The positive reviews coming from everyone about this comic baffle me. The dialogue from everyone at secret-headquarters is terrible and the characters mostly act way out of character. The only redeeming qualities are the art and the interactions between Sara and Jackie – both still having their own flaws. And warning, there will be spoilers.With the Hunter-Killer headquarters under attack by several hundred Aphrodite VI's with the combined effort of Cyber Force, the Artifacts' bearers and Hunter-Killer are put to the test of battling against them. During this massive fight Sara and Jackie go off on their own, with the help of Jackie's shadows, to find their kidnapped daughter Hope.Right away in the secret-headquarters there are plenty of problems with the dialogue affecting the flow of the story and hurting our established perception of the characters. Ron Marz writes Velocity's dialogue shakily with some humorous and cocky dialogue that fits her attitude but gives her some dialogue that gives her an oddly dark attitude, completely contrasting her usual behavior. She 'jokes' about leaving one of her allies – Interface, who she met in the Velocity mini-series – behind because she doesn't like her. Only a page or two later we see her helping her ally begging the question of why she made the unfunny joke in the first place followed by Velocity asking herself why she is helping people she doesn't like. This attitude makes Velocity come off as harsh instead of her usual fun Flash-like demeanor. Other characters have similar fates with their poor and pointless dialogue.
To nit-pick even more, some of the fire Artifact bearers' dialogue was actually misspelled, like "Here" instead of "There" and "were" instead of "we're." This doesn't hurt the story but makes the comic appear unprofessional since it features such blatant disregard to the English language from the editors.All moments between Sara and Jackie were wonderful with some humor, but there was mostly a somber approach reflecting Sara's pain of losing her daughter. The ending moment with Sara and Jackie would have been nothing short of beautiful with surprisingly beautiful artwork from Portacio that wasn't action based, with a tender kiss between the two, a romantic setting sun... and Jackie grabbing Sara's ass, almost completely ruining the tender moment that made the comic worth reading just by itself. The kiss makes sense, with Sara in such distress over her daughter and with it continuing the emotional vein that this crossover has done well with so far.
The action-packed artwork was strong as usual since it is coming from the master of action himself, Whilce Portacio. There are weird artwork choices, like characters' eyes that look closed half the time, but the battles were enough to ignore that and enjoy the carnage on the page instead. It's awesome to see Aphrodite VI's robotic remains drawn well; this helps make her character seem like a genuine threat. Colorist Sunny Gho continues to improve the series in the non-action scenes with great lighting choices never seeming unrealistic.There are still hiccups with Portacio's artwork. Sometimes the characters have odd facial features, and when we're forced to focus on them speaking rather than the action, this becomes very noticeable. An entire page has all the fights in their own little panel when it needs to cover more space. One image is re-used with some dialogue slapped over it to make it look appropriate, when the rest of the panels could have just been enlarged to make the scene end less awkwardly and would have had more of an impact without dialogue.The art and colors make this issue surprisingly beautiful throughout. The ending is hurt a bit by the ass-grab but otherwise the romantic twist with Sara and Jackie is great and better than any of the action. The dialogue between everyone else is bad, diminishing characters like Velocity. The plot has moved forward at a snail's pace and the series really could be shorter if the plot could move a little faster. At this pace I'm not sure the story will even be completely finished by the last issue. This issue is better than the last by a lot but is still messy.For more reviews of this highly awaited crossover, choose an issue from below.Artifacts #2Witchblade #139Artifacts #3Artifacts #4Artifacts #5Artifacts #6Artifacts #7
An all-around nerdette, I’m a comic book connoisseur, horror aficionado, video game addict, anime enthusiast and an aspiring novelist/comic book writer. I am the head of the comic book department and the editor-in-chief of Entertainment Fuse. I also write and edit articles for Comic Frontline. I am also an intern at Action Lab Entertainment, a comic book publisher at which I edit comic book scripts, help work on images in solicitations and help with other comic book related project. My own personal website is comicmaven.com.