SDCC 09: Ron Marz Reveals Top Cow's 13 ARTIFACTS

Witchblade: Three Angelus? Angelui?

Top Cow announced today at San Diego Comic-Con that Ron Marz is writing the company's next big summer event for 2010: Artifacts.

"The 13 artifacts in the Top Cow universe tend to be the connective thread between a lot of the characters and the concepts. So this will bring virtually everything that's happening in the universe together by bringing these 13 artifacts together," Marz said of the 13-issue series. "The intention is to do this in a way that is, with the risk of sounding cliche, going to be the biggest, universe-changing story, in terms of permanent change. I don't know if we can tell a bigger story than this."

As fans of Top Cow know, "artifacts" are objects of power that are important to the publisher's supernatural world, particularly in the comics The Darkness and Witchblade.

"The Darkness and the Witchblade and the Angelus Force are collectively known as the trinity and are supposed to be the most important among all the artifacts," Marz explained. "The Darkness is the dark side, the Angelus is the light side, and the Witchblade is supposed to be the balance between the two of them. And the other 10 have been shown here and there on occassion. The Magdelena character carries one of them, which is the Spear of Destiny. And we introduced a couple new ones at the end of Broken Trinity.

"We've kind of been scattering these things through the books, and finally, this mini-series event is going to identify all of them and bring all of them together," he said.  "Finn is trying to stop the artifacts from coming together, but his opposite number is a woman called Gloriana Silver, who discovered the ember stone. Her obsession is to try to bring these artifacts together. And we've sort of given the idea that if these artifacts come together, it's not a good thing. This series is specific as to what happens when these artifacts come together."

As readers might notice, there are 13 artifacts and 13 issues -- and that's not a coincidence. "It's our intention to concentrate on one artifact per issue, but that might not be an absolute rule as we get into it because obviously, we want to make sure we get the story across in those issues," he said.

Artifacts will be the third act in a larger story that Marz has told through his last two crossover events for Top Cow, although Marz pointed out that this one is much bigger and has more implications than the prior ones.

"The last few years, Top Cow and I have done smaller-scalle crossover events. We did the first one, which was Sara Pezzini, who was the Witchblade bearer, having a baby. And last year we did Broken Trinity, which introduced some new characters and new artifacts into the universe," he explained. "Those were six-issue events, with three issues of the main title and three tie-in issues. So we generally kept these crossover things fairly small and manageable, as opposed to a huge Marvel or DC crossover, where you're talking about 30 or 40 books and $150 bucks or something like that.

"So we're essentially doubling the scale of what we're doing," Marz said. "It'll pull in a lot of different aspects of the Top Cow universe and the scope of it will be larger than any of the crossover events we've done before."

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