Aphrodite V #1
Bryan Edward Hill (writer), Troy Peteri (letterer), Jeff Spokes (artist)
Top Cow Comics
July 18, 2018
A copy of this comic was provided by the publisher in exchange for an honest review.
Black market technology. Biomechanical humans. Riding in on the heels of the technological terrorism introduced in Cyber Force #1, Top Cow reintroduces their green-haired assassin in Aphrodite V #1. Decades ago, we imagined a high tech future of humanity versus machines. Aphrodite V reminds us that that future is no longer so far away.
Aphrodite has gone through many variations since her 1996 introduction. In this version, Hill and Spokes take her leaps and bounds away from her cheerleader outfit days. This time, she has been given consciousness translated into a conscience, one that shapes her actions and interactions, though her true goals remain a mystery as the story unfolds.
Appearance-wise, Spokes’ art gives Aphrodite V’s curves a distinctive edge, set against the heated background of an LA skyline. Panel details are restricted to the foreground, with heavy reliance on thick lines and black black black, offset by backgrounds of moody beiges, blues, and reds to suit the tone of each scene. Hill gives Peteri a break during the action sequences, offering very little dialogue and posturing as Spokes takes the reins with get-to-the-point battle sequences transitioning into cool, quiet moments of interrogation and discovery.
Speaking of interrogation, one of the elements typical to Aphrodite’s incarnations that is notably absent this time around is her frequent losses of memory. Originally, she was programmed to forget her assassination missions. The reasoning given for this was to protect her creators’ and clients’ secrets should she ever by interrogated. In a subtle nod to this, Spokes and Hill place her squarely in an interrogation room where the reader learns what this version of Aphrodite is really about.
But before we get to see Aphrodite V, we spend quite a bit of time with Martin Carver, a young, gay Black man whom his detractors refer to as the “crown jewel of [the MIT] diversity program,” from which Carver graduated at the age of 13. Based on recent terrorist threats and acts, Carver is convinced that the technology of Carver Industries is the only way to regain some semblance of peace and control in Los Angeles, but the powers that be refuse to hand over control of the police force’s armour and weaponry to a private contractor.
Carver is accompanied by his bodyguard, Hui-Men, who also serves as his voice of reason and encouragement. Unfortunately, Hui-Men’s impressive training isn’t enough to deal with a terrorist attack against Carver. Fortunately, Aphrodite V is more than enough to handle them.
Though this is Aphrodite V’s first appearance in Top Cow’s relaunch, the name should be familiar to anyone reading the new Cyber Force series, where the Aphrodite Project and its origins were introduced in the third issue. Now the fourth issue of Top Cow’s flagship series promises a showdown between Aphrodite and . . . Aphrodite? If you’ve spent a lot of time with the character from 1996 to present, then this hook should be more than enough to grab your attention. But if you’re stepping into the series for the first time, then, according to Hill in an interview with WWAC last month, “all you have to know is on the cover.”