A few months back I ran into Matt Hawkins, CEO of Top Cow, at a small convention in Ventura, California. He told me that the publisher had been changing its focus to more science fiction storylines. At that point it had been a while since I had read anything from Top Cow, since before the Artifacts event. Now I think of Top Cow I think of it as two parts, the superhero titles that started the company in the 90s like Cyberforce and the darker more horror based books of the 2000's like The Darkness. So I was very curious about the "Third Age of Top Cow" and caught up on Think Tank… which I wrote about a few weeks ago as "The Best Comic You're Not Buying".
I got to sit down with the latest issue of Aphrodite IX by Matt Hawkins and Stjepan Sejic to put a preview together and I was really drawn into the story. The character of Aphrodite never stood out to me when she first debuted years ago. It was a visually stunning book but the story never pulled me in. With the sixth issue of the new series Hawkins gives you everything you need to know to be up-to-speed quickly, gets you vested in the character and still hits you with a WTF moment at the end. Not an easy trick.
Between Think Tank and Aphrodite IX, Hawkins is writing some of the best and smartest science fiction on the shelves today.
And with the art, Sejic has changed his style a bit. The first five issues of the series and for most of what I've seen of him in the past, Sejic has used a realistic, full-painted style. Now he's doing more of a classic comic book style and it works very well.
Aphrodite IX is a fun, fast paced book that makes you think. It grabs you by the hand and pulls you along into a very cool and very different world with unlimited opportunities for storytelling. Issue six is a great jumping in point… but it's well worth it to get the first five issues (available as a trade) as well.