Hawkins and Sejic continue to not only evolve this section of the Top Cow Universe, but easily blend it with the supernatural elements, as well. These events began in the previous Aprhodite IX series, and were brought together in Aphrodite IX/Cyberforce #1. However, what is great about IX Generation is that Hawkins makes it accessible to those that weren’t lucky enough to read those previous titles. There’s a nice recap along with a solid introduction to the Gods of the IXth in the first couple of pages. Once introductions are made, Hawkins and Sejic throw you into what is hopefully the beginning of another hit from Top Cow!
Set hundreds of years in the future, The Gods of the IXth are at war with one another. All except Aphrodite IX, who has chosen the more difficult path of trying to stop her siblings from fighting. Hawkins explains that this has been more of a game to them since death is a revolving door, as their consciousness can just download into the next body. The interesting thing is that Aphrodite IX is the only one of them who has kept her original body and has no desire to change that. Once past the exposition, things began to get rolling as both Aphrodite IX and Hephaestus IX choose to seek out the creature that killed Hephaestus 25 years ago.
There is something worthwhile here for longtime fans and newer readers to be excited about as the story unfolds. It does have a slow start, but Hawkins keeps things from getting dull by giving Sejic some really cool scenes to draw that take place at the same time. As Hawkins begins to establish who these characters are, some roles are quickly presented. The most obvious is that Hades is going to be a problem, make no mistake! The inclusion of the supernatural Artifacts in the story is near perfect, as he makes them fit seamlessly into what he’s doing here. Sure, it might raise some questions as to how they all came to be in Velocity’s care, but it’s been several hundred years so anything could have happened. Just know that the action is intense, and Hawkins manages to give longtime fans some “aha!” moments along the way.
What can possibly be said about Stjepan Sejic’s work that hasn’t been said already? He’s always delivering quality work, whether his style is a bit loose or when he’s throwing in plenty of detail. The look of this issue falls in the former category while moving along the narrative at a great pace. Sejic’s creature designs are some of the best, and he gets to show off a little here when the Darkness appears. That entire sequence has a nice sci-fi/horror feel to it, and I have to say it was good seeing him draw the Witchblade once again!
IX Generation does all the right things when it comes to what makes a first issue great. Hawkins and Sejic are a great team, and it’s going to be a wild ride as we see how things unfold in this series. Top Cow titles seem to be about making new readers comfortable along with entertaining them, and that’s exactly what you’ll get here! So regardless of your familiarity with these characters, you should give it a try if you’re into supernatural sci-fi backed with strong writing and artwork!