“Pandora’s Box pt 1”: This summer Top Cow is going to bring us their thirteen issue cross over event titled Artifacts, but before any of that happens you’ll want to get in on the ground floor with Pandora’s Box! For those that don’t know, there are thirteen artifacts of power scattered across the Top Cow universe, and while the Witchblade and Darkness are two of the most recognizable, it’s the Ember and Glacier ones that have come into play recently. Michael Finnegan was given the Glacier Stone by the Curator and was told that he is to stop anyone trying to collect all of the Artifacts; while Glori Silver has been raised to wield the Ember Stone and is charged with collecting all 13 Artifacts!
The story opens with Glori’s mentor and adoptive father Wulfgar giving her a history lesson about the two stones, and reinforcing the importance of her killing Finnegan and retrieving not only his Glacier Stone, but the rest of the Artifacts as well. We are then taken to Israel and introduced to the Disciples of Adam. They want to find and open Pandora’s Box because it’s time to “murder the world.” Damn! Our whirlwind world tour then takes us to Japan, where Finnegan is a little pissed off at his recent situation, but is there to learn control of the two Artifacts that have chosen him: the Glacier Stone and the Blood Sword, which is a katana similar to the Muramasa Blade. Kenshin Kawakami is the swordmaster tasked with helping Finnegan wield the objects and not the other way around, and he’s the man to do it as he was the previous wielder of the Blood Sword. During all of this the Disciples of Adam are busy in Russia killing to get to the Compass, and Glori awakes from a nightmare just in time to kill an assassin sent by them to kill Wulfgar. After a failed assassination attempt on Finnegan and Kawakami, they begin researching a symbol found on one of the bodies, when Glori walks in and reveals who is behind it all and that she and Finnegan need to talk…alone.
Levin and Hill start the ball rolling where we get enough of a recap without it being repetitive, and so much new information that it sets the reader up nicely for what’s to come. The issue read kind of fast due to a lot of action, but was balanced with enough dialogue that you got what was necessary to move the story, and it just wasn’t action for action’s sake. You get to see a bit more of the relationship between Glori and Wulfgar, and it seems as if it may be one sided; he sees her as a tool to get things done and nothing more, and she truly cares for this man who took her in and mentored her all these years.
I did have an issue with Finnegan’s dialogue, as other writers have written him with a heavy Irish accent and in this book it’s practically nonexistent. Little things like that irk me becuase though some may not see it, it’s still a valuable part of who that character is. It’s like someone writing Yoda and he’s not talking backwards. Visually, Allessandro’s artwork is good in the beginning of the story, but it doesn’t hold that shine all the way through, picking up here and there during some of the more intense sequences. However, what I think was a big plus for this book was the character index at the end that gives a bit of background on the people you meet in the story.
Broken Trinity: Pandora’s Box has potential and will set the pace for the big event later on, and right now Hill and Levin are on point with a good story! I’m curious to see how this plays out, as I’m not sure that Glori knows that Finn is in possession of two Artifacts as she’s been focusing on getting that Glacier Stone from him. Other than that we’ve got religious zealots, ninja, mystical creatures, and a high body count, so what else could you ask for?