Review: Artifacts #38

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Artifacts #38

Artifacts #38: “Through a Glass Darkly”

Writer: Devon Wong
Artist: Isaac Goodhart
Colourist: Eddy Swan
Letterer: Troy Peteri
Editor: Betsy Gonia

Jackie Estacado, bearer of the Darkness, dreams of a time long ago when the Darkness and the Magdelena met once before.

It’s been a while since The Darkness graced the shelves.  Fans have been getting Estacado withdrawal.  So now Top Cow have gifted the fans with a tale of the Darkness (although not entirely Jackie himself) in this month’s Artifacts.  This is also the product of the 2013 Top Cow Talent Hunt winners so at least it’s good to hear from some new voices.

The story itself revolves around Benedetta – The Magdalena – which is probably to prepare new readers for the relaunch of the series.  At Comic-Con, Ron Marz revealed that he would be bringing back the Magdalena so it seems fitting that it’s featured so heavily this month.  The story is set in the seventeenth century when the Spaniards were exploring and claiming parts of the Americas.

Visually, it’s got a nice feel to it.  It looks like the illustrations you would find in an old religious text.  Magdalena’s costume is also a real treat in this.  It’s nostalgic of the series but somehow fits the time period of the 1670s as well.  The Mexican spirit is also beautifully done and the magic of the issue is well conveyed in each panel.  There seems to be some promise in these Talent Hunt winners so it’ll be interest to see where they go from here.

The lack of Jackie Estacado is a bit of a let down.  He frames the story and narrates throughout.  I appreciate that the Talent Hunt winners wanted an opportunity to play with a few of the Artifacts stars but the Magdalena story would have sufficed in itself.  Next month’s Artifacts is another Talent Hunt winner so it seems that the series will be following on in this vein for a short while.  It’s nice to see something new and I’m sure these new voices will be moving on to more exciting things.

Basically, this was an interesting concept and it’s always great to see the Magdalena getting an outing.  A nice prologue for what will hopefully be a swift return from the series.