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After a month of waiting, it’s finally here! The next installment of the Artifacts series and it almost hits all the great moments and art in the previous two issues… but it does lack some structure and does not live up to the first two issues. That does not mean it still isn’t a powerful issue full of wonderful artwork and colors. The battle is beginning in this issue as Sara and the others battle off evil demons and Aphrodite goes around the world assembling a team against her!
Ron Marz has the beginnings of a well-crafted story still in the assembling stage as well. This issue feels more like a filler leading up to the building tension. Hopefully, when we finally get to this “apocalyptic battle,” we are not disappointed. Finally, for the fans of the grittier side of comics, violence begins to erupt in the world of Artifacts. Unfortunately, the nice mixture of emotion and violence before falls short in this issue. It this issue is devoid of emotion and decides to focus solely on action and the creation of the new team.
Sara’s kidnapped daughter and killed sister are barely mentioned, but that may be a nod from the writer to read Witchblade #139 which capitalizes on Sara’s misfortune.And again, that month of waiting has erased parts of my memories of the past story. Sometimes I forgot newly introduced characters and when a man finally breaks out of prison I had no idea who he was. It is probably best to go back and read Artifacts #2 for a recap of the story, which is not such a bad thing since it was such a great comic!
There was a nicely done page going over the bearers of the Artifacts, which is good for people who do not know them but a lot to remember that will probably need to be referenced by readers multiple times in order for them to get the characters straight. Michael Boussard’s art is brilliant as usual, but there were not as many breathtaking full-paged images like in the previous issues. Also, Aphrodite was drawn in the same position for two pages straight and it made her seem robotic. He could have at least changed her position slightly so it does not look like he was just copying the previous page over again.
The colors still hold up about as strongly as they did in the previous issues. The colors perfectly coordinated with the art and the story. There best use was when the lights went out and the scene that was brightly lit just a panel ago became a grimly-lit atmosphere with a sense of impending danger bringing the tension directly to the reader.
This is still a very strong part to the Artifacts storyline that you shouldn’t skip. It helps you keep the characters straight with one page, and the violence that ensues is a great taste of the physical torment characters will face in future issues. Hopefully there will be more mentions of Sara’s daughter in the next issue, but for more of the emotional side to the story check out Witchblade #139 and the previous issue of Artifacts to recap. And if you can’t get enough, check out the Angelus mini-series.
Overall Score 9.0/10