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June 14, 2012

Top Cow Reviews: Artifacts #18

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Written by: InfiniteSpeech
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Artifacts #18
Publisher: Top Cow
Writer: Ron Marz
Artist: Stjepan Sejic
Cover: Stjepan Sejic

Part 5 of the New Creation arc wraps things up, and if this is what we’ll be getting more of, then sign me up for the long haul! It seems as if Tom’s plan to put the Angelus on even terms against the Darkness has gone very wrong. Now, with a new host, the battle between the two is resumed, and the Angelus is going for the kill.

In Artifacts, Marz has taken a cast of characters that were usually regulated to special appearances or cameos, and built a solid story around them. As good as Witchblade was with this creative team, and no matter how cool The Darkness is, there was always that desire see more of the obscure characters that helped round out the supernatural element of Top Cow’s universe. Even if you were one of the people unfamiliar with either Tom Judge or Tilly Grimes, it wouldn’t matter, because Marz has made this title new-reader friendly, and you don’t need to have decades of back story knowledge to enjoy it.

With this issue, Marz establishes the new Angelus, and things start to take shape as we see where everyone stands by the issue’s end. There’s also a bit of a heart to heart (as much as there can be) between Jakie and one of his Darklings. Jackie doesn’t have anyone that he can trust, and since the Darklings know the truth, it makes perfect sense that Marz would have the imps act as a sounding board for Jackie. There’s also the hint that even though Tom Judge doesn’t agree with what Jackie has done, in the end he wants everyone to come out of this alive. Whether Tom has a change of heart as the story progresses, we’ll have to wait and see.

The book is visually one of the best on the shelf, hands down. Sejic continues to put some of his best work in these pages, and he takes full advantage of Marz’s script whenever he can. The guy doesn’t need to impress with double page spreads, but when he can fit one in it’s always a jaw dropper! Whenever an artist breaks a panel but makes it just as much a part of the artwork as what’s inside, it always makes for a fuller visual experience. And that is exactly what Sejic gives you!

Artifacts didn’t restart this corner of the Top Cow universe with gimmicks like changes of a long time character’s ethnicity, sexual orientation, or gender. It’s the continuous strong art and storytelling that have kept this title above many. If you have yet to check it out, then take some time to do so.

Infinite Speech
infinitespeech@comicattack.net

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