Writer: Matt Hawkins
Artist: Stjepan Šejić
This series has had a lot of positive response so far and with a creative team like Matt Hawkins and Stjepan Šejic it's no wonder. With the release of this volume this week I have been given the chance to review the trade.
Hundreds of years after a cataclysmic event, Earth is now inhabited by two distinct factions who fight for control, one a collection of genetically enhanced humans known as The Gen, and the other a race of Cyborgs who live in the City of Speros. In the middle of this war is Aphrodite IX who may very well hold the key to ending this conflict.
This was a phenomenal story and one of the best sci-fi comic book stories that I've read in a long time. Matt Hawkins does a terrific job of reintroducing Aphrodite IX, with the first page doing a brilliant job of describing what has happened to the world prior to the story, setting the events up perfectly. He's also add a lot of tone and depth to the story, with the characteristics being handled perfectly. The pace of this story was also very good, being handled perfectly by Hawkins, giving just the right amount of development for each chapter. Hawkins would also add a lot of action to this story, and besides the characteristics and emotion throughout, this would be the best thing about this story, being very intense and exciting, having the perfect sci-fi feeling. On top of that the character interaction, and the overall dialogue of this story was amazing, adding a lot of depth to the story, helping to give it some natural flow.
The artwork on this story was also phenomenal, and as usual with Stjepan Šejić did an outstanding job. I have always enjoyed Šejić's art, having loved it in the likes of Witchblade and Aladdin: Legacy of the Lost, so when I noticed that he was the artist on this series I was very excited about eventually reading it. Anyway, the detail in Šejić artwork as usual was simply amazing, being perfect throughout the story. The layout of Šejić's artwork was also spectacular, being very dynamic and unique, and would add a lot of depth and dramatic impact to the story, also helping it to flow smoothly. Šejić would also handle the character emotions and facial expressions brilliantly, with it adding a lot of tone and depth to the story. The action sequences would also be drawn perfectly in this story, and his painted colours are simply beautiful, adding the perfect tone for the story, helping the artwork to feel even more realistic.
The main character in this story would be Aphrodite IX, a synthetic humanoid that is programmed to assassinate any target their handler assigns them, with her memories getting wiped after each mission. Now I found Aphrodite IX to be a very interesting character, as although I had read parts of the original series by David Finch and David Wohl, I enjoyed this version much more, as she would have a lot more depth and emotion to her. I also liked the idea of her having not being able to remember the missions that she's done, as it adds a bit more mystery and suspense to the story, with her feeling both guilty and innocent.
This story would also feature two warring factions, the first of which are a group of genetically enhanced humans known as Gen, who live on Genesis. The main Gen in this story would be called Marcus, and would be the character that would find Aphrodite IX when she was released from her stasis pod. Now Marcus and the Gen themselves were very interesting, but it would be the interaction between Marcus and Aphrodite IX that would interest me the most, as it would add a lot of emotion and given the nature of the story it would show the awkwardness of their feelings perfectly.
The other faction would be a group of Cyborgs who live on Speros, with Executor Chronos leading their army against the Gen. Now what I liked most about Executor Chronos was that despite being the villain of this story he could easily be seen as the hero from a certain perspective, as although he is very sinister and maniacal, his intentions are in his eyes for the good of his race. I also enjoyed the interaction between Executioner Chronos and his second in command Helen throughout the first half of this story, especially at the very start, as it would do a good job of ease the reader into the story.
Executioner Chronos would also be aided by none other than Aphrodite IX's handler Burch. Now I won't go into too much detail about his role in this story, as to avoid spoilers, but basically he's able to control Aphrodite IX for 20 minutes once every 24 hours. This would be a very interesting development point for this story, and it would add a lot of suspense and intensity to the story, with the sequences involving Burch being very exciting. I also enjoyed the interaction between Burch and Executioner Chronos and that despite being willing to help Executioner Chronos, Burch's main concern was retrieving Aphrodite IX in one piece.
This is an amazing story and one of the best sci-fi comic book stories that I've read in a long time. Hawkins and Šejić reintroduce the character that David Finch and David Wohl created over a decade ago, in a story that will be enjoyed by both old and new readers of the character. The story is exciting and impactful, having a lot of emotion and depth, also having amazing dialogue and character interaction. Due to this I'd highly recommend this volume as it is simply phenomenal.