Saturday, January 15, 2011

Review: Artifacts #3-4

Review of #0-2 here.

Issue #3


This issue was quite the whirlwind. There's an absolutely amazing sequence in the second half, with Aphrodite talking to several different Artifact bearers. My only gripe is that it's WAY too much info and too many characters at once. It's the kind of issue you'll be referring back to several times so you can remember characters' names and just what the heck they're doing in the series anyway. Also, Aphrodite's suddenly a much darker green than before.  Because they keep introducing new characters, they have to keep reiterating the main plot points. Since the issues are being released a month apart, if you're only reading them as they come out, it's a good refresher course. However if like me, you tend to re-read, it gets a bit... "We've done this!"
On a more positive note, the fight scenes in this are fantastic. Lots of fire, debris, and no gratuitous blood and gore.

There are character pages at the back of each issue, with thumbnails, history and description. This is a really handy reference, but it feels a bit like they're rushing so much with the story, even TC know that the characters are going to get lost in the plot development/reinforcement.
By now you should definitely know the following:
*There are thirteen Artifacts.
*The light and the darkness don't get along.
*Aphrodite IV looks awesome.
*The thirteenth artifact is the most mysterious and the most important.
*The defrocked priest Tom Judge was let out of hell and doesn't know how or why. Oh and also there's a horde of demons after him trying to drag him back.

The constant fight scenes and glowy artifacts make up for the repetitive exposition.

Onto the December 2010 issue...

Issue #4

Epic battles. Reiterating the mission statement. Lines are drawn. Is Aphrodite's hair shorter?

Oops, sorry, I got distracted. Basically, this issue is a bit more 'beat-you-over-the-head-with-the-storyline', jazzed up with some fighting, and then finishes with a twinkly supernatural cliffhanger. It's a bridging issue. Maybe if I'd read it after not just having re-read the previous 4 issues, I would have enjoyed it more. As it is, I'm kind of wishing I'd picked this up at the same time as Issue 5 so I can move onto the next interesting development.

Interesting: good mythology, some nicely rounded characters, mysterious bits.
Pretty: has great colouring, an awesome green-haired cyborg, and some flashy-but-not-gory fight scenes.
Cheap: 13 issues over a year, so you're not going to get bogged down whether you come in late, or start early and settle in for the long haul.

A bit repetitive, loads of exposition.
A bucketload of characters to keep up with.
There are several co-series that you'll be tempted by.

Pick up Issue #0 if you can, to help you decide whether or not this is something you'd want to read. I promise to do my best to review #5 shortly after I get it!

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