REVIEW: Artifacts #9

Ron Marz | Art: Jeremy Haun | Colorist: Sunny Gho of IFS | Letterer: Troy Peteri | Publisher: Image Comics / Top Cow

Have you been reading this series and wondered “where did the artifacts come from?” or “what was the Survivor like before he ‘survived’ the end of his universe?”  Well, this issue answers those questions in part and even gives you a little more.  The review you are about to read has been tossed about in my head for a few days now and I know I’m going to take some grief for it, but I can only tell you what I think of it all.

This issue is one of those issues that is critical in telling the overall story, but as a long time fan of Top Cow and it’s various titles over the years I really don’t think *I* needed this issue.  Before I get in to my reasons behind that statement I want to say that this issue was probably one of my favorites of the series thus far.  This hit all the right beats and gave readers the explanation of why all of this is happening.  I think a lot of readers are going to finish up with this issue and have a big smile on their face because now they see what Ron Marz is building toward and why the Survivor is doing what he is doing.  All of the pieces are falling in to place, and this issue ends with readers knowing there’s going to be a big confrontation between Sara, Jackie, and the Survivor.

I feel the pacing of this series has been really good to this point despite my some of my earlier complaints about it being slow.  Looking back, those slower moments fit right where they are in the larger story.  I knew that would be the case, but being a fanboy I had to be overly critical.  My apologies to the creative team for not looking at the bigger picture.

The art in this issue by Jeremy Haun is really strong, some of the best work I’ve seen from Haun.  When he was announced as the artist for this 3-issue arc I was excited to see what he could do with these characters and Haun did not disappoint.  The attention to detail in the opening sequence is amazing.  The biggest artistic challenge of this series has obviously been having three artist work on this series who’s styles are not similar, but have a very cohesive look from the first issue to this issue.  My hat is off to Michael Broussard, Whilce Portacio, Jeremy Haun, and everyone else who has worked on the art.

Now, let me go back to my earlier statement of why I felt this issue was needed for the overall story, but not what I wanted to see.  I’m not going to be critical of the story itself because Marz developed the story he wanted to tell and it works perfectly for the story he is telling.  I just did not want this kind of “exact” origin of the artifacts.  I like the mystery of it all.  I enjoyed having that aspect of the unknown.  Again, this is just me, and I don’t think it is a bad thing overall, just as a fan I felt like I was getting Wolverine’s origin when I didn’t need it.  Does this explanation help define the Top Cow universe more and give it additional depth and ability for further expansion? I think so. Because even out of the Star Wars prequels we got a very cool Clone Wars animated series.

So, I’ll conclude this by saying this is a really good issue.  There is nothing I can find to complain about when it comes to the storytelling, the art, or the direction of this series as a whole.  I am really looking forward to seeing what comes in the next three issues and how this series continues with issue #14.  Ron Marz and company have yet to let me down, and don’t take my personal feelings about a story point make you think I’ve been let down.  It hasn’t because I want to see what happens next and that’s what great comics do – make you want more.


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