For not being exposed to much of what the Top Cow universe has to offer, I really enjoyed this book. Thanks to Matt Hawkins’s superb writing and Stjepan Sejic’s gorgeous art, not only will veterans of the Top Cow Universe enjoy this issue but newcomers will find something to like as well. Without getting too long-winded, IXth Generation starts off by introducing the nine heirs that are ruling over the world under the Aphrodite Protocol. The protocol was put in place to save humans from extinction by evolving them into a new species with technology and genetic enhancement. Seven-hundred years have passed since then and the year is 2827. This is when the IXth generation of rulers come in. The rulers are Aphrodite IX, Apollo IX, Ares IX, Artemis IX, Athena IX, Hades IX, Hephaestus IX, Hermes IX, and Poseidon IX. At this point in time, eight out of the nine rulers have been in a constant state of war with each other for years. All except one ruler who strategically has her land much farther north than everyone else’s to avoid this unnecessary conflict: Aphrodite IX. Since the rulers are subject to genetic and technological enhancements, they can’t really die in a definite sense. They just have their memories and consciousness downloaded to a clone. So, the war wages on. However, out of the nine rulers only Aphrodite IX and Hades IX maintain their original bodies. Aphrodite IX goes to visit Hades IX in order to stop the constant war between rulers.
Aphrodite can’t convince Hades or the other rulers to stop the war so she vows to wake up Velocity (who we learn later was one of the makers of the Aphrodite Protocol-also known as the chairwoman after killing her mother). Hephaestus joins her on this journey, but things turn south when Darkness appears, the same entity that was responsible for his last “death.”
As I said before, I really enjoyed this book. My only criticism would be that although the introduction was very helpful for new readers such as myself, I felt like it took up too much of the story. The second half of the book was satisfying, but if the intro hadn’t been so long we could’ve seen more unfold. That said, I think Matt Hawkins did a great job of combining the titles Aphrodite IX, Cyber Force, and Artifacts while still making it new reader-friendly. There was enough action to keep anyone’s interest and the ending was nothing short of suspenseful. I definitely need to pick up next month’s issue to see what happens. If you’ve seen Stjepan Sejic’s artwork before you know what you’re in for, as it was my favorite part of the book. The odd futuristic, yet still technically post-apocalyptic world is brought to life through his artwork as well as the different personalities of the rulers. Even though we only get one look at many of the rulers and no dialogue, you can tell what they’re like just through Sejic’s depiction of their faces which is a testament to how good the art is. His coloring is also some of my favorite out there in comics right now. If you’re a sci-fi fan this book is definitely worth checking out.
Writer: Matt Hawkins Artist: Stjepan Sejic Publisher: Image/Top Cow Price: $3.99 Release Date: 1/7/15 Format: Ongoing; Print/Digital