Thursday 13 February 2014

Artifacts #34 Review

Writer: Eugene Ward
Artist: Martin Gimenez 

How will the next lot of 2012 Top Cow Talent Hunt Winners fair? Read on to find out.

The official description from Top Cow:


Ian Nottingham possesses the Blood Sword – so why isn't he using it? He wants to know if he can take down three of the major Tokyo Yakuza clans in a single night without the demonic weapon.

Artifacts is easily the best series for the 2012 Top Cow Talent Hunt Winners to strut their stuff, with the series' utilisation of many different characters allowing each winner to create something unique. Added the first appearance from Ian Nottingham in a long time and how could I not buy this issue.

Eugene Ward does a terrific job of creating an exciting and symbolic one-shot issue. It does however suffer the same fate as the last issue, with the story being simply too short. This is the main reason for the slight mark down in rating, as despite Ward showing great talent and skill the briefness takes away from the overall experience. Ward does however give us a lot of suspense throughout this issue, with it being obvious that he has a understanding of both discipline and Ian Nottingham. I also really enjoyed the reference to Sun Tzu, with the overall samurai feel adding a lot to the story.

Martin Gimenez also proves to be a great new talent, with his artwork throughout this issue being simply amazing. The layout of Gimenez' art adds a lot of tone and suspense, as despite their being one page that looked a little awkward, overall it added a lot of depth to the issue. Gimenez also showed a flair for action and excitement, with most of this issue being very exhilarating. Gimenez does however not shine everywhere, as there is room for improvement with the facial expressions. Despite some feeling energetic, most of them felt rather plain and emotionless, taking away from the realism. I'd prefer not to end on a negative, as Gimenez' colours gave a dark and gritty tone, and I hope to see more from him in the future.

Artifacts continues to be a great proving ground for the Talent Hunt Winners, but the one-short shortness continues to be their undoing. Still an exciting issue which I easily recommend.

Rating: 7/10


You can read my exclusive interview with Eugene Ward here, as well as my exclusive interview with Martin Gimenez here.

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