“Artifacts pt 5”: Back when we first heard that Whilce Portacio would be taking over artistic duties starting with this issue, I had a pretty good idea of which characters would be appearing in this arc. That knowledge still didn’t prepare me for the amount of mind blowing fun that I had while reading this issue of Artifacts! Marz and Portacio keep things moving pretty fast here, as yet several more players are introduced into the story. Enter Cyberforce, and if you’ve been itching to see them like I have, then just know that the wait is over and well worth it!
Aphrodite infiltrates the base of Cyberforce and seeks their aid in stopping a certain group of Artifact bearers from gathering and destroying the universe. While at the same time, Sara, Dani, and Jackie are recovering from an explosion that took the life of someone they thought would have some answers for them. Now they’re stuck scratching their heads and unsure of what to do next. It does seem as if someone has a plan of action, and it involves finding the elusive 13th Artifact bearer. Too bad he’s now on the move after racking up a body count, but little does he know that he’s being hunted by the bad guys, who seem to be several steps ahead of our heroes.
Each issue of Artifacts has been better than the last, and with Marz throwing Cyberforce into the mix it’s definitely a game changer. Their introduction into this event was perfect and gives the series a breath of fresh air. The dialog throughout the issue is as sharp as it ever was, and you get to see the contrast between the actual team and the group of heroes that are just thrown together. It was also good to see Sara and Jackie more determined to find their daughter, and the bit of conflict it causes within the group. Even with that I’m hoping that we get an issue that shifts focus to the bad guys and explains things from a different perspective.
I was sad to see Broussard’s time on the series come to an end, but Portacio brings just as much bang to each page as his predecessor. Every single action scene just looked visceral and intense, especially when Sara came face to face with the woman who kidnapped her child! That same energy was in several of the panel layouts which enhanced the artwork inside and made everything just pop! Even though there were a couple of parts that didn’t quite sit well with me, the overall book looks great, and anyone who had doubts about the change in artists should just put those thoughts to rest.
As with the previous issues of Artifacts, we are treated to an origin story written by Marz, and this one is drawn by John Tyler Christopher who is responsible for some of those fantastic variant covers. This particular one focuses on Glorianna Silver, the bearer of the Ember Stone, and I’ll be the first to say that two pages just wasn’t enough to show off J.T.C.’s gorgeous artwork! The team members of Cyberforce also are given a brief intro to any new fans or maybe old ones who have been away for a while. Either way, Artifacts continues to be new-reader friendly while giving longtime fans something new for some of their old favorites.