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Review: Artifacts #1

Top Cow goodness!

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If the thirteen artifacts come together, it will bring on the destruction of the universe... And obviously, some evil entity wants this to happen. Can all of the top players in Top Cow's universe stop this from happening, or does it mean the end? 
Before we get started, I'll say this. Sometimes, you have to dive right in, head-first, into a book without knowing any back-story or history of a comic. This is me with Artifacts. I read issue 0, and I am currently reading Magdalena, but other than that, I've never had a chance to read any of Top Cow's books. I went in knowing little-to-nothing. And although many people may wonder why a person reviewing this giant story arc would do this, there are many people out there who know nothing about this universe, and this could be their first Top Cow book as well.

The Good

Wow... just wow. As stated in my pre-cursor to the review, I know very little about what's going on in the book. Luckily, Ron Marz did a great job of making everything in this universe easy to understand and explained just enough not to annoy the hardcore fans, but give enough to the new reader so some of us didn't feel lost and confused. Ron Marz's writing is solid, engaging, and leaves you wanting more. The art, pencils by Michael Broussard, inks by Rick Basaldue & Sal Regla, and colors by Sunny Gho are what really pulls everything together for me. It has a great, distinct style that's easy on the eyes, yet full of detail. In addition, there are some great bonus pages in the back including a quick recap on the Origin of Witchblade and a list of the key players in this book.

The Bad

I was a little lost on who everyone was and what the deal was with all of the artifacts, and who some of these people were. I've heard of Darkness and Witchblade before, but the characters Tom Judge and Aphrodite IV were completely new to me and I was still a little confused even after reading the text about them in the back of the issue.

The Verdict 4.5/5 - PICK OF THE WEEK!

100% enjoyable. There's lots of great stuff going on in this book, even if I'm completely confused. Ron Marz has been a writer under my radar for a while because I never got off my butt to read his stuff. Out of the two things I've recently read by him (This and Magdalena) he's two for two. It's wonderful to see another company do a giant cross-over story arc with their characters, and not just one or two appearing in each other's books, and even though this is only the first issue, and a lot of set-up, I have a feeling this book is going to be huge.