Published on August 13th, 2014 | by JCDoyle


Genius #2 – Comic Review

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Looks like it’s going to be an expensive month, especially because Image are releasing Bernardin and Freeman’s Genius weekly throughout August.

Destiny is stepping up her game and the journalists are getting involved which is never a good sign. Destiny arranges for the young and the old to tell their shocking and upsetting stories of life in the neighbourhood in an attempt to win over the general public’s view of them. Meanwhile the LAPA are being shown to massacre these same ‘victims’ in an unjust invasion into the estate. This image is made even worse when some of the Police Officers are proven to be corrupt members of The Blue Circle which specialises in extortion and drug trafficking.  Miss Cortina, a news anchor from the network currently running the exclusives of the situation, decides to enter the fray herself and manages to film some of the shocking confrontations.

Detective Reginald Grey, on the other hand, is trying to get out of the area as the realisation of the situation dawns on him. He knows that they are out of their depth, he can see that the media is being used against them and that the locals see the police as the villains of the piece. As the South Central Siege continues, Grey watches as the police are out manoeuvred at every turn.

But not everything is going as well as expected over in Destiny’s camp either.

Genius02 insert

The art work in this issue is wonderful with a selection of dramatic shots and some nice character work on the residents of the neighbourhood. Afua Richardson has produced a selection of emotionally expressive characters; even the extras have a steak of character which makes them more than just a face for a scripted sound bite. The family trapped with Detective Grey are especially emotive and these are the characters that you feel for the most: The moral discussion is centred on them because they are victims of both sides of the ‘war’ but refuse to be beaten by either. It’s just a shame they don’t have a bigger role to play in the overall narrative.

The script is as strong as the previous issue with some very well written speeches and conversations. The interaction between the characters is natural and helps to paint the best and worst of each of them. Miss Cortina is a fine example of this as she barks her way through the story, pushing everyone to get what she wants. At moments she seems arrogant and self important but then at others she is humbled or horrified by what she sees.

The only downside so far is that it’s difficult to find any of the characters to root for. Detective Grey is the face of the Law and Destiny is the face of Freedom but neither evokes empathy in the reader to such a level that they become the hero of the story. Because there isn’t a central character that the reader can follow as she/he traverses this minefield of moral ambiguity, there are moments in the comic where the reader is left at too much of a distance from the action with no reason to engage with the story. This is something that could change pretty quickly, especially with Miss Cortina on the scene. She will give the writers a chance to look at the other characters from an unbiased perspective so that the readers can see what drives each one.

The central premise of this comic is fascinating and I am interested enough to find out where the story goes.  I am hoping that the two leading characters on each side of the war are examined more closely so that we can see the motivations behind their actions.


Title: Genius

Publisher: Top Cow Productions

Writers: Marc Bernardin/Adam Freeman

Artist: Afua Richardson



Lover of comics and Art and Sci-Fi in multiple media. Currently teaching my kids the ways of the Geek (while protecting my first editions)

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