Review – Artifacts #1

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Artifacts #1 COVA_stampedHoly shit.  Really, if I could get away with just those two words for an entire review, I think they’d suffice for the start of this Top Cow epic.  I had some hopes for Artifacts #1, and this mega-event involving the various characters of the Top Cow universe, and boy did this deliver.

The Event FIVE Years in the Making!
Thirteen mystical Artifacts, including the Witchblade, the Darkness and others, guide the fate of the Top Cow Universe. For centuries, it’s been whispered that bringing together all 13 Artifacts would herald mankind’s destruction. But a mysterious figure has been manipulating events, laying plans to put Armageddon into motion. The final phase begins here, with the abduction of Hope, the daughter of Sara Pezzini and Jackie Estacado. What ensues will remake the entirety of the Top Cow Universe, from the Witchblade and the Darkness, to the Angelus, Magdalena, and countless others. Artifacts #1 is the perfect place for faithful readers to see their loyalty pay off, and for new readers to experience the Top Cow Universe.

The story by Ron Marz and art by Michael Broussard just kicks so much ass.  The story brings together everything that the grand architect of the Top Cow universe, Ron Marz has been setting up for a while now.  We’re started off straight away with some great action, that just shows this is going to be a big summer popcorn movie (in a good way) in comic form.  Broussard’s art compliments the story, with great angles, scenes, just everything.  So much about this screams top notch.

Even if you know nothing about the Top Cow universe, Marz is able to write this first issue so that a new reader can pick it up and read it right away.  The ending is a shocker, my jaw dropped and the folks surrounding me on the DC metro took a step back as I uttered “holy shit.”

You want a big action event, with some great characters and really cool story?  Look no further than Artifacts #1.
Plot: Ron Marz is the man (will someone please tell him I said so in person at SDCC?).  The story starts off with a bang and ends in a shocker.  Rarely does my jaw drop while reading a comic and this achieved it.  There’s also a back up feature covering the history of Witchblade and the Top Cow universe players for those new to the story.  But, Marz is so good with his writing you can understand and enjoy this first issue without reading any of that.  Bravo and well done. Rating: 9.5

Art: Michael Broussard knocks the art out of the park.  I was reading my preview issue on my iPad and actually had a crowd form around me to check out the art.  It alone sold the series to the two folks who asked what I was reading.  I’ve never had that happen before in the few weeks of reading while riding the DC metro.  Kudos also go to Rick Basaldua and Sal Regla on the inks and Sunny Gho of IFS who handled to colors.  Rating: 9.25

Overall: It’s tough for big events that crossover a bunch of characters.  They either soar or sink.  This one does the former, and then some.  I can’t recommend this comic enough.  It’s an impressive feet when I finish a comic and I’m disappointed the next issue isn’t in front of me right away for me to read.  I guess I’ll just have to suffer until next month to see if Marz and crew can top themselves.  Overall rating: 9.5

Recommendation: Buy

Page count: 32 pages    Price: $3.99     Release: 7/28/2010

Top Cow provided Graphic Policy with an advance copy of this issue for FREE for review.