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There are thirteen artifacts that make up the Top Cow Universe. Two of those artifacts are: The Ember Stone and The Glacier Stone, which are fire and ice respectively. The Ember Stone seeks to unite the thirteen artifacts and bring about lots of nasty things to the world. Functioning as an opposite, The Glacier Stone needs to keep the artifacts away from each other. Either can harm or help another artifact. The Obsidian Stone, a.k.a. Pandora’s Box, like anything else in the Top Cow Universe, must have a bearer to unleash its chaos. Somehow, it’s not very comforting that Pandora’s Box isn’t as bad as the thirteen artifacts being together.
Broken Trinity is a prelude, if you will, to Top Cow’s Artifacts series coming out this summer. While the Artifacts series deals with all thirteen of the artifacts, Broken Trinity deals only with the bearers of the Ember and Glacier stones and their attempt to stop the possession of Pandora’s Box. Glorianna Silver bears the Ember Stone that allows her to transform into a dragon. Her opposing force of nature is one Michael Finnegan, an Irish gun-runner and the reluctant bearer of the Glacier Stone.
Enter Elias Legion, seeker of Pandora’s Box and leader of the Disciples of Adam (DoA). DoA is doomsday cult seeking Pandora’s Box to-go figure-remake the world in their image. Elias and his Cult know that Ember and Glacier are the only things that can destroy the Box. Because of this, the bearers are under constant attack from the Cult. The story begins with the brutal image of Silver burning her servants alive due to a recent attack from Elias. Trust does not come cheap and she can’t take any chances that one of them could be an assassin. Silver will do whatever she must to achieve her goals.
Finnegan, on the other hand, wants no part in the artifact “business”. He and Silver see eye to eye on just two things: 1) Neither likes the other and 2) Neither likes the Disciples of Adam. The two agree to part ways so they may look for Pandora’s Box on their own yet before they do, Silver offers to buy Finnegan’s Stone for ten million dollars. For Silver, it’s business, so the rejection of her offer is more akin to the first round of negotiations. Finnegan travels to Russia looking for a compass made by Rasputin, which can lead the owner to the Box. Meanwhile, Silver also finds herself in Russia meeting with a drug dealer with pertinent information.
This book covers a lot of ground, but a lot of it is forced. Writers Rob Levin and Bryan Edward Hill tell a story that is rich with details but devoid of personality. It’s a shame because the world is wonderfully crafted and the sense of a larger picture at work is obvious. The main characters of the book are one dimensional and not particularly interesting. Finnegan is the more interesting of the two, with his spotty past and criminal career, but he is inconsistent, personality wise. At times he’s confident and full of stereotypical Irish arrogance but the flip side of that is he knows nothing of the power he possesses or the world he’s involved in. What really fails for him is that he has nothing to motivate himself to find Pandora’s Box, yet he continues on that path anyways.
Silver is the typical strong business woman that doesn’t need a man or a personality. The writers attempt to make the people around her fearful of her power, which she’s anything but. She’s willing to give Finnegan ten million dollars for his stone, but the thought never occurs to her to spend that money on ten thousand men to kill him and take it. Nothing she does makes sense for a person of her wealth and power.
I would love to say that the art is amazing and saves the book, but it doesn’t. Sadly, the art is the worst part of it. Alessandro Vitti (Siege: Secret Warriors) does a consistent and good job with the book, but his style is assaulted by Sunny Gho’s coloring. The opening of Silver brutally destroying her servants in flame is completely ruined by the coloring. The foreground is decimated by the background; making it look muddled and smeared together because of the similarity of color tones used. Rather than the foreground looking brighter and the background looking darker, they end up the same tone and this leads to a confusing depth of field. The most insulting part is that the book has a great artist, working for a company known for its art, and they gave him a bad colorist to work with.
The thing this book has going is its fan base. Readers that enjoyed the first Broken Trinity or found Artifacts zero issue interesting will unquestionably like this story. Those that are coming into the universe for the first time will be offput by the characters and substandard coloring.
Overall Score - 4.6What image would a Doomsday cult make the world in? That is just beyond my comprehension. Follow Dustin on Twitter and ask him anything on FormSpring.