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. We begin with the Trinity looking at their own sources of power, and the exclusive first two pages of Artifacts #1.
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 Baptiste. 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 12 weeks remaining until Artifacts begins.
Sara: Thirteen Artifacts guide the fate of the universe. Separately, they’re supposed to maintain the balance of power in the universe. Together … well, I’ve been led to believe that doom and gloom is the only outlook. Most of my time as a NYPD Detective, I’ve had one of the thirteen called the Witchblade. I still don’t know as much about it as I should. I know it’s very old. I know it’s the offspring of the dark and light, which have been doing the Bloods and Crips thing since the beginning of time.
Dani: The Witchblade is supposed to be the Balance between the Angelus and the Darkness. Though you wouldn’t know it by looking at it. Most of the time, it just looks like an antique bracelet. But it’s a lot more. I learned that much when I had the Witchblade. But I guess that was just a prelude to the Angelus choosing me as its new host.
Jackie: The Witchblade’s just another thorn in my side. My life was a lot simpler when I was a mob enforcer, and every half-wit with a gun wanted to off me. Now every elemental power in the world wants a piece of me. I’m the current host of the Darkness--kind of my family’s very own supernatural curse. Not the worst thing in the world … provided I’m on speaking terms with my power, and it’s not daylight. Otherwise, I’m just another mook with a target on my back.Artifacts #1 Page 1 Pencils Sara: My life was complicated enough being a detective for the NYPD, dealing with scumbags like Estacado and his family. But once I got the Witchblade – or it got me – it’s like I became a magnet for everything otherworldly and bad in the world. The Witchblade bonds with one woman in each generation, though that seems like a general suggestion than a strict rule. Sometimes I think the damn thing has its own agenda. Other times I’m sure of it.
Jackie: Yeah, the Darkness has a mind of its own too. I can tap into another dimension and summon a bunch of creepy little bastards who could pass for demons, and they’re clearly sentient. Just ask ‘em. The Darkness has deserted me in the past. We seem to be on good terms at the moment, but I’m no idiot. I keep a team of human thieves, smugglers and weapons specialists to ensure that I’m not completely f***ed if, and when, my powers decide to flake on me.
Dani: I don’t know who has more of an attitude, Jackie – you or the Darkness? The Witchblade is a little different. It can push the bearer into rage. And when I bore half of it, I wasn’t even dealing with the aggressive half.
Sara: You mean the b***h half?
Dani: I never really got used to having the Witchblade. Maybe I wasn’t supposed to get used to it. Maybe it was all just to get me ready for the Angelus force to take me as its host. But I don’t know what happens if I have to go against the Witchblade for some reason…
Jackie: Well, we already know what happens when the Angelus pulls your strings and the two of us have to get down to business.
[Newsarama Note: Pick up Anglelus #3, in stores now, to find out why!]
Dani: You came to New Orleans looking for it, Estacado. I didn’t feel compelled to fight you; you forced the issue. And now there’s a whole army of Angelus warriors who look to me as their leader and expect me to annihilate you.
Jackie: Dark and Light. Hatfields and the McCoys. Way it’s always been, way it’ll always be. Best defense is a good offense. And I’ve had a lot of practice being offensive.
Sara: Gee, Jackie, why don’t you say what you mean for a change.
Jackie: Look, the Darkness does what it wants, regardless of what I want. The more I’m on the same page with its agenda, the more it agrees with me. And if that means a trip to New Orleans to settle old scores … I’m just along for the ride.Artifacts #1, Page 2 Pencils Sara: No, Dani has a point. The Witchblade isn’t driven to eradicate either the Darkness or the Angelus, because it’s equal parts of both.
Dani: The Witchblade is less… controlling? Because it seems like the Darkness wants a host who encourages the use of its power, while the Witchblade prefers its bearer to be independent.
Jackie: The Darkness wants what it wants. Half the time, I’m the last to know exactly what that is.
Sara: I’ve accepted the Witchblade because I need it as much as it needs me. If it was only up to me, I might not have taken it back. But now I need it more than ever to protect our daughter. I thought I was protecting her when I gave it up. But I realized the supernatural bullshit won’t leave us alone, whether I want to walk away from it or not.
Jackie: Considering the Darkness hijacked my body to make me Hope’s daddy, I don’t think any of us has much chance of leading a ‘normal’ family life.
Dani: But the Witchblade will protect Hope, won’t it?
Sara: I’ll protect Hope. Regardless of what the Witchblade wants.
Jackie: That little girl’s mine too. Somebody tries to hurt her … or you, Sara … I will unleash Hell. And I can.
Interested in getting to know the Artifact bearers? Pick up Witchblade #136 and Broken Trinity: Pandora's Box #2 today, Wednesday, May 12! Magdalena #1, Darkness #84, Angelus #3 and Artifacts #0 out now.