Glori and Finn have been rivals in some way for quite some time now. So if you thought that things would be different since the Top Cow Universe was altered by the Artifacts, then you’ll be either sadly mistaken or pleasantly surprised. Not only are they still enemies, but it seems as if only one of them actually remembers their time before the “end.” However, the goal is always the same: someone is after an Artifact and there’s a lot of money involved!
You may have heard of Top Cow’s Talent Hunt contest where three writers and two artists will have their works published. Many entered but only a few won, and one of those fortunate individuals was Hannibal Tabu. Here he delivers a self contained story that builds on the Finn/Gloria rivalry, and throws in a few twists that keep the story from turning into something we’ve seen before with these two. What’s actually great about this issue is that he writes Glori and Finn quite well, making them feel as familiar as if this was written by a Top Cow alum. There’s some really nice dialogue beats throughout, and though enjoyable, the sexual innuendos between Finn and Alisa get a bit tiresome. There’s also his subtle and unexpected reveal that not only Tom Judge and Jackie Estacado know that this world is different. A pretty huge plot point if you’ve been following the series, and if you haven’t then you need to start.
The visual storytelling is handled by Nelson Blake II along with Michael Oeming. Nelson handles the opening half of the story, and the first thing that is noticeable was that his style is a bit different here. It’s some very good work, though, just different from what he was doing in the Magdalena series a while back. Oeming handles a bit more of the faster pace and action oriented sequences in Tabu’s story, and there’s a noticeable shift in the tone as well. Mainly because the two styles are vastly different, though Oeming does his thing and keeps the battle fun to watch.
If you haven’t tried Artifacts yet, Tabu keeps most of the focus on Glori and Finn and gives you what’s important to enjoy the issue. For those that have been fans of the series, then you have nothing to worry about here either. Tabu’s writing does the characters justice, while Nelson and Oeming deliver the visual eye candy you’ve come to expect from them.
Till next time!