Written by Matt Hawkins
Arty by Stjepan Sejic
Lettered by Troy Peteri
Published by Image Comics / Top Cow Productions
Release Date: 01/07/2015
Expanding a Super-heroes universe’s mythos has been done before in comic series, notably at Marvel with the original Guardians of the Galaxy and 2099 and at DC with the Legion and DC 1 Million books. IXth Generation is an expansion of Top Cow’s line into the 29th century, where their elemental and supernatural ideas fully meld with cyborgs and future AIs.
As with any book set so far in a potential future, especially in an issue #1, exposition is key. Arguably world building is primary and character is secondary when it comes to this type of book. For a characters motivation to be understood, you must be able to understand the world they inhabit.
Thankfully Matt Hawkins does a sterling job creating the world, initially with an opening crawl to plant the foundations of the world. Followed by a prologue offering insights of differing ideologies of the characters.
In the 29th century there are nine prominent regions each named after the member of the IXth generation that rule their specific region. Conflict has been going on for a while between eight of the regions with only Aphrodite IX standing with the morality to seek an end of the conflict. Death is meaningless to many of the IX, their consciousness able to be transferred to a facsimile of their cyborg body. Aphrodite, however, shares some concerns over whether a clone can be considered ‘Real’ and questions what constant conflicts purpose is.
Aphrodite’s questioning takes her to the Architects of this future and in seeking answers finds an energy that’s Darkness even blackens the space around them.
Stjepan Sejic’s art (could his name be just as synonymous for Top Cow as Marc Silvestri now?). This isn’t a comic where you’ll find the artist has skimped on backgrounds. This isn’t a comic where you’ll see variations of the same panel echoing down the page. Stjepan does classic hero sculpting on the page and drapes it with a watercolor-esque hue. Anatomy and technology (from cyborgs to spaceships) done to perfection.
IXth Generation is a grand amalgamation of sci-fi and heroics, ideology and adventure, and best of all, its accessible. Highly recommended.