artifacts1As we talked about in this week’s episode of Funnybooks with Aron and Paulie, we’re super-excited about Top Cow’s upcoming Artifacts crossover, which began with a zero issue released on Free Comic Book Day.

The FCBD issue of Artifacts introduced readers to the 13 Artifacts and mythology of the Top Cow Universe, including The Witchblade and The Darkness, two of the company’s longest running titles. Still, if you’re confused after reading the FCBD issue, hankering for more information, or missed out on the book, your friends at Funnybooks and are here to help get you caught up on what is sure to be an AWESOME comic book event!

We’re going to introduce you to the 13 Artifacts, and their current bearers (what information is currently known, anyway), talk about comics that are involved in the Artifacts crossover that you may not have even known about, and go over some of the key players in the storyline.  This is going to be the best place to come to get yourself prepared for Artifacts!  And not only that, to help cement some of that information in, in the coming weeks, we’ll be holding contests for some of the best Top Cow has to offer, including trades of Witchblade, Darkness, Tom Judge, and more!

This week’s Artifact:

The Witchblade, and its current bearer, Sara Pezzini!

The 13 Artifacts
The 13 Artifacts

Since the dawn of time, there have been two opposing forces – the Darkness and the Angelus.  The Witchblade itself is an ancient weapon that is actually the offspring of the Darkness and the Angelus, and acts as a balance between the dark and the light.  Since it’s inception, the Witchblade, which is thought of as a male, has always required a female bearer.

Though the Witchblade typically takes the form of a gauntlet, it can take the form of an entire suit of armor, and also a weapon, limited only by the imagination of its user.  It is a sentient being, that forms a symbiotic relation with its host, and they can communicate with each other, typically leading to conflicts as to just who is in control.

New York City detective Sara Pezzini has been the bearer of the Witchblade for years now (except when it was split into two – more on that later), the latest in a family of cops.  She came across the Witchblade when she and her ex-partner, Michael Yee, were injured while pursuing criminal Ian Nottingham.  The Witchblade chose Sara as its bearer, healing her wounds.

Since then, Sara has taken on the more…supernatural cases that the NYPD comes across.  Her current partner, Patrick Gleason, met Sara after she was wounded by a group of rogue priests attempting to unleash an ancient evil that could be worshipped as a new God.  The two found themselves working together not long after, and have since formed a relationship.  Too bad he’s not the father of her child.

Sara and Jackie's daughter Hope was born during the First Born storyline.
Sara and Jackie's daughter Hope was born during the First Born storyline.

Yup, Sara has a kid.  The Darkness, in a bid to help win its eternal war with the Angelus decided to bear a child with the Witchblade.  It took control of its current host, Jackie Estacado (more on him next week), unbeknownst to him, and impregnated Sara while she was in a comatose state.  While pregnant, Sara met Danielle Baptiste, a young dancer who was drawn to New York by strange visions of a mystical gauntlet.  They met in an old antique shop, operated by the Curator, an old man who seems to know more than he lets on, and has been a key driver in many of the events since.  The Witchblade had chosen Dani as its new bearer, and Sara relinquished the item to its new owner while she was pregnant.

During the First Born event, Sara gave birth to her daughter Hope, but no thanks to the Angelus, who tried to prevent the birth from happening.  As it stands, Hope is an unknown factor in all of this, a child of The Darkness and The Balance (Witchblade), which could mean bad news for the Angelus.  After the birth of Hope, Dani relinquished half of the Witchblade to Sara, and they both continued to bear their halves of the Witchblade while daddy Darkness, Estacado, left the country, returning to help Sara during the Broken Trinity crossover (more on that in our future installments) to kill the current bearer of the Angelus.

Problem is that the Witchblade really is half-light, half-dark, and Sara got the bad half.  The Darkness-half of the Witchblade turned Sara angry and violent.  She turned on her friends, and on Dani, and the two fought over who would take control of both halves of the Witchblade (War of the Witchblades).  Dani lost, and was murdered by Sara who, upon gaining both halves of the Witchblade, realized the error of her ways.  Without the dark half in control of her, she became herself again.  The Angelus, without a host since the Broken Trinity crossover, chose Dani Baptiste as its new bearer and revived her.

With both halves of the Witchblade now in her control, Sara continues to investigate the weird crimes that her unique expertise has prepared her for, along with partner (and lover) Patrick Gleason.  Her sister Julie, who went to prison for dealing drugs, has reformed and is now out and living with Sara.

As Artifacts begins, it appears the Hope, the daughter of Sara and Darkness-bearer Estacado, is missing.

Click to enlarge.
Click to enlarge.

Want to learn more about the Witchblade?  Pick up any of these AWESOME trades by Witchblade writer Ron Marz: