Aphrodite IX volume 2 #1 (Free Comic Book Day edition)
Top Cow (May, 2013)
WRITER: Matt Hawkins
ARTIST: Stjepan Sejic
LETTERER: Troy Peteri
EDITORS: Marc, Silvestri, Bryan Roundtree, & Matt Hawkins
“APHRODITE IX” CREATORS: David Finch & David Wohl
In an apocalyptic future where genetically augmented and technological are at war one of the genetically enhanced, after blowing up a space ship owned by the cybernetically enhanced side, is shot down, his flying mount killed. Upon landing, Marcus discovers a damaged suspension capsule with a woman inside, who proceeds to wipe out the unit of cyborgs coming to confirm the kill. Marcus brings him to his homeland, but there is a second capsule containing a man who is no warrior. Taken by the cyborgs and turned into one, the man thanks them for saving his life. His name is Robert Birch, and he’s Aphrodite’s handler. A combination of genetics and cybernetics, Aphrodite (who used be know as April “something” according to Birch) is an assassin, whose target he can implant into her mind, which is wiped clean to avoid being interrogated. And thanks to the cybers he now has access, and wants to know whom they want dead first.
What they got right: A rare example of the painted art style done right, like they actually used a guide, perhaps lineart of some kind, because expressions (almost) work here. There is decent set-up as Aphrodite explains (through research I can only assume was done after the events of this arc) what little history she knows leading from the time period Cyber Force takes place in to this wasteland of two warring ideals.
What they got wrong: I don’t know (because the only issues of Cyber Force I’ve read were those free ones I reviewed that came from the Kickstarter that my local comic store gave me and the Hunter/Prey crossover I probably shouldn’t have bothered with because I remember being lost) what the situation is with Birch but he accepted his new friends rather quickly, exposition dumping all the important info about Aphrodite and immediately taking her over for his new “friends” with no prompting whatsoever. He must just really like having her kill people.
Recommendation: Honestly, the only reason I added this to my comiXology was the connection to something I’ve already reviewed. I probably ignored the print version that Free Comic Book Day because this isn’t my kind of story. Too dark and violent, plus I’m tired of post-apocalyptic worlds. It’s been done to death. However, it’s a good story with surprisingly good art given my issues with painted art style comics. If this is up your alley give it a shot. You might like it, but it’s not for me.