Tom Judge has seen enough and understands that things have to finally be set right. He also knows that Jackie Estacado is the one responsible for how wrong things are in the world, and has decided to do something about it. So he’s gathered several Artifact bearers and they are going to take the fight to Jackie’s front door and confront the wielder of the Darkness to end it all. However, Jackie has some unexpected backup that makes this uphill battle just that much more steeper for the good guys.
This issue begins a new arc that the series has been building to since everything changed in Artifacts #13. There’s plenty of fast paced action as Marz’s script allows Sejic’s art to work its magic, and as usual these two deliver yet another quality issue in this series. Now, if you are thinking that Marz is rushing this big throw down, there’s a point in the story where Tom’s decision clicks and Marz has it make perfect sense. Though with this being the beginning of the new arc we know things won’t work out too well for the heroes. This allows Marz to show that some times getting your butt kicked can bring about some much needed clarity that wasn’t there before, which he cleverly weaves into the cliffhanger.
Sejic is one of those artists that brings out the visceral and truly bestial nature of the Darkness’s creatures, so whenever this character shows up you will be in for a treat every time. He keeps the story moving and the mood intense throughout the issue, while delivering some of the best creature designs in the series. There’s also the great panel and use of shadow when Aram is introduced to the team. It’s a simple panel, but a powerful one at the same time as the character gives his audience a brief introduction and Sejic ties it all in. There’s also the added bonus of a great costume redesign for the Magdalena which is practical and cool.
The consistency Sejic and Marz bring to Artifacts only reinforces how solid this series has been since the two became the primary creative team. They continue to surprise readers and keep things fun while building on this new Top Cow Universe, and you should definitely give it a shot if you haven’t experienced it already!