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Hollowspine

I'm Reading Comeeks

I dedicate this blog to comics in all forms, manga, autobio, superhero, art books, etc.  And of course, since I need a challenge, I've decided that I'll read and write (short) reviews for 365 comics during 2015.

Heresy!

Maria the Virgin Witch 1 - Ishikawa Masayuki

Maria the Virgin Witch is basically about a young witch living on the outskirts of a small village caught between the English and French in wartime (100 Years War).  She tries to use her magic, including a succubus she created/summoned to seduce the generals, to halt the armies and stop the war.

 

This becomes more difficult with the Catholic church looking for heretics on both sides and finding any reason to get a pyre going.  

 

In this world it seems many religious and mythological figures appear in the world, here we see vampires, valkyries and angels.  Added to that is Maria the Witch and her magic, she summons basilisks, dragons and creates a golem.  

 

In the background is a more human story of Maria's first crush, on a young French soldier.  Her succubus, Artemis, teases her, reminding her that she knows nothing of love being a virgin.  Maria doesn't value her virginity at all, she's obviously a bit shy and naive, but also doesn't view herself as some pure vessel either.

 

When a group of mercenaries threaten her village, burning and looting it Maria steps in before they can go from pillaging to raping the villagers.  However, during her battle she gets attacked by Archangel Michael, who claims that her meddling with the way things are going is unbalancing the world.  When Maria continues to question and fight him Michael attempts to take away her powers.

 

After both her familiars, Artemis and Priapus (her attempted but...unfinished incubus) as well as a village girl and her crush, step up and demand the angel leave Maria alone the angel instead decides that Maria should pay for her arrogance by balancing her own happiness with the happiness of those around her.  She will remain a powerful witch only as long as she remains a virgin.

 

My thought upon finishing the graphic novel.  It was pretty well done, I liked the art and I liked how Maria stood up to the angelic forces though they spoke for God himself.  The whole thing was pretty snarky and irreverent.  For example when Maria surveys how selfish and horrible most people are she comments on how maybe God shouldn't have sat on his ass that 7th day and kept working on things.

 

Also Archangel Michael is a total jerk.

 

I would not recommend this for anyone who takes religion seriously or is a devoted follower of Christianity.  For the rest of us, it's a pretty good story with humor and some perverted jokes typical of this genre.