Exclusive: Top Cow president Matt Hawkins discusses the new life and times of Aphrodite IX

Posted By:Byron Brewer
06/20/2013 - 1:44pm

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Aphrodite IX returned to the world of comic books on Free Comic Book Day and now is ready for another run courtesy of writer Matt Hawkins, artist Stjepan Sejic and Top Cow.

To find the meat of this series, getting ready to release issue #3 in July, Cosmic Book News Managing Editor Byron Brewer caught up exclusively with Hawkins and logged one humdinger of an interview about the femme fatale.

Cosmic Book News: Matt, what was the catalyst for this current iteration of Aphrodite IX?

Matt Hawkins: We relaunched Cyber Force and I was initially co-writing that with [Marc] Silvestri before he took it over completely. He's using Aphrodite V in that series and we talked a lot about what that character does and how she fits into that world. I had a lot of ideas and went back and reread the old book that [Dave] Finch and [David] Wohl did. At the same time, Stjepan Sejic told me he wanted to do a fantasy/sci-fi book where he could make up awesome stuff and not bother with reference like he had been doing on Artifacts. We started talking about that and decided this would be fun to do together.

CBN: For a book that started as filler in Wizard, Aphrodite has had quite the life -- as a character and a property. Tell us about the world that this android inhabits as first seen in the FCBD issue.

Matt Hawkins: Well, first off, she's not an android. If you read the FCBD issue, she's a human girl named April that was both technologically and genetically enhanced as part of the Aphrodite Protocol. This initiative was to create beings that would survive an extinction level event and repopulate the Earth after humanity was wiped out. This Aphrodite IX "April" has been frozen in status for hundreds of years and is discovered by accident in the aftermath of a battle. She wakes up to a world at war between two disparate groups in a "tribal" war, for lack of a better word for it. She's the perfect point of view character because she has no idea what is going on.

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CBN: Was it fan enthusiasm for the book/character in May that led to this month’s issue #2? And is this an ongoing at this point or a limited series?

Matt Hawkins: The plan is for an ongoing series and that was always the plan. We always intended that the FCBD #1 was the first issue of a continuing series. As with all these things, its longevity will depend on sales. Stjepan Sejic is very fast and I'm the cheapest writer I have in our stable (FREE) so assuming we find an audience we could keep the title going for years.

CBN: Will Aphrodite IX suffer from her predecessors' memory problems? And if do, how does this figure into the plot?

Matt Hawkins: Yes, she has no memory of events prior to her rebirth in this new environment and when she is "slaved" by her handler Burch who was also woken out of hibernation she is used like a puppet for 20 minutes and kills whoever they target. Once the 20 minutes has expired, she wakes up with no memory of the intervening time period. This was by design so that the "assassin" would be somewhat disposable and unable to recount motive or who her handlers were.

CBN: Will this assassin's "missions" tie together at some point?

Matt Hawkins: Yes.

CBN: Matt, do you have any favorite stories from Aphrodite IX comics past?

Matt Hawkins: I enjoyed the original graphic novel that Wohl/Finch did quite a bit but my favorite Aphrodite story is when IV was in the Witchblade arc that Ron Marz wrote a few years ago. That one was a lot of fun.

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CBN: Why is artist Stjepan Sejic right for this book? Are you a fan?

Matt Hawkins: His realistic painting portrayals are great for sci-fi and fantasy! I am indeed a huge fan of his and wouldn't be doing this book without him.

CBN: As Top Cow president, how do you manage time to also write. And what else might we expect down the line from scribe Hawkins?

Matt Hawkins: It's all about time management and not ultimately getting everything done. I have to-do lists on a daily/weekly basis and certain things just never seem to get done, but I prioritize and reprioritize. It seems to work, heh. I'm working on a project with Colleen Doran that we'll be announcing at ComiCon and another project that is an adaptation of a series of novels that we'll also be announcing at ComiCon. Lots of good stuff coming up!

Cosmic Book News would like to thank Matt Hawkins for taking time out of his very busy schedule to answer our questions.

“Aphrodite IX” #3 hits shelves on July 10th!