Top Cow's ARTIFACTS Prologue 10: PANDORA'S BOX

ARITFACTS Prologue 1: The Trinity

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.

Part 8 explores the Coin of Solomon, and the legend of the man behind the Artifact.

Part 9 features a new Artifact, which has yet to be seen, the Heart Stone.

Part 10 has all the evils of the world locked away inside it. Dare to open Pandora's Box?

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 is 1 week remaining until Artifacts begins.

Pandora’s Box

By Gretch

Twilight Alternative Staff

If hope seems lost, that’s only because it’s locked up in a tiny box.

Sometimes the hunt for Artifacts needs to begin at the Metropolitan Museum of Art when you are out of leads.  Walking around the recently refurbished Greek Galleries, there is the definitive feeling that all of the leaps the Greeks made were not purely from the inspiration of men.  The otherworldly strive towards perfection that the Greeks sought strikes me more as an affliction than the rewards from building a cohesive civilization.  Whatever the motivation, they sure left impressive relics behind.

New York looks east to the hazy Mediterranean palisades of Greece to reference its foundations of its cultural and political history.  Is it any surprise that New York chose to also adopt the hedonism and bravado of the darker side of this early civilization, just like Rome before it?  Like Rome, all roads lead to New York – well, at least JFK – but this path was paved by the Greeks.

Our democracy, the white columned façade of the New York Stock Exchange, even the average diners in Queens and the “marble” statues depicted on the sides of their paper coffee cups – all of this we have imported from the ancient Greeks.  If these pillars of our society were influenced by the Greeks, so were our gutters.

In a perfect world, Pandora would never have opened the box given to her.  Prometheus had just stolen fire from the gods and Zeus was looking for any excuse to see if the audacious and meddling humans beneath him could truly handle a gift from the gods.  So Zeus presented Pandora – the first woman on Earth – to the brother of Prometheus.  But gifts from the gods should always be accepted with hesitation.  For Zeus also gave Pandora a gift – a tiny container he claimed to be filled with various gifts from the gods.  But with this gift, he gave her the explicit instructions to never open it.

Too bad people are a curious lot.  Sometimes we just shouldn’t know what’s inside our Nathan’s Hot Dogs.  Had Prometheus’ brother Epimetheus truly embodied his name meaning “afterthought,” he wouldn’t have jumped at the chance to marry Pandora.  Had Pandora not been curious, hate, anger, fear, sickness, poverty, and every other bad thing the world presents us with would have never come to exist in our world.  The astonished Pandora, who was frightened at what she had released, would also never have opened the box and prematurely closed it before hope could escape.

In this cultural legacy, we can blame the existence of evil on Pandora unleashing the wrath of the gods.  Just as she inadvertently locked hope away, there are those who would try to open the box again and return hope to the world – at least to counter all of the evil that had been unleashed during the dawn of man.  But myth is one thing, reality another.  If Pandora’s Box truly exists, who knows if its full reserves of evil had actually been depleted before Pandora shut the box.

Identifying this object comes with some degree of difficulty.  Historians debate whether or not it was either a classic upstanding Greek jar, commonly called a “pithos,” or an ornate wooden box.  Based on the varieties of its physical characteristics and its ability to get the best of our curiosities, I would just as soon have presumed the box to be formless, representing what most ignites our desire to pursue the unknown.  Recent evidence, however, leads me to believe it is a stone.

In a battle between fire and ice, obsidian is formed.  When lava cools too rapidly to permit crystal growth, it forms into a sharp black glass.  Stone Age cultures valued the material and fashioned it into arrowheads.  On Easter Island, the monolithic Moai statue heads had obsidian inserted to represent the pupils of the eyes.  There is darkness in the obsidian.  In the darkness, there is the wisdom of the primal forces of our universe.  If you break an obsidian stone in two, its edges are razor sharp to the degree that the edge can only be viewed microscopically.  Breaking this stone in two is no minor feat, and it doesn’t release the immense power that was required to form it.

Perhaps Pandora was the only woman meant to cut through the darkness.


Want to know more about Pandora’s Box?  Pick up Broken Trinity: Pandora’s Box #2 today!  Come back next week to find out more about the different Artifacts and their bearers!  Until then, run – don’t walk – to get your hands on Magdalena #2, Witchblade Origins Volume 1, Witchblade Volume 7 and The Darkness Accursed Volume 3, all out now!  Angelus #4, Darkness #85, Witchblade #136, and Artifacts #0 also available!

Are you ready for Artifacts? If you're going to SDCC, you can get #1 this week!

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