Roundin’ up the Herd – Previous Three Months
Welcome to the sixth edition of Roundin’ up the Herd, UTF‘s monthly guide to the Top Cow Universe. In this column you’ll find issue summaries, reviews, rampant speculation and yes there will be spoilers.
In the Top Cow Universe there are 13 Artifacts of supernatural power. If brought together they can destroy the world. They were. And they did. Now there’s a new universe in place of the old one, where things are similar but not quite the same.
Current Artifact Wielders
• Witchblade (Sara Pezzini)
• Darkness (Jackie Estacado)
• Angelus (Finch)
• Spear of Destiny (The Magdalena)
• Blood Sword (Unknown)
• Glacier Stone (Unknown)
• Ember Stone (Unknown)
• Pandora’s Box (Unknown)
• Rapture (Tom Judge)
• Wheel of Shadows (Unknown)
• Heart Stone (Rachel Harrison)
• Coin of Solomon (Unknown)
• 13th Artifact (Unknown)
Jackie Estacado the leader of the Estacado crime family, created a brand new universe with everything he ever wanted, but now it’s starting to crumble around him.
The Doppelganger, current bearer of the Darkness:
Go after them. Spread the word. The Darkness is coming.
The Estacado‘s and the Darkness are squarely in the line of fire when it comes to the recently revealed, “Ancient Ones” who seem primed to conquer or destroy everything. As we find out more about them questions linger regarding the rebirth of the Top Cow Universe and the direct impact it did or did not have on their ultimate release.
• The “Ancient Ones“
– They’re known to sorcerers but until the destruction and Re-Birth of this universe they were banished.
– Balakov is a pawn that’s possessed by one.
– Similarities to the Corruption Cataract are very apparent.
– There’s mention of portals where more of them can come through.
• Aram has not picked a side, yet, as far as we know.
• Hope showed off a glimpse of some serious power in the final panel of this issue.
• Meanwhile the Doppelganger is amassing power.
This may have been a rather light month, but The Darkness kept the lifeblood of the Top Cow Universe flowing rather nicely. With the revelations regarding the “Ancient Ones” we now know that something sent them away but following the weakened foundations of this Universe, they’re back and ready to do what they need in order to usurp power. The end result is many of our heroes and their loved ones being put directly in the crossfire.
Beyond all that though, we have the Doppelganger gathering up power for his own ends while Hope is on the verge of displaying some serious might of her own. And just to remind everyone, in Chicago Sara Pezzini is fighting people that seem to be on a whole different level than anything’s she’s ever had to deal with before. So in short there’s a lot going on and longtime fans should be very pleased. But the question is what happens next?
In December, Top Cow fans can look forward to the continuation of “Blood Rites” in Artifacts #23, the continued exploration of the tech-side of things in Cyber Force #2, an endless journey into madness via the “Breaking Dark“ arc in The Darkness #109 and they can also sink their teeth into a one-in-done story “Black Cat” in Witchblade #162.
The Darkness #108
Written By: David Hine
Art By :Jeremy Haun
Cover By: Jeremy Haun
Description: “BREAKING DARK,” PART Three
Jackie Estacado’s world has been crumbling around him and he fears recent events may drive his wife, Jenny, to the brink of insanity. But will Jackie be able to hold it together when he receives even more tragic family news? DAVID HINE (THE DARKNESS: FOUR HORSEMEN, THE BULLETPROOF COFFIN) and JEREMY HAUN (ARTIFACTS, Detective Comics) follow up their horrific first arc with a four-part story that will make you question everything you think you know about the Top Cow universe.
Bottom Line: The Darkness #108 is a splendidly realized issue that forges an interesting future for the Top Cow Universe while revealing some answers to the many questions still facing all the characters therein. Highly recommended.
Click here to read the full review.
Witchblade: Demon Reborn #4
Art By: Jose Luis
Covers By: Dennis Calero and Jae Lee
Description: The Demon finally has Sara Pezzini and the Witchblade where he wants them: in the pits of hell. To get back home to her family, Sara must fight through a legion of the Witchblade’s victims. She must also finally defeat the Demon himself. The Demon is just as motivated. At stake is a place in the hierarchy of hell’s bureaucracy, vs. an eternity of perpetual torment. All-out, hellish action in the final chapter in this twisted tale of revenge and redemption.
Bottom Line: Witchblade: Demon Reborn #4 doesn’t quite live up to the original one-shot but this final issue is strong enough to earn a recommendation in its own right.
Click here to read the full review.
That does it for this rather brief edition of Roundin’ up the Herd, thank you for once again reading my rants and raves. Please leave any feedback, thoughts, suggestions or general ideas in the comments section below.