Published on August 6th, 2014 | by JCDoyle0
Genius #1 – Comic Review
Down in Los Angeles there’s a new boss taking the streets by storm and bringing all of the gangs under one rule: her own.
The story thrusts the reader slap bang into the middle of the story where Destiny, the central character, has already declared War against the city police department. The officials are reeling and the gangs are preparing for the retaliation but Destiny has it all in hand, she has everything planned out like a simple mathematical formula.
Woven into the set up for the action is a voice over by the police analyst, Detective Reginald Grey, who has a theory regarding the one person pulling all the gang strings. His profile flows over the top of the flashback sequences portraying Destiny’s upbringing and her rise to power in the gangs. She was all but ignored by her arguing parents and hid her intelligence so that she would go unnoticed in school. She used her cunning and guile to implant herself within one of the gangs and then bided her time, waited for all of the pieces of her plan to fall into place and finally, with a bang, she took control.
Bernardin and Freeman’s script takes a little while to get going and the opening ‘Police Report’ reads so much like a breakdown of what happened in a previous issue that you may find yourself checking that you are in fact reading issue one. However, after the rocky start the narrative picks up pace and a fascinating urban tale begins to unravel. The profiling voiceover is a clever device to illustrate Destiny’s history, especially since it only paints half of the picture and leaves the art work to fill in the rest.
There are several moments within this issue that are similar in feel to the movie The Warriors, especially the big gangland meeting, however it doesn’t draw the same historical parallels. On the other hand it does begin to lay some ground work about Destiny’s ‘gift’ at leadership and the writing gives the impression that future issues will deal with historical comparisons.
The art work is very well executed and Richardson plays around with the panels quite a lot, for example a conversation between two characters in silhouette over lap the surrounding panels. This focuses the reader on the speech while at the same time setting the scene in a natural, unobtrusive way. Richardson has a fluid style that suits the setting for the story and the word ‘baggy’ was obviously on his mind when it came to the fashion.
This is a very enjoyable first issue with a lot of potential. The narrative has the opportunity to go in a selection of different ways and I believe that it will take a few issues to truly get the feel of the greater story. My hope is that it develops in a similar way to Naoki Urasawa’s manga series Monster, where the very nature of ‘Evil’ and ‘Leadership’ is explored but it could as easily become something else. And as long as the script is focused and the art remains of this standard it won’t really matter where it goes, it should prove interesting to read.
Publisher: Top Cow Productions
Writers: Marc Bernardin/Adam Freeman
Artist: Afua Richardson