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Friday, March 18, 2011

My Week in Comics: Artifacts #6

For months, Top Cow has been laying the groundwork piece by piece for Artifacts, their sprawling mega-crossover event. You've met the players, you've seen how all the pieces fit, and here in Artifacts #6, you'll be seeing them punch each other senseless. As its supposed to be.

Last issue, Aphrodite convinced Cyberforce that the Artifact bearers are plotting to destroy the world, and promptly led the supergroup to Sara Pezzini and Co.'s doorstep. In the latest issue, this leads to one of the biggest smackdowns this event has seen yet, as both teams engage in a time-honored comic book tradition of fighting over a misunderstanding before teaming up! But with the discovery of the Thirteenth Artifact, what's in store for everyone involved?

Event architect Ron Marz is letting readers tread a little deeper into the Top Cow universe with this ish with the introduction of Cyberforce, the Thirteenth Artifact and the mysterious Big Bad. Artifacts has boasted of its newbie-friendly nature, where anyone who hasn't picked up a Top Cow book can jump in without feeling like they're late for the party. Here Marz lets loose a little and gives us a taste of the greater Top Cow experience. It almost makes you forget that most of this issue is just an extended fight scene.

Whilce Portacio continues art duties here, and he does it well enough. I do take issue with how rougher and scratchier his art has become in this particular book. It doesn't help that Joe Weems' inks doesn't give enough weight to Whilce's line art, which makes following the action all that much harder. It takes 'grim and gritty' to a whole new level!

Art issues aside, Artifacts #6 at least gave us a big enough payoff, and topped it off with some much-needed action. Six issues in and we're ready to see the story progress to what it's meant to become. This issue has kept me interested, which means it did its job. This gets a 3.5 out of 5.

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