IXTH Generation #8 Review

Posted March 3, 2016 by Henry Wong in Comic Books

Written by: Matt Hawkins

Art by: Atilio Rojo

Publisher: Image Comics

So that was the conclusion to IXth Generation. I must say, I did not expect it to end the way that it did. That is meant to say, I could not follow the story line at all and did not quite understand what was happening until I read the very end of the comic, when Hawkins described the story for me in a Wiki like format. The comic itself wasn’t all bad. It was a fusion of sci-fi with fantasy elements and as such, it was an unique and interesting read. However, that is all I can really say about it.

The final issue felt rushed. The story, though intangible at points in the other issues, kind of came together on the last few pages. But then Hawkins introduced time travel in an already convoluted plot line, to which let’s face it – time travel is too massive of a complex element to just throw in at the very end of a comic. The introduction of time travel then suddenly ended the story with our “heroine” (?) suddenly becoming the winner of the already confusing conflict arc. In other words, it felt like a deus ex machina which to me, signifies lazy writing (I have strong feelings about using time travel to end story lines – I would think differently if time travel was prevalent throughout). Why exactly did they continue fighting hundreds of years into the future when one side controlled time travel? Why did going back in time to kill the arch nemesis as a child end up killing her arch nemesis in the future but not ending the heroine who was a clone of the arch nemesis? If Velocity knew what was happening and what the evil chairwoman was doing, why didn’t she just speak her feelings and thoughts? I have way too many questions that remained unanswered and it is very possible that perhaps I missed answer while trying to finish this extremely confusing comic.

The comic series itself tries very hard to portray several themes, including the classical Darwinist theory of natural selection through survival of the fittest, and defining destiny. And I understood what Hawkins was trying to get at, but to me, it just didn’t work. Considering the natural implications of Darwinian theory, using advanced technologies and magical weapons does not denote natural selection. Nor does it support that the final “survivor” of such a struggle would be necessarily more naturally fit than another, since you know, they had time travel or a weapon that allows you to control dark spirits. At the most basic sense, Hawkins sort of incorporated Darwinian theory but not on the level of thought that we might see from other authors like Greg Rucka or Mark Millar. And on defining destiny, I was too confused by what the end goal of destiny was to even realize that some characters were trying to fight their destiny. If Aphrodite IX’s destiny was to not become the chairwoman, then she failed. And if that was the plot twist at the end, then I feel like it was done very sloppily (time travel…). I may be reading a lot into the comic but I do applaud the way Hephaestus was presented. In a way, she represented the LGBTQ community, having changed sex through her transformation after receiving the Angelus and still remaining a strong and “independent” character. More importantly, there was no emphasis on the fact that she changed sex. It is progressive to see such a character in comics and many people would be appreciative of seeing more of this (I hope this was Hawkins intention in the first place).

The most wonderfully done aspect of the comics and of this issue was the art. Stjepan Sejic, who was the artist from the beginning faced personal issues causing him to step down and for Atilio Rojo to step in his place. I’ve been a fan of Sejic’s other works since he draws his characters in a wonderfully cartoonish way. And his work has always been refreshing to look at after getting tired of looking at overly sexualized heroes and heroines as seen in various DC and Marvel comics (take your pick). When Rojo took over, I could tell instantly that we were headed back into old realm of comic artistry. Suddenly, our heroine had larger buttocks and cleavage seemed to be a norm, while our male characters suddenly wore open torso-ed clothing revealing 6-10 packs. Though I disagree with that direction of the art, Rojo did do a good job of portraying the battlefields. Especially in this last issue, I really liked how in-depth he drew the war torn cities and the deaths of all the characters. Their bloody messes of corpses were extremely well detailed and appealed to my inner barbarian.

All in all, this last issue seemed like a mad dash to the finish. The pacing was awkward in a lot of parts, the plot did not transition smoothly to the ending and it felt like a deus ex machina was introduced to help speed everything along. The art was bearable whenever it shifted the reader’s attention to the bloody battles and the colours brilliant. Of course, given the complexities of the universe (i.e. there were several tie-ins to this comic) I may have not received the full picture. However, based on my comic reading experience, a full series should not depend on other series to build context. Did I mention that there’s already a sequel planned?

About the Author

Henry Wong