Your Funnybooks with Aron and Paulie hosts are super-excited about Top Cow’s upcoming Artifacts crossover, which began with a zero issue released on Free Comic Book Day and continues with Artifacts #1 this July!

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!

Click here for our previous articles, including our interview with Artifacts writer Ron Marz

This week we have multiple Artifacts for you:

The Glacier Stone, The Ember Stone, Pandora’s Box, and the Blood Sword!

The Blood Sword

Long ago, a shaman conjured a demon, then trapped it and captured its essence into the Blood Sword.  While the Blood Sword is immensely powerful, it constantly craves carnage, and its wielder is always compelled to sate its hunger.

In Japan in 1635, the Blood Sword’s wielder was tasked to retrieve the Witchblade, but she was defeated and killed.  The Blood Sword moved on from wielder to wielder until one wielder, a samurai, was betrayed by his own ally, and the sword was stolen.  Years later, the Sword helped a wielder to become a warlord, who fed the Sword with the blood is craved, and, because of this, his endured long after his body became dust.

The Blood Sword disappeared for years, until it once again clashed with the Witchblade, this time wielded by Sara Pezzini.   Sara defeated the Blood Sword in battle and released the samurai spirit.  She took the sword to the mysterious Curator, and was stolen once by Witchblade villain Ian Nottingham, but quickly returned after his defeat.

During the the Broken Trinity storyline, Sara discovered that Jackie Estacado, wielder of the Darkness, hired a man named Michael Finnegan to keep an eye on her and their daughter Hope.  Finnegan follows Pezzini into the Curator’s store, and she tells him off.  Before leaving, the Curator hands him the Glacier Stone, which turns him into a giant creature of ice and cold.  It’s too bad, though, that the Glacier Stone is in eternal opposition with the Ember Stone, which represents fire and turns its bearer, Glorianna Silver (a treasure hunter), into a giant fire-breathing dragon.  Not only is the Ember Stone eternally drawn to the Glacier Stone (to kick its ass), but the bearer also craves the collection of all 13 artifacts.

Catch the current adventures of Glorianna and Michael in Broken Trinity: Pandora's Box
Follow the adventures of Glorianna and Michael in Broken Trinity: Pandora's Box!

The Ember Stone leads Glorianna to New York, where she finds Finnegan and the two erupt into an epic battle. Patrick Gleason, Pezzini’s boyfriend, is given the Blood Sword by the Curator, where he finds that the battle has been joined by the Angelus, the Witchblade, and the Darkness.  Helping Estacado in his weakened position, Gleason stabs the Angelus, and Estacado uses the sword to decapitate her, killing the host and leaving the Angelus to seek another (more on what happened next here). After the battle, The Blood Sword is given to Michael Finnegan, along with the Scroll of the Thirteen, which tells of all 13 Artifacts.

Finnegan goes on to search for the balance between the Ember and Glacier Stones, while also learning how to wield the Blood Stone and not let it control him.  Meanwhile, Glorianna meets with her mentor Wulfgar in Norway and tell him what happened to her.  One night, she awakens to find that an assassin has come in to her home, and has damaged a tapestry depicting the eternal battle between the Ember & Glacier Stones.   She turns into her Ember Form and burns the assassin, a member of the Disciples of Adam, to death.  Glorianna sets out to eliminate the Disciples, but makes a stop to get some help – Michael Finnegan.

Not much is known of Pandora’s Box in the Top Cow Universe, also known as the Obsidian Stone or Odin’s Ring, but you can follow the adventures of Glorianna Silver and Michael Finnegan as they search for the artifact in the monthly Broken Trinity: Pandora’s Box!

Read previous adventures of these artifacts in these stories!