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April 14, 2012
 

Top Cow Reviews: Artifacts #16

Artifacts #16
Publisher: Top Cow
Writer: Ron Marz
Artist: Stjepan Sejic
Cover: Stjepan Sejic

The decision to have Artifacts continue as an ongoing series was a damn good one! Sejic and Marz continue to impress issue after issue, as we are pulled deeper into the universe-changing events that happened in Artifacts #13. Things are actually picking up pretty quickly as the fight from last issue continues! It’s a Rapture wielding Tom Judge verses a hive mind of Angelus warriors all claiming to be THE Angelus. After the fight and things have settled down, Tom is convinced that this new world and its changes are because of the Darkness host, Jackie Estacado. Now all he has to do is confront him for a little talk. It’s a good thing these guys aren’t known for their tact and subtlety, because in all honesty I’d rather see a brawl than a debate.

The issue’s opening is just as eye popping and jaw dropping as what’s happening to Dani in those few pages! Sejic continues to show that his artistic skills are a perfect fit for this supernatural heavy title. Sure, his scenes of normal people and everyday life look fantastic as usual. It’s when he gets to cut loose and give us various creatures and freaky dream sequences that you’ll be blown away even more. Each panel also moves and excels Marz’s script in a way that clearly demonstrates the synergy these two have. It’s not just about the pretty pictures and stylized poses, but the actual progression of the events in the panels. The visual storytelling here is some of the best in the business right now, and continues to take this series to new heights.

As far as the story goes, Marz has a pretty big sandbox to play in and he’s making the best of it so far. While actually pushing the story onward, he keeps finding a way to allow someone who may not have picked up the first issue to be comfortable while reading this. You don’t have to know a complete back story on these characters to enjoy Tom Judge battling Angelus warriors. It’s a fun issue that raises a few more questions regarding the Artifact bearers we haven’t seen yet, and what their involvement will be. There’s also the fact that Marz essentially had Jackie play God in Artifacts #13, and now things are starting to unravel. Even though Jackie’s motives weren’t entirely “evil,” they were completely selfish, so it will be interesting to see what Marz does with that later down the line.

When an issue you’re reading comes to an end and the first thing you say is “I can’t wait for the next one!”, you know the creative team has delivered! Marz and Sejic continue to do that here, and I’ve got hopes that Tom Judge and Jackie have one hell of a fight next issue!

Infinite Speech
infinitespeech@comicattack.net

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