The World Doesn’t End in 2012. It Ends in 2011:
Countdown to ArtifactsNewsarama Note: This is the official prologue to the upcoming series Artifacts. The team at Top Cow Productions brings us an exclusive inside look at each of the mystical Artifacts, as Sara Pezzini, Danielle Baptiste, and Jackie Estacado give their unique perspectives on the sources of power. Come back each week for more information on the other Artifacts. Part 1 began with the Trinity looking at their own sources of power, and the exclusive first two pages of Artifacts #1, and can be read by clicking here.
Now in Part 3, they take a deeper look at Angelus, discuss the mysterious curator, and introduce the one chronicling these conversations.
Separately, 13 Artifacts guide the fate of the universe. Together, 13 Artifacts will end the universe.
This summer, Top Cow Productions, Inc. kicks off the 13-issue world shattering event series with Artifacts #1. The first chapter, presented by writer Ron Marz and artist Michael Broussard, marks the beginning of the path that will forever alter the course of the Top Cow Universe.
Meet New York Police Detective Sara Pezzini, former mob enforcer Jackie Estacado, and aspiring dancer Danielle Baptitse. Respectively, each bear one of the central Artifacts that comprise the Trinity among the 13 Artifacts: the Witchblade, the Darkness, and the Angelus. Each force vies for power over the other, regardless of the ambitions of each host.
There are 10 weeks remaining until Artifacts begins.
Jackie: Every time the Curator pulls his scroll of the Thirteen from behind the counter of his shop of curios… well, I’d rather I was at a 7-Eleven and the clerk was pulling a .45 on my ass.
Sara: The Witchblade and I got along just fine before the Curator shoved his way into my life. Sure, I have a deeper understanding of what this thing on my wrist is thanks to him but the detective in me refuses to shake the feeling that more harm has been thrown my way as a result of his vague proclamations and shenanigans.
Dani: I think I know what you both mean, sort of. It’s strange to me how much the Curator has me convinced that each Artifact chooses its bearer. Like we have no say in the matter.
Jackie: Well Missy, what excuse have you got for being chosen by the Angelus? Forgive me if I can’t quite understand how a failed dancer from New Orleans can keep one of the primitive forces of the universe on the b***h end of a gilded poodle leash.
Sara: It’s true to some degree, Dani. You weren’t too hesitant to accept the Witchblade from me. And you said you only wanted it because you didn’t feel like you had anything else going on in your life.
Dani: Well I didn’t expect it to react to me as much as it did!
Sara: And what the Hell was going on when the Angelus chose you? I know I wasn’t really myself when it happened. But there must be some insight you’ve gained since becoming the Angelus as to why you’re wearing her wings.
Jackie: Yeah. Enlighten us.
Dani: I wish I knew more. Plenty of the Angelus Warriors have made it clear how unsure they are of me. It’s not everyday that I inherit a whole dimension of winged barbarians dressed by David Bowie’s costume designer.
Jackie: Don’t play it too lightly, cupcake. I’ve seen what you can do when cornered.
Sara: Take care to watch yourself with that power. The last woman to host the Angelus was a sociopath. And the Angelus didn’t seem to mind that one bit.
Dani: Listen to yourself! Talking to me like that! You know all too well what you were capable of when you only bore the “dark half” of the Witchblade. And Jackie, I can’t even imagine half the atrocities the Darkness inspires you to commit. Maybe I’ve spent the least amount of time getting acquainted my full abilities, but don’t forget my track record is better than either of yours.
Sara: I don’t know if accidentally killing your girlfriend’s ex with the Witchblade counts, Dani.
Jackie: The Angelus is possessive on top of being a manipulative control freak. The previous hosts were mentally unstable or catatonic because they were easy to boss around. Don’t mistake that there’s no hidden agenda. If there’s any reason it seems like you’re in control of the power it’s just because that’s the new strategy. It thinks letting you have control for a while will bring it what it wants. Which is usually my neck.
Dani: We might not be best friends Jackie, but I think I know my boundaries here. I have no reason to feel like I have any lack of control here. The most you should watch out for would be rogue Angelus Warriors. But I don’t see what you’re so concerned about. Without me leading them, they’re nothing more than irritating gnats to you!
Jackie: The Angelus kept her own little girlfriend the first time I faced off against her. And that host had stuck around forever until I entered the picture. If I so much as suspect you’ve turned against me, you keep in mind that I have no problem slitting Finch’s throat.
Dani: Sara, I don’t have to take this. I’m outta here.
Sara: Well Jackie, you certainly haven’t lost any of your charm. But I wouldn’t pester her into agreeing with the Angelus, either.
Gretch: You guys don’t mind if I treat all of this as “on the record” for next week’s edition, do you?
Jackie: Who the Hell are you?
Sara: Gretchen Fullmer. Still reporting for the Twilight Alternative?
Gretch: My publisher isn’t lying when he says we’re the best place to print the real scoop. The Post wishes half of their features were backed up with as much fact as ours.
Sara: I thought you decided against exploiting honest NYPD Detectives with slander dressed in a preadolescent girl’s fantasy of knights, dragons, and magic artifacts.
Gretch: Maybe I still have too many gaps for my grand investigative piece to hit front page. Maybe I don’t. That’s not to say one of New York’s finest consorting with one of New York’s Most Wanted isn’t headline news.
Jackie: I think I do know you. I thought I would recognize you as a writer who knew the difference between the stories people needed to hear and the stories better left in the dark.
Gretch: I might not get much help from either of you, but that’s not to say starting a weekly column buried in the guts of the tabloid won’t provide me with new leads. A girl’s got to keep on her toes in this business.
Jackie: This investigative piece of yours sounds more like a “human interest” column to me. Don’t think me rude for ducking out so early. I look forward to reading your work next week. Just remember, I’ll have Finn send his regards if I need to. You’ll remember that you’re acquainted.
Gretch: I remember him. But I’m not acquainted with this “Curator” you mentioned. Does he have a full name and a phone number I can reach him with?
Sara: You’re on your own with this one, Gretch. Stay away from me and my family.
Gretch: Detective Pezzini! Wait! You aren’t the only one whispering about mystical Artifacts! You know there’s more at stake than the safety of you and your daughter!
Interested in getting to know the different Artifacts and their bearers? Come back next week to find out more! Until then, pick up Witchblade #136 and Broken Trinity: Pandora's Box #2! Magdalena #1, Darkness #84, Angelus #3 and Artifacts #0 also out now.