The 13th Artifact (One Shot)

8 Overall Score
Art: 8/10
Dialogue: 8/10
Story: 8/10

One story, one comic. I wish more books were like this.

Pretty passive main character.

The 13th Artifact (One Shot)
Story By: Amit Chauhan
Art By: Eli Powell
Cover By: Linda Sejic
Image Comics/Top Cow Comics

2015 TOP COW TALENT HUNT WINNER! Stranded on a mysterious alien planet after her shuttle crashes, astronaut Valentina Kedr is desperate to find a way to survive. With her oxygen rapidly running out, she decides to explore her new surroundings. Upon discovering a civilization on the planet, will her curiosity lead to her downfall?

The 13th Artifact is an original story from Image’s talent hunt winners, which means we may never have seen this work, or even these artists, any other way. What I like most about this book is that is shows just what we might be missing out on by not supporting fledging artists, as fans. We may never have had this, if it weren’t for luck of the draw, and just think about how many other great stories didn’t get so lucky. We’re missing out!

As more of a showcase of the winners’ talents, The 13th Artifact isn’t like a lot of other comics. It’s short and sweet – one story cover to cover – and in a lot of ways, it’s more like a short story than any comic we’re used to. Astronauts crash land on a foriegn planet and make contact with alien life. It asks a lot of questions and doesn’t provide many answers. What it does is tell an interesting story, and leave you with some extra emotions. No cliff hangers so you’ll spend more money, no characters who show up just so you’ll buy the toy. Here’s a story, aren’t these guys good?

And they really are. I hope we see more of them soon. In fact, my only real complaints about the story are due to the limited tools they have to tell it in 24 pages. For instance, the main character doesn’t exactly DO very much. She rows to shore, sure, but after that it seems like she’s dragged from scene to scene with little effort of her own. And she’s told all the details of this world by another character, which is a cheap way of filling the reader in on everything, too. It misses a chance to do a lot more world building and story telling, but there’s just no room for that. I don’t see any evidence the creators aren’t capable of it, there’s just not enough space in this comic. Maybe next time we’ll get a longer story, and I will be looking forward to that.

The art isn’t quite up to the story, but it’s still good. Everything feels a little sketchy and dark, but that fits what the book is, really. It’s a quick glance at this world, and the art fits that perfectly.

I’m excited that The 13th Artifact exists, and honestly, I’m a little proud of Image for doing things like this. I do belive it’s important to support new artists and creators, and this is a huge effort to do so. As for you and your buying habits, this is a one shot that will cost you a few bucks and send a huge message, and you’ll get a good story, a neat world, and some really decent art of it. You may not be left drooling for more, but that can be kind of a good thing, too. Check this one out, and you’re done. There’s a lot less stress to check something out when you’re spending four bucks, instead of maybe getting hooked and spending hundreds.



Author: Brian Reed View all posts by
"Brian has been a nerd, gamer, and comic book geek since the NES was cool, nerds weren't, and comics cost $0.75. Though his hobbies now cost a fair bit more, he is no less passionate about his escapism. He is proud to be a part of both the Florida Geek Scene and The Nerdstravaganza Podcast."

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