Writer: Bryan Hill
Artist: Jeff Spokes
Letters: Troy Peteri
I have had little interest in the Top Cow Universe over the years. When the original Image revolution occurred Mark Silvestri’s Cyber Force really didn’t appeal to me and as the Cyborg heavy universe expanded I stayed away. I know little of the Aphrodite books as the original David Wohl and David Finch Aphrodite IX looked to be just another in the hyper-sexualized ‘90s bad girl fad of which I wanted absolutely nothing to do with. But there was something about Aphrodite V that stuck out to me and compelled me to try out this four-issue mini-series and I am so glad that I did.
Aphrodite V was a dark, noir-cyberpunk, and horror hybrid that was wonderfully written by Bryan Hill with amazing artwork from Jeff Spokes. Set in a near future Los Angeles where crime has risen and billionaire tech genius Martin Carver found himself at the center of a cyber terrorist threat by the entity known as Basilisk, who was created by his father and now wants to enslave the world. Luckily for Martin standing alongside him are his loyal bodyguard Hui-Men and the cyborg Aphrodite V (the fifth of the Aphrodite series that apparently will culminate with the before mentioned Aphrodite IX). Aphrodite V #4 is the culmination of this story as Aphrodite and Hui-Men bring the fight to Basilisk and his cyborg henchmen.
Aphrodite V #4 is a wonderfully told tale that has brutal violence as Aphrodite and Hui-Men find themselves at the heart of the beast that is juxtaposed by Martin pontificating to the police the fear he has of Basilisk succeeding and the world that would follow. Bryan Hill’s story pacing is excellent as the story moves back and forth between the fight for humanity and the explanation as to why Aphrodite and Hui-Men must be successful. While Hill’s story is engrossing it doesn’t hurt to have Jeff Spokes on artwork. I have not seen Spokes artwork before I saw the preview for Aphrodite V but once I did I knew I was going to be a fan. He has a style reminiscent of Tony Harris by which I mean his artwork is incredibly detailed, realistic, with a ton of emotion. His action is brutal and his character designs were engrossing. Spokes contrast of dark colors with bright California sunshine and the green tones of Aphrodite were so vivid and deep that I never wanted the book to end. But of course it ended, yet it ended in a way that we will probably see more Aphrodite V in the future, and hopefully Bryan Hill and Jeff Spokes are back for more as well.
Verdict:I never expected to enjoy a Top Cow book but somehow Bryan Hill and Jeff Spokes accomplished this feet. Aphrodite #4 was an excellent conclusion to this mini-series that overall was an exciting and engrossing read.