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 4, it's the religious artifact, the Spear of Destiny, and its wielder, the Magdalena, descendant of Jesus the Christ.
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 8 weeks remaining until Artifacts begins.
The Razor Edge of Faith
Twilight Alternative Staff
When little girls dress up as princesses and dream of being rescued by knights in shining armor, the young boys are fantasizing about slaying dragons on an Arthurian quest to obtain the Holy Grail. Because who hasn’t heard of the Holy Grail?
Conversely, how many of us have heard of the Spear of Destiny? The Fifth Avenue address of Saint Patrick’s Cathedral makes it too prominent to entertain their visitors with the more mysterious tales of the Catholic Church. But at the right cathedral, with a little bit of prodding and a few bucks dropped in the poor box, you’ll earn yourself a ticket to the story of the spear that pierced the side of Christ.
The Spear of Destiny goes by many names: the Holy Lance, the Spear of Christ, and the Lance of Longinus, to list a few. Likewise, there are just as many churches from the Vatican to Echmiadzin that make claims to safeguarding the Spear of Destiny. Conspiracy theories abound that Hitler started World War II in order to capture an iron spearhead in Vienna rumored to be the Spear of Destiny. Yet on an official level, the Spear either no longer exists or knowledge to its whereabouts has been lost over time.
There are only the few passages in the Gospel of John that mention the Spear. It is otherwise fully omitted from the other Synoptic Gospels. For a religious culture that cherishes relics such as the right forearm of King Saint Stephen of Hungary, the written record of the Spear of Destiny is suspiciously nonexistent. For such little mention, images of the Spear wielded by the Roman centurion Longinus as he thrust it into Christ’s side is remarkably ubiquitous in paintings of the Crucifixion from the Byzantine era to the Renaissance.
For such a pivotal relic, the Catholic Church doesn’t display any agenda towards seeking out and authenticating the Spear of Destiny. Maybe we New Yorkers just accept its mystery the way we eat our hotdogs without any desire for authentication of where the meat came from. It’s convenient to just pay the two bucks and say some things are better not knowing, right?
The Spear of Destiny is only one chapter to an even wilder story that involves generations of warrior nuns descended from the Holy Bloodline of Mary Magdalene and trained to fight demons for the Catholic Church. Each successive daughter in the Bloodline inherits the Spear of Destiny and is burdened with the mantle of Magdalena until she dies performing her duties. Mention the Magdalena to any Bowery bum who’s wandered downtown to seek asylum on the steps at Saint Peter’s and you’ll see their eyes visibly brighten. Many claim to have seen the Magdalena. Eerily enough, most are of the general consensus that the current Magdalena has turned her back on the church, serving her mantle on the basis of her personal faith rather than the orders of her commanding Cardinals.
Stories that might make the casual bridge and tunnel crowd roll their eyes and turn their foot toward Penn Station strike this reporter as the real scoop. If there is any validity to these transients’ moments of clarity between their alcoholic rants, my hunch is that the independence of this current Magdalena is just a trifle of evidence of events set in motion that will end our world in blood and fire.
There is more at play than just the Spear of Destiny. This reporter knows that there are other Artifacts that act as blessings and curses to our world. We New Yorkers just haven’t kept our eyes out for them as we go about our daily grind. It’s up to us to keep our fingers on the pulse of what really makes this city tick. While the tourists read about steam pipe explosions in Midtown or miracles on the Hudson, we are the residents with the front row seats to the changing tides of the world.
Greater powers than we can comprehend are at work in the shadows. As a city that is constantly in the dark of its own construction, New York is the best place to start digging for answers to questions asked long before the dawn of history. Buy a Tsingtao for any of the Mahjong players in Chinatown’s Columbus Park and you might get directions to a shop of curios lost within the grid of Manhattan. Maybe that’s where we’ll find the authentic Spear of Destiny. Or maybe that’s where we’ll find something else to suit our needs.
The pieces of the puzzle are out there. We just need to figure out how they fit together.
Want to know more about the Spear of Destiny? Pick up Magdalena #2, in stores next week! Come back next week to find out more about the different Artifacts and their bearers! Until then, pick up Witchblade #136 and Broken Trinity: Pandora's Box #2 today! Magdalena #1, Darkness #84, Angelus #3 and Artifacts #0 also out now.