Artifacts #2 Comic Review - www.impulsegamer.com -

Story 5.0
Art 7.5
Value 9.0
Total 7.2
Publisher: Top Cow Studios
Release Date: 9/29/2010 (US)
Reviewer: Lyz Reblin

7.2


Artifacts #2

What I love about Dark Horse (and yes Iím biased), is that with the exception of the B.P.R.D. universe, you do not need to know the other Dark Horse characters. Rex Mundi will never pop up in Criminal Macabre, Hellboy and the Goon never meet. Now I know there is a shift going on at Dark Horse in this direction (a possible Goon/Criminal Macabre may be in the works), but I am not fond of this move. Itís why I canít keep up with either Marvel or DC, too many character interactions. Now Top Cow Studios is doing the same. With Artifacts they are taking their well-loved characters and intertwining them into one story. 

At the beginning of the comic, for those that missed issue #1, there is a brief but clear synopsis. Artifact #2 starts off with Sara Pezzini/Witchblade coming upon the crime scene where her sister has been killed and daughter kidnapped by cyborg Aphrodite IV. There is a clash of forces as Hopeís (the kidnapped child) father, Jackie Estacado/Darkness comes to save his daughter. But Danielle Baptist/Angelus (no, not like in the Buffy universe) has also come to save the day. Can the powers of darkness and light work together in time to save Hope, who may be the key to the apocalypse? 

If you are familiar with the Dresden Files (preferably the books and not the TV series) then you may understand the connection I see between Sara Pezzini and Karrin Murphy. Both are strong policewoman and warriors in their own right, and though I dislike elements of the TV series, those two characters resemble each other. 

I was first introduced to Jackie Estacado about a month ago when I reviewed The Darkness: Four Horseman #1. In that comic, I found his character to be more interesting, or at least how he was drawn. His demons had personality; in this they all look the same. I was unaware, though, of his connection with Pezzini. 

Now this is not a new concept, to have a hybrid child. Nor are the reactions of the characters. Everything was rather predictable in the charactersí choices. There are also some questions posed in Issue #1 that are still not answered in Issue #2. However, this is a 13-part series. 

One thing I did like about the book itself was the value. Not only do they update you on what happened in the past issue, but each issue gives you backgrounds on one of the Artifact characters. The last issue was Witchblade, this one is the Darkness. For readers new to the series this helps them catch up with the universe. 

The artwork is nothing to be scoffed at either. I felt that I was reading more of a graphic novel, which has wider ranges of change in the pageís panels then comic books that try to flow slowly through their variations. This one jumped, not panel-to-panel which would have been disturbing, but page to page with bolder colors and then more subtle tones. This goes back to the struggle between the Light and the Darkness that is central to this entire story. Even the art reflects the themes. 

As one who was only aware of two of the Artifact characters (the Darkness and Magdalena) I did find the comic a bit over my head. But that doesnít mean I didnít enjoy it. As a single comic it does not hold up, but I think the overall story arc for the thirteen issues could be quite an exciting adventure.   






 
 



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