Review – Aphrodite IX/Cyber Force #1 (Image Comics)

aphro - CopyPublisher: Image Comics (Top Cow)
Writer: Matt Hawkins
Artist: Stjepan Sejic
Release Date: 16th July 2014

Crossovers as entry points are problematic, and it’s one that the writer acknowledges in a discussion at the end of this latest Top Cow oneshot. Burden of continuity, engaging fans old and new without too much exposition – tough gig. My only substantive contact with the universe is The Darkness (for which I used to be a total fanboy), so I was on the fence about it – Witchblade always put me off the House style, in the main. Here, though, the art is immediately appealing, deft with great colour use in a range of palettes. If I had a niggle here it would be that the blood isn’t quite visceral enough, it’s a little flat which is incongruous.

In brief, the plot reintroduces a race of superhuman “gods” bred to see humanity through forced evolution millennia from now . It briefly flashes back to the near-present to show how characters and events from cyber force connect to this, but it’s not obstructive and does add to the narrative. Generally, the storytelling is engaging, with some stylish and pleasantly wry dialogue. The pseudo science is well conceived and contributes to the story overall (and has a handy real world guide at the end. Speaking of which, I rather loved the conclusion – it was deftly done.

As well as then getting a bonus short graphic story, as I’ve said there’s an interesting discussion of whether a one shot like this can appease everyone, and it concludes that it’s probably not that accessible to the uninitiated. I would tend to disagree in fact, as I was rather impressed. And the promise of them providing electronic back issues free of charge is the icing on the cake. Think I’ll take them up on that offer, and I recommend you do too.

Rating: 4/5.

The writer of this piece was: Sam de Smith
You can follow Sam on Twitter

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