December 30, 2010

Top Cow Reviews: Artifacts #4

Artifacts #4
Top Cow
Writer: Ron Marz
Artist: Michael Broussard
Cover: Michael Broussard & Sunny Gho

Artifacts pt 4″: Sides have been chosen and with the appearance of the 13th Artifact bearer last issue, each group is set to task with finding and bringing him to their respective side. Though from the looks of him I don’t think the words “team” and “cooperation” are in this guy’s vocabulary. We also get the addition of several more characters as Magdalena comes in to investigate the deaths of the priests mentioned in the first issue. The clairvoyant Tilly Grimes shows up while  Sara and Jackie enlist the aid of the Necromancer, which was a character I was hoping would be worked into the story after reading Witchblade #137.

Marz wasn’t exaggerating when he said he wanted everyone in this series, as it’s beginning to get a bit crowded. However, he does keep the reader from being overwhelmed by the large cast and the story never loses its focus by getting too caught up in giving everyone the spotlight. With Artifacts being thirteen issues long, I’m sure everyone will get their time to shine. The story is still unfolding nicely and at a good pace, though we still don’t know exactly why the child of Sara and Jackie was kidnapped. I guess that’s just info Marz will reveal later on in the series. The fact that this cast is being written so well also shows that Marz has done his homework and paid attention, because he’s kept the essence of who these people are but just added his own flavor to it. With a script this good I’ll even let it slide that he killed a character this issue that I was really liking.

This is Broussard’s last issue of Artifacts and he’s done a fine job with the art in the series these past four issues. He’s brought the visual consistency needed for this story arc with a large group of characters that he’s never drawn before. Everyone has been recognizable from the start, and he told us in his interview that Tom Judge was a character he was most excited to draw in this series and it definitely has shown through. Though the two artistic high points in this issue for me were the two-page spread showcasing the characters representing each side and the death scene towards the end. With Broussard finished here, I’m pretty excited to see what project he’ll be on next.

Like in the previous issues we get a brief telling of another character/Artifact, and this one spotlights Ian Nottingham and the Blood Sword, which seems to be based off of the legendary Muramasa blade. Written by Marz with artwork from Artifacts‘ next artist, Whilce Portacio. We are also treated to a brief bio on several of the new characters that appeared in the issue, making it that much more easier and accessible to any newcomers to the series.

Marz and Broussard have blown the doors open and from the looks of who has shown up so far, I can’t wait until things really start kickin’ in the later issues. Someone is definitely going to get their butt handed to them for kidnapping Hope, and we still don’t know what the 13th Artifact bearer can do. So I’m definitely on board for the rest of the series. I’d suggest you get on board as well starting with the first issue, or waiting for the trade which collects the zero issue along with the first four.

Infinite Speech



  1. Billy

    Sounds like Marz is doing great with this series. Speech, would I need to read Magdalena or Witchblade to know what’s going on in this series?

  2. Nope. It seems as if Top Cow is crafting this to be an entry point for new readers since the fallout will change the scope of their universe. Reading Witchblade, Magdalena, or Darkness will just give you a bit more background info on the characters but other things are going on in those respective titles that don’t deal with Artifacts at all.

    I actually think the only tie in was in Witchblade which dealt with the fallout of a death of a character and it’s not an issue that you have to get to understand the main Artifacts story.

  3. Billy

    @Speech- Cool!

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