SPIDER-MANDATE: The Lowe-down on "Secret Wars," Tie-Ins and Stacey Lee
Every day this year, I will be examining the first pages of random comics. Today’s page is from Aphrodite IX #1, which was published by Top Cow (and Image, of course) and is cover dated September 2000. This scan is from “Time Out of Mind,” the trade that was published in 2004. Enjoy!
A few years ago, I got in trouble for referring to a story in a Top Cow comic as a “stereotypical Top Cow comic.” I was referring to stuff like Aphrodite IX, which is just a terrible comic book. I suppose if you like David Finch, it looks okay in some places (and I like David Finch, which is the sole reason I bought this trade paperback – and Finch only barely drew two issues of it anyway). I wish I hadn’t, though, because David Wohl’s story is just terrible – Aphrodite IX is an android assassin who wears very little clothing and enjoys posing with her ass toward the reader – but that’s the chance you take, right? So yeah – this is what I meant when I wrote a “stereotypical Top Cow comic,” and I don’t think anyone can argue with me.
Anyway, let’s check out this double-page splash page that begins issue #1. Wohl gives us someone addressing the “council,” explaining what Aphrodite IX is, so that’s nice. The scan is somewhat small, so I’ll give you what the narrator says: She’s not “merely the future of technology … but the future of humankind.” The council members laugh, and the narrator continues: “Incredulity is an understandable reaction. After all, how could machines supplant us? The real question you should ask yourselves is … how couldn’t they?” The narrator points out that due to prosthetics and other advances, the council members are “already more synthetic than real.” And yet, the narrator says, they “age” and “die.” Oooooh!!!! This is, of course, setting up the fact that Aphodite IX will never age and never die, but remain a hot young thang forever. Take that, council members!
Finch gives us a pin-up for a double-page splash, with only Aphrodite IX cluttering up the page. We see only her and some shattered glass, but we have no idea where the window through which she’s crashing is or where she’s going. She’s going downward, but whence did she come? Finch doesn’t care, of course, because all he cares about is showing Aphrodite IX in all her sexy glory. We follow her boot down to her midsection, where we see the tiny, shredded skirt and cuts from the glass, because of course there’s nothing sexier than blood on soft, supple skin! Finch makes sure that her body is turned so we can see both her breasts straight on, but it’s not quite as egregious as some poses. We do get the strategically ripped belly shirt, making sure we see some breast but no nipples. NIPPLES ROT THE MIND! Just because, Finch gives Aphrodite IX green hair and green lips. We don’t see the green spot on her other cheek in this pose, but she has that, too. I can’t remember if there’s a reason for this, and don’t think I’m going to re-read this to find out!!!!
While the page itself is kind of bland due to the fact that Aphrodite IX is in a vacuum, at least Finch gives us a pretty iconic drawing of the main character herself and orients her the “right” way on the page. Basically, everything you need to know about the artwork and the story you get on this one page. You’re going to see violence perpetrated by a hot chick wearing very little clothing. If that’s your thing, at least you know right from this page and can adjust your expectations accordingly!
Only a few days left to nominate a writer-artist team for August! A writer AND an artist – not the same person – who worked on at least 25 issues together. It’s almost time to close the nominations, so if you haven’t asked for one yet, get on it!
Next: Well, I thought this comic was one of the best in the year it came out. Feel free to disagree! There are, of course, many other great comics in the archives!
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