Posted on September 24, 2013 AT 07:41pm
The ever-growing world of the Artifacts universe is getting more and more intense as Jackie Estacado and his artifact, the Darkness, begin to push further and further into the world that he created after the events of previous arcs. This isolated issue focuses on a new face in the Artifacts universe, that of Rafael, a young man who seemingly has nothing to do with the fight against Jackie and the Darkness, though with this world, that isn’t likely.
This issue shows a growing intensity in this series. After the “Rebirth” arc over a year ago, things have not gone in favor of Tom Judge and the crew of the “good guys” that mainly meet at Tom’s church. Since then, they’ve seen Jackie Estacado re-create the world in his image, sparking a war between Estacado, Judge, and some of the changed artifacts bearers that want things to go back to the way they were, or to at least stop being so insane. This leads to yet another salvo in the ongoing struggle between the two factions, this time with Jackie swinging a surprise blow that may wind up being more important than it looks.
Ron Marz has been at this book since the very beginning, building a massive world full of very dynamic characters and incredible powers. This makes for some engaging stories, but also for some complicated plots. This issue is part of a huge, overarching story, and is definitely not a recommended jumping-on point. The story is well written, however, with lots of great characterization and progression. This issue was a bit heavy on action, though, so dialog was a bit weak.
Stjepan Sejic is the usual artist on this book, but this time, a new face comes in. Jung-Geun Yoon is the artist for this issue, and while Yoon takes on a similar style to Sejic, it’s not quite the same. Sejic’s oil-painted art style always looks incredible, but this looks like a rushed version of the usual Sejic style. Many of the images look a bit more blurred and distorted, with some interesting character choices taken for some of the main cast. This isn’t something that breaks the issue by any means, and Yoon’s work is still incredible, but when put up against Sejic’s work, it can’t exactly match up.
Summary: With some good but not great artwork and an action heavy story, this issue of Artifacts reaches a scale that is entertaining but not overly impressive. Every issue is incredible visually, and while this is still great, the absence of Stjepan Sejic is very noticeable. With this series coming to a major turning point in the near future, however, things in the Artifacts universe are going to get even crazier very soon.
Pros: Great plot progression, character development
Cons: Weak dialog, lack of normal artist in very noticable
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