I was hooked on Aphrodite IX from page 5 of the first issue. The introduction of the drakes struck a deep chord with me, as if someone had mined all my favorite tidbits of fantasy creatures and lore and distilled that essence into a single page of art. By the time I finished reading issue three I was scrabbling for my phone to text Mike and find out if anyone was reviewing the series. After gushing about it like a teenaged girl at a Justin Bieber concert he informed me that he had actually been handling it but graciously gave me the go-ahead to take issues three and four. I’ll try to contain my excitement throughout the rest of this review but make no promises.
During her infrequent moments of lucidity, Aphrodite is increasingly troubled by both the mysteries of her origins and her recurring blackouts. She calculates odds, sizes up any situation she finds herself in, knows exactly how to take out any target in front of her all in an instant but can’t say who she is or where she came from. Only exacerbating this is her growing confusion regarding her feelings for Marcus; is she genuinely attracted to him or is it just her mental conditioning for seduction and infiltration doing its job? After suffering two tragic losses in short order, Marcus too is plagued by unease. He is having trouble adjusting to his new role amongst the Gens, seeking solace and distraction in the way of the warrior. Instead of embracing the duties thrust on him, he ventures out with Aphrodite to track down who he believes is responsible for his pain. Upon returning to Genesis after this mission of revenge, Aphrodite is once again hijacked by her handler and should she succeed in dispatching her new target the Gen clan is sure to be thrown into chaos.
Matt Hawkins’ superb and immersive storytelling draws the reader deeper into the ages old conflict between these two opposing yet complimentary forces. The cold calculating focus of the Drones perfectly balances the warm and harmonious outlook that the Gens strive for. As if that isn’t enough of an accomplishment we also have our lost but driven heroine caught between and interwoven with both, the metaphorical thread stitching the two together. Stjepan Sejic‘s artwork brings a grand and fantastic scope to every panel of every scene, giving them an epic, mythic feel. This issue’s science class segment will (as usual) blow your mind by detailing how the creatures of this world are not nearly as far-fetched as one may think and that we need not necessarily wait centuries for any one of them to come to life outside the confines of these pages. Be sure to check the bottom of the first page for a link to a hilarious NSFW video showing us what a real life Spider-Man would actually look like. If you’re not fervently wishing for the next issue of Aphrodite IX to hit your local comic shop then you need to rethink your status as a comic book fan. This is one book I can’t recommend highly enough.
Chris has been a comic book fan since he was first given a copy of Spiderman at the age of oooh let's say 6ish. When he reached the age of reason and saw the error of his ways, he converted to the church of Batman and never looked back. When he's not obsessing over the Caped Crusader he's also a devoted uncle, gamer, a serious movie/TV buff and voracious reader of books without pictures. That is, unless it's the end of November in which case good luck finding him as he'll be covered head to toe in camouflage and crouched in a tree stand in upstate New York.