Artifacts # 1
Publisher: Top Cow, July 2010
Writer: Ron Marz
Interior Artists: Michael Broussard, Marc Silvestri, Rick Basaldua, Sal Regla, Sunny Gho of IFS, and Troy Peteri.
Well, here we go! Fans of Witchblade, Darkness, and Angelus, will have undoubtedly been looking forward to this event. And, lets not forget the Magdalena and Broken Trinity fans, as all these characters will have a role to play in the upcoming months.
This series is supposed to bring together, for better or worse, the 13 artifacts. Within the TCU (Top Cow Universe) exists 13 Artifacts: The Witchblade, Darkness, Angelus, Spear of Destiny, Wheel of Shadows, the Rapture, Blood Sword, Glacier Stone, Ember Stone, Heart Stone, Coin of Solomon, and two other unnamed artifacts. As we know, many of these artifacts already have bearers, and others are up for grabs. All we really know for sure, is that if these 13 Artifacts are all brought together at the same time, something really bad happens... like the end of all existence, type of bad.
This issue opens with Sara and her partner Patrick confronting some sort of Hell Spawn who's hovering over the body of an injured priest, and muttering, "This is not the one either." Sara confronts the demon, only to be attacked. Sara and the Witchblade quickly respond, killing the entity, who's corpse quickly dries up and blows away in the wind.
In the meantime, Tom Judge has escaped from Hell, carrying the Rapture. He's mysteriously drawn to the Curators shop, who tells him, "You have been summoned to oppose whoever means to gather the thirteen artifacts." And, also gives us readers, new and old alike, some more insight into the 13 artifacts.
Now, I feel I must take a moment here, my patient reader, to let you know that some serious and disturbing spoilers lie ahead. So, If you were planning on picking this book up, and want the thrill of reading it anew, please stop here, and go get yerself a copy. But, if you don't mind hearin' what happens next, please read along.
While Sara and Patrick were fighting the Demon in the Church, Sara's sister, Julie, "Jules" was babysitting Hope (Sara's daughter, who happens to to be the offspring of the Witchblade and the Darkness) in a nearby Manhatten park. And, after riding the Carousel they approach a certain green haired balloon vendor, who turns out to be none other then Aphrodite IV. Aphrodite quickly draws a large caliber pistol from her belt, and shots Julie point black in the head, splattering her brains all over the sidewalk. With "Jules" apparently dead, Aphrodite quickly kidnaps Hope, and walks away. This was really heartbreaking.
5 out of 5 Stars. Wow! What a great start. This issue is very well written, and seems to find a perfect balance between being accessible to new readers without overloading long time fans with info they already have. Broussard's artwork has grown immensely since just a year ago, and really shines here. Silvestri's pencils in the back-up story on the Origins of the Witchblade (a very nice touch, and great additon, by the way) are stunning. I can't wait to sink my teeth into the next twelve issues!