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District Noir by Pandasaurus Games Coming Soon

Pandasaurus has announced a new 2 player set collection game District Noir is coming this summer. Preorders will start on May 19th with retail release planned for July 19th. District Noir was originally published in Japanese by Taikikennai Games in 2016 as Throne and Grail. It was then published in 2019 as Chocolate Factory by Nasza Księgarnia in Polish. The current art and theme was published last year in French by Spiral Éditions. When the time is right, gain control! At the head of the city’s largest criminal organizations, men and women fight to control territories and gain support by trying every means possible to grow their influence. Control of the District Noir, a central and highly contested area, remains the major issue that will make all the difference in dominating the city. There are two paths to victory: win over District Noir's various supports, or directly control the city’s three strategic locations. Before players can claim these, they must be played to the center

Featured Review @TopCow Aphrodite IX #9 @ImageComics @TopCowMatt @StjepanSejic

Aphrodite IX #9


The ninth issue of APHRODITE IX finally reveals what the numbering system really means. Plus, Aphrodite XV's design and build reveals more about Aphrodite IX's future-and her past-than she could ever anticipate.


See the 9-page preview of Aphrodite IX #9


See the Review Rating Overview page for more information on how I rate each comic

Cover & Solicit 4/5

With this issue we are treated with two covers drawn by the talented Stjepan Sejic (Witchblade, Cyber Force and Army of Darkness), who provides the interior art and colors, and one by his wife Linda Sejic (Myths & Legends). The first two feature Aphrodite IX and are your basic pin-up style covers, while the third is a Top Cow Store exclusive for St. Patrick's Day. As for the solicit it states that something is revealed about Aphrodite's past and the numbering system, but this doesn't really happen.

Art, Colors & Inking 4/5

Sejic has continued his art style for the second arc of the book and I really enjoy it. I do have to point out that it still suffers slightly from a lack of detail to the cybernetics, example being XV's tendrils. Otherwise his images are breathtaking and you can see another great example with the two page spread from the preview. He does a great job with the facial expression and his battles scenes are very well executed. Also considering the limited info he was given (see the Science Class section), it's also nice to see his design choices for the other IX models and how unique they each are.

Layout & Flow 4/5

The flow of this issue was very good as usual you can see that Hawkins and Sejic are running like a well oiled machine. Again we are taken back and forth between the events happening and the hopping around doesn't distract and is easy to follow. This is also one of the few times where Matt doesn't use narrative, normally he tells the story, but I actually appreciate that he let the dialogue and Sejic's art tell the story. I did however have an issue with the fight scene between IX and XV while Hades had control. At first I was a little confused because they looked the same, but then it was a little confusing with the dialogue and flow due to Hades remote control. I also still appreciate the Science Class section at the end of the issue, as it allows Matt to give a little more insight into the world that is Aphrodite and Cyber Force.

Story 5/5

Matt Hawkins (Cyber Force, Avengelyne, Think Tank) is doing an excellent job of telling the story and building on this future world that ties into his Cyber Force volume. This issue continues with Aphrodite IX and Aphrodite XV in Speros City waiting for Burch. We also find Marcus preparing for his attack on the Speros. We are then taken to Sanctuary I with Hades and Artemis IX who are activating the other Sanctuaries and their IX models. It seems that eight of the nine models have survived and Matt & Sejic gives a sampling of the remaining eight in a two-page spread. Once we are back in Speros City it seems that something isn't right with XV, and a battle ensues between her and IX. It seems Hades has taken control of XV. Now again this was the point where the flow was a little off, but after a second read thru it makes a little more sense. Matt also drops another cookie crumb in the way of something called the "Mother". I can't wait to see what plans Hawkins has for the rest of this arc considering issue #11 has been announced as the final issue. Matt did mention in the Science Class section that there are plans for Aphrodite IX/Cyber Force and a followup Aphrodite series focusing on multiple characters.

Verdict - 4.4 (9/10) (Buy Aphrodite IXSAVE 10%

Hawkins and Sejic are a great team. This issue continued the great story and work they are creating both in Cyber Force and Aphrodite IX. I loved that Matt went outside of this comfort zone and did an issue with no narrative and instead let the dialogue and Sejic's art tell the story. There were some minor issue with pacing and flow but nothing too distracting. I can't wait for the final two issues of this series before we get the Aphrodite IX/Cyber Force crossover I've been looking for. If you aren't Aphrodite IX or Cyber Force you should be.


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