Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Artifacts #2

Artifacts #2
Written by Ron Marz
Art by Michael Broussard, Rick Basaldua, Joe Weems, Sal Regla, Sunny Gho, and Dulce Brassea
Letters by Troy Peteri
Published by Top Cow
Review by Lan Pitts

"And I will find our daughter, and I will kill whoever took her. Because that's what I do." -- Jackie Estacado, the Darkness

To be blunt, Artifacts displays how mega events in comics should be done. With revealing the plot with a solid pace and not dumped in your lap, it becomes easy to access and enjoy without worrying or scratching your head in confusion. Last month's first issue of the thirteen-part series, Ron Marz set up his characters like one would on a chess board, with Artifacts #2, he really gets moving. With Marz having shaped or created most of the characters involved, they all have one solid voice. Nothing seems static or incohesive. The best part? You actually care.

The mystical nature of the Top Cow characters plays second fiddle to the characters themselves. The Angelus, Darkness and Witchblade may be the ultimate embodiment of their realms, but here they are Dani, Jackie and Sara, who all are worried about Hope's safety. Let's not forget about Tom Judge here. The priest who isn't so saintly. Again, it all goes with a natural, progressive flow. You aren't assailed vigorously with characters and meaningless dialog, but rather with moments and purposeful storytelling.

Michael Broussard's pencils and layouts are something to behold. He has a keen eye for detail and angle. For some reason, I hearkened back to how John A. Alonzo shot Chinatown. Every panel contains enough drama, intrigue, and emotion that once you see it, you can't help but pore over it and admire what he's done. Somewhat new on the scene, he's quickly becoming my favorite Sara Pezzini artist. From how he does her eyes, to her hair, just everything seems, for a lack of a better word, right. Sunny Gho has proven time and time again, he can handle Top Cow artists with the more kinetic styles, and his colors over Broussard set the tone perfectly.

Honestly, no offense to the other big events going on in comics, but something like Artifacts needs to come out to show an example of how independent books that are flooded with great talent can pull off an on par show, and at times exceed expectations.

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