Top Cow's ARTIFACTS Prologue 7: THE RAPTURE Is Coming


The World Doesn’t End in 2012.  It Ends in 2011:

Countdown to Artifacts

Newsarama 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.

Part 2 had the Trinity evaluating Finn and Glori, the Ice and Fire bearers.

Part 3, they took a deeper look at Angelus, discuss the mysterious curator, and introduce the one chronicling these conversations.

Part 4, it's the religious artifact, the Spear of Destiny, and its wielder, the Magdalena, descendant of Jesus the Christ.

Part 5, The Blood Sword, the first Artifact wielded by someone who is already an Artifact bearer takes the focus.

With more than half of the Artifacts down, we turn in Part 6 to the Wheel of Shadows.

Part 7 belongs to The Rapture... and yes, that's as potentially bad as it sounds.

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.

Reporting from the underbelly of New York for the weekly Twilight Alternative is Gretchen Fullmer, byline “Gretch.”  She is the go-to-girl for late-breaking news if you believe in Angels, Demons, or Homicide Detectives who bear supernatural gauntlets.  Her dedication to unearthing the news that the other scandal tabloids deem too fantastic and unbelievable for print keeps her in the know of the forces that truly guide this world.

There are 5 weeks remaining until Artifacts begins.

The Rapture of Absolution

By Gretch

Twilight Alternative Staff

God loves nothing more than a sinner saved, right?

A man flipped a coin ninety-seven times. It turned up heads with each consecutive flip.  Another man pondered the extreme unlikelihood that the law of probability would permit such a fluke to occur, and subsequently stabbed his wife in the eyes ninety-seven times.  His name was William Churchill.

New Yorkers are born with the propensity to go insane.  An $18 ticket and a fear of being trapped in an elevator shoulder-to-shoulder with a mob of Midwestern tourists isn’t the only reason the locals don’t visit the Empire State Building.  Who among us rushing along the canyon-floor of Manhattan needs a reminder that at any moment in time, some snot-nosed kid from New Brunswick or god-knows-where is wanting to verify the Mythbusters episode that the terminal velocity of a penny dropped from a skyscraper won’t kill a person on the street below?

Did William grow up among that same breed of mischievous little boys?  In the annual Empire State Building Run-Up, athletes line up to climb all 1,576 steps to the 86th floor observation deck.  But any veteran Empire State Building elevator operator will tell you that won’t get you to the top of the building.  And some of them will mention a priest on hard times who used to run up ninety-seven floors only to stop a few flights short of reaching the top floor.  William Churchill’s psychology report indicates that he attended the same church where this same priest served.

What are the tribulations of bringing hope to the hopeless? 

Dull umber stains on Manhattan pavement should perplex the best of us.  Is it from a dropped calzone?  Or is it from a man who bled to death as he stepped from the alley shadows, hopelessly stumbling after the assailants who stabbed him before they took his wallet?  In a city of strangers, is more grief cast into the collective unconscious from the man who tripped and wasted a $3.75 lunch from Ray’s?

The priest who used to run up the Empire State Building disappeared just the same.  He didn’t reach the top of the building just to jump off and explode like tomato sauce gushes from a dropped calzone as it hits the concrete.  Each time an elevator operator transported the priest from the near-top of the Empire State Building back to street level, the priest denied achieving absolution.  He said it never hurt enough.

His name was Tom Judge.

At One Police Plaza, the Special Cases division of the NYPD keeps a record on Judge and an Artifact known as the Rapture.  The Rapture is rumored to be the object required to transport the true believers of Christ to Heaven as His second coming.  While steeped more in myth than fact, it hasn’t stopped daring British archaeologists from staging publicized quests for it.  Nor has rumor of the object’s existence failed to bring a panic to government spooks.  The American involvement of the botched covert military operation at the dig outside of Jerusalem reeked of a fear of the End of Days.  Could the Rapture save those who are meant to be damned in addition to transporting the true believers?

Life isn’t Rosencrantz and Guildenstern Are Dead.  But if I flip a coin and it turns up heads, does it retain a likelihood that the next time I flip it, the coin will turn up tails?  No matter all the stairs climbed, Tom Judge never got to bring William Churchill a second chance.  For all of the heights climbed, an elevator was still present to return him to street level.  When a turn-of-the-century Hell’s Kitchen tenement building burned down and nine people died inside, no one gave it a second thought.  Most of the tenants were squatters presumed to be too drunk or doped up to get up and move when they saw the smoke.  But according to Judge’s special cases file, it was also his last known address. 

New York has a habit of tricking us into believing that the little people don’t matter as much as they do.  But when a man of faith falls into oblivion, does he try to bring down the rest of the world for that ride?


Want to know more about The Rapture?  Pick up Angelus #4 next week!  Come back next week to find out more about the different Artifacts and their bearers!  Until then, pick up Magdalena #2, Witchblade Origins Volume 1, Witchblade Volume 7 and The Darkness Accursed Volume 3, all out now!  Witchblade #136, Darkness #84, Broken Trinity: Pandora’s Box #2, and Artifacts #0 also available!

Which Artifact so far would you most want to bear?

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