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District Noir by Pandasaurus Games Coming Soon

Pandasaurus has announced a new 2 player set collection game District Noir is coming this summer. Preorders will start on May 19th with retail release planned for July 19th. District Noir was originally published in Japanese by Taikikennai Games in 2016 as Throne and Grail. It was then published in 2019 as Chocolate Factory by Nasza Księgarnia in Polish. The current art and theme was published last year in French by Spiral Éditions. When the time is right, gain control! At the head of the city’s largest criminal organizations, men and women fight to control territories and gain support by trying every means possible to grow their influence. Control of the District Noir, a central and highly contested area, remains the major issue that will make all the difference in dominating the city. There are two paths to victory: win over District Noir's various supports, or directly control the city’s three strategic locations. Before players can claim these, they must be played to the center

Featured Review @TopCow Artifacts #35 @TopCowMatt @ImageComics @nelsonblake2 @Oeming

Artifacts #35 - The Winter King: Finnegan's Wake


Mercenary Michael Finnegan just can’t catch a break. Whether he is running guns or stealing mystical Artifacts for hire, all of his clients seem to double-cross him in the end...especially when he is paid to face-off against Ember Stone bearer Glorianna Silver!


See the 7-page Artifacts #35 Preview


See the Review Rating Overview page for more information on how I rate each comic

Cover & Solicit 5/5

We get a single cover drawn by Nelson Blake II (Magdalena, Witchblade, G.I. Joe Reloaded) & colors by Bill Farmer (Dark Horse Presents, Epoch, Think Tank) featuring Micheal Finnegan and Glorianna Silver. It's a pretty nice cover and I like Nelson's art style, and Farmer's colors pop.

Art, Colors & Inking 4/5

This issues art was done by two separate artists. The first half was drawn by Nelson Blake II, while the second was done by Mike Oeming (Red Sonja, Powers, Highlander). I really wish the whole issue was drawn by Blake. His images and details were amazing and I really like his style. Unfortunately the same can't be said for Oeming. His style is unique but it came of in stark contrast to what Blake had done. In addition he was assigned the action scenes and they really came out muddled due to his style. Jason Lewis (Ben 10, Powerpuff Girls, Hell Yeah) provided colors for the entire book and they look vibrant and beautiful throughout.

Layout & Flow 4/5

This issue is again a one-shot featuring one of Top Cow's characters of the Talent Hunt Winners choosing. Unfortunately like last issue you are not given too much background info on who Micheal Finnegan is, except for a small sentence on the first page. As always I wish there would have been an additional page for a synopsis or catch-up page. I know that section was reserved for announcing the Talent Hunt winner but even that simple paragraph took the whole page, instead they could have maybe split it between the two. But maybe I'm just splitting hairs. Otherwise this was a very well written issue and the flow worked well. There was a small jolt with art change from Blake to Oeming. Overall it wasn't too hard to get an idea of who Finnegan was, and who he is now.

Story 5/5

The issue is written by the final Talent Hunt winner Hannibal Tabu. For being a newcomer he does an excellent job telling the story. This issue starts with Finnegan completing some dirty dealings before heading to a bar. Tabu tried to give a little back-story on the first page, but still wish we had a synopsis page. Not really his fault, and really he did an excellent job of throwing bread crumbs of the character along the way. While at the bar Finnegan comes across a woman who has an offer he can't refuse. My only issue with the interactions between Finnegan and her is the sexual innuendo. Again this may have to do with me not know about the character and this may be his personality, or it may be Tabu taking writer liberties, but either way I found it out of place. Eventually Finnegan agrees to the mission to seek out an Artifact, even with no memory or knowledge that he was once the Winter King. Unfortunately things don't go as planned as he runs into and old nemesis in the Ember Stone bearer Glorianna Silver.

Verdict - 4.6 (9/10) (Buy Artifacts) SAVE 10%

I really enjoyed this issue. I didn't care for the art change in the middle of the book and wished they would have used Blake II for the whole issue. Also Top Cow Talent Hunter winner Hannibal Tabu did an excellent job of telling a story from one of Top Cow's gallery of existing characters. I can't wait to see what Tabu does next with Top Cow, and definitely hope Top Cow continues the framework he setup with Micheal Finnegan.


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