Artifacts #1 (of 13)
Writer: Ron Marz
Artist: Michael Broussard
Cover: Top Cow’s Finest, John Tyler Christopher, Dale Keown
The Event FIVE Years in the Making!
Thirteen mystical Artifacts, including the Witchblade, the Darkness and others, guide the fate of the Top Cow Universe. For centuries, it’s been whispered that bringing together all 13 Artifacts would herald mankind’s destruction. But a mysterious figure has been manipulating events, laying plans to put Armageddon into motion. The final phase begins here, with the abduction of Hope, the daughter of Sara Pezzini and Jackie Estacado. What ensues will remake the entirety of the Top Cow Universe, from the Witchblade and the Darkness, to the Angelus, Magdalena, and countless others. Artifacts #1 is the perfect place for faithful readers to see their loyalty pay off, and for new readers to experience the Top Cow Universe.
Today, Top Cow starts their latest event Artifacts, which seeks to unite all of the Top Cow Universe in a cohesive community much like Marvel or DC, have done. Written by Ron Marz and penciled by Michael Broussard, it certainly has the pedigree to be epic. But does it?
In a word; yes, it does. It’s shaping up to be a great jumping on point to the Top Cow universe, especially because Ron Marz’s specialty is boiling a story down to its most essential and letting you know exactly what you NEED To know, as opposed with making it too murky with continuity for new or perspective fans. Geoff Johns is another who is excellent at doing this, but Ron Marz doesn’t get nearly enough credit for doing the same. Every book of his I’ve read for the Top Cow brand is easily penetrable, with all back-story taken care of at the beginning of the story. Even before Top Cow he had the same talent. I recently read Emerald Twilight and it had the same inviting narrative.
He even introduces someone to me who could become a new favorite character. Tom Judge, this sort of defrocked priest who is clearly the anti-hero of the story, and one who seems to be striving for redemption. It’s actually all there in print, and I’m rooting for him all the way. A lot of Top Cow’s properties are fully developed in ways I hadn’t realized before, but Tom Judge is possibly my favorite.
The art is also quite brilliant. Michael Broussard. If you can imagine a happy balance between Leniel Francis Yu’s light and dark styles, it would be just about like that. Every character has their own look and personality to them, which is a great thing to have. Some artists might take a short cut, but not here. Anyone who thinks that The Witchblade is strictly a cheesecake character should pick this up, you will be surprised.
If there’s one thing I’m concerned about, it’s the pacing. This issue was mainly set up, and quite a bit happened. But this is a 13 issue series. I hope such a decompressed story won’t cause the story to drag or move at a glacial pace.
If you’re new to the universe or an old fan, this book is certain to please. Pick it up.
Final Verdict: 7.5 – Buy