Ever since things changed in the Top Cow Universe, it seems as if the only ones that know the truth are Jackie Estacado and now Tom Judge. With this knowledge no longer exclusive to Estacado, his plans are now in jeopardy. However, the focus of this issue is on Tom Judge and Tilly Grimes as he attempts to explain that the world they are now living in is wrong somehow. What’s also bothering him is that no one is in possession of their original Artifacts.
Though several things about Top Cow’s world have changed, it’s good to see that Marz and Sejic haven’t. Their work is just as great here as it was during their Witchblade run, and in some cases even better. Marz gets to play with a larger cast of characters in Artifacts, and it’s good to see fan favorites Tom Judge and Tilly Grimes in the forefront. Somehow Marz has also been able to make Judge seem more of a tortured soul than he was before. Mostly in part due to the Rapture shaped scar on his chest and the mystery behind it. Since the hand responsible looks pretty effeminate I’m hoping Marz has someone important behind the wound. The twist regarding the power of the Angelus was a nice and unexpected touch, as well.
As can be expected, Sejic makes this book look fantastic. Since there’s a heavier supernatural element here, that means we’ll hopefully get more creatures to marvel at on a regular basis. His monster designs are some of the best and usually steal the show, so the more of them the better. Even the Darklings and Angelus designs that we’ve seen before have something new each time that keeps them fresh when they show up.
You remember how awesome Marz and Sejic were on Witchblade? Well, they’ve taken that same energy and are making Artifacts one of the better ongoing titles from Top Cow. There have been some great artist/writer pairings throughout the history of comics, and because of their consistency in quality storytelling, Sejic and Marz deserve to be named among them.