Who would have known that during the Witch Hunt story arc there would be a character introduced that would have such a huge affect on the Top Cow Universe? Well, in the same vein as last issue we’re treated to several new reveals, and I dare any longtime reader of Witchblade to say that they saw this coming. Things also heat up on Jackie and Sara’s end as they get closer to getting Hope back. Though it’s going to be interesting to see how they get past the seven powerful bad guys that want to stop them.
When you consider how strong the writing has been for the past adrenaline pumping nine issues, it’s nice that we can get a great slower paced issue without the huge fight scenes and splash pages. We’re allowed to catch our breath after everything that’s been going on since the first issue, and it’s a welcomed pace, if you ask me. There’s been assassinations, kidnappings, betrayals, and a lot more, but now Marz is giving us the reasons behind it all, while also showing that most of this looks like it’s been in the making since he came aboard the Witchblade title years ago. Maybe I’m right and maybe I’m not, but if you go back it seems as if almost everything has led to this event. Making this issue (along with the previous one) more of a payoff for the longtime fans, as they would be the ones to get the most out of the recent reveals. Marz also touches briefly on the background of the thirteenth Artifact bearer and how he acquired his power. This was a welcome sequence since I expected it to come much later in the series as it will be an ongoing now. It’s nice to see Marz is getting this out of the way now, and hopefully we’ll be treated to several more issues that go in depth about this new character and his power.
Again, Jeremy Huan opens the book with some fantastic panels. From the Cyberforce and Hunter Killer teams finishing off the last of the Aphrodite cyborgs, to that first page of Ji XI’s origin that hits you in the face and is just cool in its simplicity. After the origin, things weren’t as spectacular, and the scene with a reunited Jackie, Sara, and Hope felt a bit flat to me. It looked as if they were posing for a family portrait instead of finally finding their lost child. Considering the circumstances around her disappearance and everything Sara has been through, you would have thought that this would have been a stronger scene in terms of the visuals. Though the very next page is damn near perfect, as Huan shows a bit more personality from their reunion. I’ve been called “crazy” and “ignorant” for not enjoying Huan’s artwork as much as Broussard’s and Portacio’s, but his style just may not be for me.
Artifacts is still one of the better written and focused events to come out in the past few years without a doubt. Foregoing the standard of a pile of time and money wasting tie-ins, this series has been able to stay strong and fun. Now, with everything that’s been revealed in the last two issues it’s going to be very interesting to see how Marz plays this thing out. Who’s going to win in the end, and will there be a decisive outcome? Will Tom Judge open up a can of whoop ass soon? How high will the body count get? Those are just a few, but through all of the killing, fighting, and Artifact gathering I can’t help but feel mostly sorry for poor old Gleason. If you’re a reader of Witchblade then you already know what I’m referring to, and if not then check it out. And don’t forget to check out this issue which hits comic shops this Wednesday!
Review copy provided by Top Cow.