Political intrigue, a formidable threat, advanced physics, a dose of philosophy, and a whole bunch of questions make for an interesting second installment. Is it good?
IXth Generation #2 (Image Comics)
Matt Hawkins and Stjepan Sejic begin IXth Generation #2 with a recurring question from the first issue: Does the resurrection process truly bring the person back to life or is it a new person with a digitally downloaded consciousness and genetic replica? The question is not fully answered (and hopefully won’t be for some time), but it serves its purpose effectively as the hook. It is not an unrealistic notion given our technological advances and sparks your inner philosopher whether you debate the ethics of the resurrection or actually attempt to answer the straight-forward dilemma.
Hawkins’ dialogue does a good job of empowering Aphrodite IX, but also showing who she is as a person and how she interacts with her subjects and siblings. She treats them both as family and has respect for them. Aphrodite IX’s internal monologue is crucial; it not only serves to provide background information on the IX program and her own history, but shows how she thinks and runs things through her mind: asking questions, answering them, and then asking new, different ones. It literally allows you to get inside the character’s head.
Sejic’s artwork is again wonderful. He is able to easily portray character emotions through facial expressions, while also creating some pretty neat space battles and space stations. The Darkness and its constructs are definitely both foreboding and frightening. They have a half demonic, half reptilian feel with a decent helping of saliva dripping from their large, sharp, white teeth. Their white eyes pierce the darkness and their thick ears are almost horn-like.
The action sequences are exciting especially with the Witchblade in action. Troy Peteri does a good job of creating the sound effects whether it is a slicing sound cutting down a large Darkness construct or a “spllrrch” when Aphrodite IX is tearing one of them in half at the torso. The sequences are short, not lasting more than two pages, which keeps the pacing of the story quick moving from action to history to politics and back to action again.
The story is rich covering a lot of different areas whether it is a political plot among the IX siblings, the world building and character development around Aphrodite IX and the people who live with her in the Northern territory, or surprise plot developments with the Darkness. There is even some advanced physics concerning the bending of light which went a little above my head, but the description adds to the possibility this world could exist.
The only big complaint I have is with respect to the sequence looking into the past when the IXs were given the choice of the territories they were to control. It gets a little slow and doesn’t give us anything new to digest or learn. It just highlights the differences between the siblings and gives a back story as to how the world was divided.
Is It Good?
IXth Generation #2 is a fun sci-fi story with a lot going for it from political back stabbings and machinations to mysterious ancient villains. You can find it all in this comic and Hawkins and Sejic do a good job of balancing it. There is one sequence where they aren’t creating mystery or providing new knowledge of the world that is a little slow; however, this is offset by some good dialogue and artwork providing a fun and enjoyable read that also makes you think just a bit.