Matt Hawkins (“Think Tank,” “Cyber Force”) and Stjepan Sejic (“Witchblade,” “Artifacts”) explore the good and evil men can do in the pages of the new monthly series from Top Cow “Aphrodite IX.” The story comes from Sejic’s desire to create a fantasy filled sci-fi world paired up with a dystopian future that Hawkins wanted but was not able to incorporate into the “Cyber Force” series launched last year. The result is a future where the Earth’s axis has been shifted and the last two human tribes on Earth are warring over what little inhabitable land remains. Enter Aphrodite IX as a pawn for one side of the war and a savior for the other.
Aphrodite was buried within a catacomb as the Earth reached an apocalyptic event. This extinction level phenomenon was why Aphrodite was created in the first place. She did not stop it and now thousands of years later a war between genetically enhanced humans and humans enhanced with cybernetics is fought as both try to wipe the other off the small stretch of land along the Earth’s new Equator.
The first issue of the new “Aphrodite IX” was Top Cow’s Free Comic Book Day comic and it created the draw to pull new readers in. The green haired assassin, Aphrodite, has been one of Top Cow’s most visually dynamic characters since her creation in 2000, but little has been done with her since. By pushing the timeline into the far future, Hawkins is able to hold true to the roots of the character but also create a clean break to start a new direction.
The bleak war torn world of this distant future does exactly what Hawkins wanted, it gives Sejic a wide open canvass to create a sprawling fantasy epic. The artist’s painted pages build an incredible picture of this story. The two battling races are defined by their look and their modes of transportation. The cyber-humans have replaced their organics with cybernetics and ride in crafts that traverse the skyways looking like something from a sci-fi epic.
The genetically enhanced humans pride themselves on their “natural” existence. They travel the land on flying dragons and in the second issue cover the terrain on large cats. This tribe is more in line with a fantasy epic common in sword and sandals stories.
Sejic’s contrasted depictions of the combatants create that dichotomy that separates the warring parties showing the disparity between their worlds. The art defines the new status for Earth and Sejic’s realistic luxuriant style makes it pop off the page.
When Aphrodite comes into this world she is a striking contrast to both sides as she walks in both of their worlds. Through her eyes Hawkins is able to explore the people, the good and the bad, who inherited the Earth. She has become a catalyst for change with a deep impact on this world. But how will she be utilized and who truly has the upper hand?
The first two issues of “Aphrodite IX” are available now and the third issue will be released July 17. You can read “Aprhodite IX” #1 free on Top Cow’s website. The series takes a stunning visual in the character of Aphrodite, who by her own admission was built for infiltration, seduction and stealth, and puts her into a world where her abilities will profoundly affect the course of human events. Hawkins and Sejic have created the fantasy epic the two were looking for in the creation of this world.
This weekend Sejic will be making his first appearances in the United States in nearly a decade on what Top Cow is calling “Stjepan Sejic’s Mad Scientist Tour.” July 12-14 and wrapping up his scheduled at San Diego Comic-Con, the Croatian Sejic will be making appearances at some of Southern California’s premiere comic shops and he’ll be signing with Hawkins. At each location 20 lucky customers will get a chance to get a sketch from the artist for $20. Check out this list for the tour’s schedule and make plans to stop by and meet the creative team behind “Aphrodite IX.”
Friday, July 12th:
Noon – 3pm
4116 W. Burbank Blvd.
Burbank, CA 91505
Golden Apple Comics
7018 Melrose Ave.
Los Angeles, CA 90038
Saturday, July 13th:
16532 Beach Blvd.
Huntington Beach, CA 92647
Beach Ball Comics
3024 W. Ball Rd.
Anaheim, CA 92804
Sunday, July 14th:
Collector’s Paradise – Pre-San Diego Comic Con Warm Up Weekend Party
319 S. Arroyo Pkwy. Unit 4
Pasadena, CA 91105