Artifacts #29 Review

Can this one-shot arc prove to be a worthwhile addition to the franchise?  Read on to find out.

The official description from Image:

Rapture bearer Tom Judge is trapped in Hell. The only problem? He’s forgotten where he is. It will be up to Tom’s partner and numeromacer Tilly Grimes to save Tom from Hell. Perfect for the casual reader and the devoted fan of the Top Cow universe, this standalone one-shot reveals the never before told story of how Tom Judge first acquired his doomed burden to keep the universe in balance.

Top Cow fanboys and fangirls have been waiting patiently to find out how Tom Judge escaped Hell way back in Artifacts #1 and guess what?  We have our answer.  It might not be the one you’re expecting but the creative team behind this brief little interlude does a masterful job nailing some serious plot points while making them blend seamlessly with the cannon that we already know.

Phil Smith steps in for this release as the author does a wonderful job filling in this bit of history.  If people didn’t already know, in this shared universe when you die everyone goes to Hell, it doesn’t matter if you were a good person or a bad one we all just end up there.  So following his death way back in Witchblade #78, our hero has been left adrift in his own madness and the scribe perfectly captures that emotion as he emulates the core mechanics of the series to great success.

The art by Kalman Andrasofszky has its share of ups and downs.  Overall his interpretation of the characters is spot on but the visualization of the Conductor and aspects of Tilly Grimes leave something to be desired.  The talent’s implementation of an almost minimalist style evokes just enough authentic material to make this body of work accessible to potentially hard to please followers.

Artifacts #29 is an interesting comic that exists as a single jaunt that’s not looking to add any new readers, as it thrives with the intention to share a good tale that needed to be told.  Recommended.


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