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 IdeologyofMadness.com 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 Spear of Destiny, and its current bearer, The Magdalena!
Stepping out from the main three artifacts (Darkness, Angelus, Witchblade), we now fall on the Spear of Destiny, and its bearer, the Magdalena. After the crucifixion and resurrection of Jesus Christ, Mary Magdalene, the wife of Jesus, gave birth to a daughter, Sarah. From this child descends the holy lineage of the Magdalena, passed from mother to daughter, and serving as the protector and warrior for the Roman Catholic Church, wielding the spear that pierced the side of Christ. The Magdalena also has the power to see the “evil that lurks in the hearts of men” (heh) and to give them a chance to repent their sins.
The Magdalena is raised and trained for her duties from birth by the Inquisition, a sect of the Roman Catholic Church that contains a group of cardinals that send the Magdalena on her missions.
There have been many Magdalenas and, in the time since her introduction (in Darkness, volume 1, issue #15), we have read the adventures of three. The first Magdalena we were introduced to was Sister Mariella, but, prior to her, there was Sister Rosalia.
In the Magdalena: Blood Divine mini-series, we read the final adventure (ominous) of Sister Rosalia. Rosalia was raped as a teenager and gave birth to a child, who was taken from her and raised in a convent. On her final mission, she was sent to investigate a string of possible vampire murders in France. Upon investigation, she meets the vampires, and discovers that, despite their vampirism, they actually aren’t evil. She turns on the soldiers of the Inquisition, the Garduna, and is killed for her transgression.
Mariella, Rosalia’s daughter, took on the mantle of the Magdalena after the death of her mother. Sent to kill The Darkness without proper training, she got her ass handed to her by Jackie. Continuing her rough (and relatively short) life, Mariella also lost in battle against the Angelus. Though we’ve not seen Mariella’s death, the calling of a new Magdalena, Patience, either means that Mariella did die on an eventual mission…or the church is up to no good.
Patience is the current bearer of the Spear of Destiny and the Magdalena legacy. Though we don’t know exactly what her lineage is, it does appear as if she is the first bearer of the Magdalena legacy not to be of direct lineage of Mary Magdalene (I’m guessing we’ll get answers in the current Magdalena series). Patience fled the convent during her novitiate and moved to New York at a young age. The Inquisition sent an agent, Kristof, to retrieve her. Kristof found Patience and began training her in the ways of the Magdalena. Part of the training includes the repair of the Spear of Destiny, which was shattered in a previous battle. This spear, also previously known as the Spear of Longinus, and the Spear of Lugh, is rebuilt by Patience after she accidentally pricks her finger, spilling her blood on the Spear.
Patience’s friend, Rowan, was abducted by the cult of the Bright Hand, a rogue sect of the Inquisition, and Patience set out to save her with her new skills. About to be sacrificed by the Bright Hand, Patience is able to stop the ritual and release of the demon Chernobog. After the battle, Patience informed the Inquisition that she will perform the duties of the Magdalena, but won’t be controlled by the church, and will perform independently.
Since then, Patience has gained a friendship with Witchblade bearer Sara Pezzini, protecting her from the forces of the Angelus during the First Born storyline. She has teamed up with Jackie Estacado, Daredevil, Vampirella, and even Lara Croft to fight baddies, and is currently starring in her own series written by Ron Marz, where it seems that the Inquisition, unhappy with the way Patience is acting as a free-agent, has decided to have her taken out, and has prepared someone to take her place.
Buy any of the stories below for more tales of the Magdalenas!