Since the original Aphrodite series of the mid 1990’s the world has changed tremendously. What hasn’t changed is the allure of fresh near future science fiction stories that speak to our collective humanity. Stories that shine light on a possible future that we can recognize, because it’s so damn close to what we see today. With the new Aphrodite V series, (Top Cow/Image Comics), we are presented with a vision of the world as we know it, with all filters removed.
For anyone who is not familiar with the Aphrodite series, this is a character that was introduced about 22 years ago as part of the Cyberforce series. She is a cyborg, programmed to take care of problems, or for lack of a better way to put it, kill people that are deemed a threat. One thing that her creators, Cyberdata Industries did not expect, was for her to gain enough consciousness to understand what she was programmed to do is wrong, and decide to not only stop doing it, but to also stop other cyborgs who were created to finish her work.
This new series, written by the amazing Bryan Hill, (anyone who spells Bryan with a y is amazing in my book) is a great introduction to the character for people who may not be familiar with her, but it also holds up well for long time fans. The story introduces readers to Martin Carver, who is a billionaire genius that happens to be a gay African-American man, who graduated from MIT as an adolescent. His self-confidence does not endure him to the mayor of Los Angeles. As the two meet, he proposes the idea of allowing the city police force to be privatized under his company, Carver Industries. He feels this will make the city safer, stop terrorist attacks, and use technology to identify threats earlier, so they can be stopped. It’s when Martin and his personal security and friend Hui-Men are leaving and attacked that they are introduced to Aphrodite V. She steps in to help them, as they are attacked, thus starting a curious introduction to an unknown force.
Bryan Hill gives us a masterful opening comic in this series. There is a great introduction to the main characters and we learn quickly how much of a bad ass our title character really is. If I had to compare the comic to other series you may be familiar with, I would start with RoboCop and even venture to say there is a lower tech Blade Runner at play. I get the feel of a not unfamiliar sci-fi noir, yet the story still comes across as fresh.
In addition to the story, artist Jeff Spokes paints a masterpiece on the writer’s canvas. The sultry and understated colors used within the comic lend to the overall noir feel and make for a visually stunning book.
Fans of science fiction, noir, or future crime in general will fall head over heels for this comic. It delivers everything you could possibly want from this genre and promises to give us more in upcoming issues. I’m looking forward to what appears to be a potential partnership between Carver and Aphrodite V, and will be paying attention to this one for sure.
(W) Bryan Hill (A/CA) Jeff Spokes