Saturday, April 12, 2014

Ghost of FCBD Past: Aphrodite IX (2013)

From Top Cow's FCBD 2013 offering Aphrodite IX  #1,
written by Matt Hawkins with art by Stjepan Sejic.
Free Comic Book Day (FCBD) 2014 is fast approaching (it's the first Saturday of May), and the list of this year's FCBD offerings is available for perusal, so it's once again time to take a look back at a previous year's free comic books that have somehow lingered in my longboxes...

I've recently posted about my ongoing conversion to Top Cow fandom, a journey that began last FCBD when I picked up a previously unfamiliar-to-me title, Aphrodite IX. If the intent of the FCBD initiative is to expose new readers to the medium (and older readers to new titles) than 2013's Top Cow freebie definitely turned the trick for me in a larger way than I had imagined (or in a way my wife--wallet--surely feared). While many FCBD offerings are promotional excerpts for future releases or more expensive graphic novels, Top Cow Productions, Inc. released the first issue of it's new Aphrodite IX series last May. An existing character first introduced in their uber-successful Witchblade franchise, Aphrodite IX was a soft-reboot of sorts, taking the cyborg character (as well as a primary antagonist) into the distant future.

Written by Top Cow President/COO (and judging from his on-line bio, Jack-of-all trades) Matt Hawkins with art by painter Stjepan Sejic, Aphrodite IX is something of a mixed bag for those (such as myself at the time) unfamiliar with the character. Beautiful artwork, interesting futuristic locales, dragons, and space motorcycles are always checks in the plus column, though. If the purpose of FCBD is to generate interest in titles, than it was certainly successful in doing that with this fanboy. A slight interest in issue #1, however, is later rewarded with continued reading as the unfamiliar plot points that can be seen as somewhat confusing in the first issue are clarified in later issues.

Aphrodite IX is still being published, though another change in status quo is apparently on the horizon later this summer. This FCBD will not see Top ow releasing another freebie for Aphrodite IX, but most quality local comic shops likely have the current series available at near cover prices (at my lcs, previous FCBD books are priced at $1). If you, like I, dig sci-fi-super heroics and sweet painted-style artwork then I recommend that you quickly catch up before the next narrative shift comes--lest you find yourself combing online store for gaps in the longer Top Cow Universe story. Be warned: once you pick up one book you will likely desire all that which preceded it, and take it from me, it is extensive and, worse yet perhaps, very satisfying!

No comments: