Publisher: Top Cow
Writer: Ron Marz
Artist: Jeremy Haun
Cover: Dale Keown
As Artifacts enters its third chapter, Ron Marz pulls back the curtain and we finally get to see the reasons why all of this is happening. When Top Cow kicked off this event we were told that bringing together all 13 Artifacts would have destructive universal consequences. This issue shows us that the statement wasn’t just hype, and if the heroes don’t want the same thing to happen to their world they’ll have to move pretty fast to stop it.
When compared to the earlier issues this one seems a bit slower paced, which is greatly appreciated since it gives us time to catch our breath and settle in for what’s next. Marz has also made the villain a bit more complex by casting him in that grey area of good and evil. And speaking of complex, there’s the matter of Sara and Jackie’s relationship which just took an interesting turn. Maybe you saw it coming or maybe you didn’t. Either way the fallout should make for some great pages in both The Darkness and Witchblade titles.
Jeremy Haun’s artwork is pretty new to me, so I didn’t know what to expect in this issue. His opening sequence with the cityscapes and the destruction of the universe was very impressive and set a great tone for the story. It was during the sequence with Mali and Abby that things were visually less interesting. Now, I could be mistaken, but Mali is usually a very large and physically imposing demon from what I’ve seen of him. However, he’s only a couple of feet taller than the average size man in Huan’s depiction of him. Things did pick up at various points as the book progressed, but it just didn’t reach that level of cool I felt when I opened the book.
By now you may have heard that Artifacts will become an ongoing series from the soon to be former Witchblade team of Marz and Sejic. With this news I’m hoping we still get some form of finality with the 13th issue along with some jaw dropping moments before we move into the series. Though, for now, Artifacts is still rockin’ by sticking with the fundamentals: A great story backed by a talented art team.