By Matt Hawkins & Stjepan Sejic
Aphrodite IX has been an incredible run from the very first issue; different, exciting, creative, and intelligent, Matt Hawkins and Stjepan Sejic have truly turned this story into a force to be reckoned with. As we barrel towards the end of this title in anticipation of the next connecting series, big things are happening throughout the world of Aphrodite.
Issue #10 opens up with a mysterious but subtly revealing flashback segment that seems to provide some insight into a number of characters’ back stories that was incredibly intriguing. While this is actually the second-to-last issue of the series, a new title will be continuing this story down the line (2015?!). Given that we’re right near the end, it’s not surprising how explosive and different things have become for Aphrodite. In the latest installment, the IXs are beginning to carry out their underlying protocol and also to bring the title character into the fold. The enigmatic nature of Aphrodite’s background is further hinted at in some excellently written narration, which Hawkins always excels at writing in a very sincere but mysterious way for this book.
Stjepan Sejic’s artwork has been revolutionary, and his current style in Aphrodite IX is no exception. While the wholly hyper-realistic appearance has been blended with slightly more raw illustration, everything still looks absolutely fantastic. There are a few minor moments in issue #10 where some of the character detail doesn’t quite look finished, but these moments are definitely exceptions to the rest of the book. The overall realism remains quite powerful and impressive, the lighting effects and attention to detail are astonishing, and as a whole, this book really doesn’t look like anything else out there. This issue in particular felt very cinematic and epic in appearance from start to finish.
Aphrodite IX is one of those series that has been nearly perfect in every single installment, yet hasn’t seemed to receive the attention it deserves. As we come to a close far too soon, there are even more exciting developments on the horizon for Aphrodite and the rest of the IXs.