Volume 2 continues the story that began in Rebirth Volume 1 and collects together issues 6 to 11 and Hidden Files. Again, the story is Written by Matt Hawkins with Stjepan Šejić as the artist and Troy Peteri as letterer.
The story starts where the last finished, with the continuing war between the Gen and the Cyborgs and Aphrodite searching for information about her past. From here new characters are introduced who expand Aphrodite’s world and present some very interesting ideas in the way of technology, science, philosophy, religion and psychology. The story is in no way hard science fiction, but it is entertaining, and probably drew me in a lot quicker than Volume 1 did. There were elements of the story that were a little cliche, mainly in regards to the character of Robert Burch, but they do serve their purpose for the story in the end.
The Hidden Files issue acts as a general information rundown for interested readers as it gives a bit of background on various characters, the two warring races, technology, locations and the history of the world. It’s a nice little addition that I appreciated, but it is, in fact, a little different to the stand alone Hidden Files issues, which also includes information on the 13 Artifacts found within the Top Cow Universe.
The photo-realistic painting that was present at times in Volume 1 is gone in Volume 2, which I think gives the pages a more rounded feel. As much as I like the art of the first Volume, I much prefer the art in this book.
The panelling of the pages is usually quite easy to follow and changes depending on the events of the page. Sometimes they may go down a single page and sometimes they go across two pages, but you can always tell how you are supposed to read it. Even the pages where there’s a large image with overlaying panels is easy to follow, and some of them look beautiful.
The only time I got a little confused was during a scene where Aphrodite is narrating but the images are displaying the birth of a cyborg. At first, I thought these were the thoughts of the cyborg but realised that the narration matched more with the title character and that they were contained within the green box that indicated her narration.
A really interesting part of the book is the Science Class section near the end. In here Matt explains ideas behind the different technologies, sciences, religion and other concepts that are present in the story. As well as explaining his use and reason for including it, he also includes links to websites that he used in his research and that explain the ideas more thoroughly.
Recommended to people who enjoy comics with a lot of action mixed with interesting ideas in regards to science, technology and philosophy without being really heavy about it. It’s an entertaining read and has fantastic artwork to boot.