot of the dialogue seem forced just to get a good quote or explain something. Ugh.

The spells are knowledge and knowledge is never evil, it’s how you use it that makes it so. Evil always lies within one self. Some magick should never be practiced but that doesn’t mean it shouldn’t be studied.

I want to scratch out my eyes.

Tarot – Witch of The Black Rose #1

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Mar 1999 | Broadsword Comics

Writing: Jim Balent
Art: Jim Balent
Colour: Holly Golightly
Letters: Holly Golightly

When I started clearing up that same comic mess that unearthed the He-Man mini comic recently reviewed, I also found the first half of my Tarot collection. I’m not sure the reasons I’d want to re-read this, but the urge struck and I did.

Looking at the cover you can probably see what drove me to purchase it to begin with. The interior art is just as, provocative and has a lot of over-the-top elements I typically despise in comics these days.

The writing is very good most of the time, but at points it’s laughably stupid reading like some horrible adult novel. The image of Tarot scantily clad in her battle armor is also another "stupid" moment. It’s no wonder that I’ve stopped reading it and collect it merely for the eye-candy. Though, who knows? Maybe in re-reading this I’ll actually catch up.

Now would probably be a good time to say a few words regarding the story. If you hadn’t guessed by the title, it’s all about witchcraft. Tarot is a Witch of The Black Rose, a coven tasked with guarding the two books of witchcraft in order to avoid another witch-burning massacre. Of course, another member of the coven runs off with it on a diabolical quest of vengeance to those fallen, and this girl happens to be Tarot’s sister.

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