Genius Vol. 1 Review

Posted May 29, 2015 by Chris White in Comic Books

Written by: Marc Bernardin & Adam Freeman

Art by: Afua Richardson

Publisher: Image

There is plenty of exposure in the media of how poverty is still a prominent issue in today’s society; be it in a movie or news story,  those that struggle to make ends meet are ignored and left to rot in the run-down suburbs of the world. Genius Vol.1 runs with this dilemma and asks many questions, answering them with an explosive storyline that pulls no punches and opens our eyes to a community pushed to the edge by a constant struggle to survive. When a union of different gangs in downtown L.A. pull together and fight back against the system, how far will they go to get the recognition they deserve?

Genius Vol. 1 plays out like a Michael Mann film on steroids; the action is constant—exhilarating and unforgiving in pace—and threaded perfectly with a hard-hitting story that never fails to deliver. The main character is given to us with gusto right from the start; Destiny is a strong, independent woman that was cut deep by the system at a young age when her parents were killed by police officers. Since that moment, she became jaded to the powers that control her and grew tired of the ignorance and prejudice she dealt with growing up. Right from the start, I liked the way she was portrayed. It is important for films, TV, and literature in today’s day and age to feature strong-willed women that don’t get naked at the drop of a hat, but instead use their brains as their main ally. Destiny does just that. There are many points where she exerts true knowledge and expertise in military warfare, using a wide range of homemade explosions to take out tanks and cop cars in the process, all while never losing focus on what the main goal is.

The one thing about Destiny that makes her abilities all the more incredible is that she is a teenager. Barely seventeen, she has united all the L.A. gangs to take their power back, and she’s done this with confidence, dominance, and self-belief. Marc and Adam have written a great story that never drags on and has just the right amount of depth to bring all of the action together without making it feel empty in its delivery. There is a definite message here, and even though I can’t particularly identify with the inner struggle of inner-city gang warfare, poverty, and famine, I can definitely identify with growing tired of those that try to govern us.

Afua Richardson has done something really special with the artwork in Genius. It is very reminiscent of Stephen Bliss—its cartoonish quality helps to make the action sequences all the more loud and outlandish. Its bright panels accentuate the explosions beautifully; the gunfights scream at you and jump off the pages, placing you smack-bang in the warzone. There is a plethora of colour on every page, and Afua’s artistry never feels lazy or bland—it is clear she has put her heart and soul into making Genius something she will forever be proud of. Even in its quieter moments, the characters are well drawn and are given a detailed and rich world to live in.

It didn’t take long before Genius Vol.1 pulled me in and never let me go. It’s a smartly written story with stunningly drawn panels that are well ahead of the game, and it’s portrayal of poverty and struggle are dealt with in a different and explosive way, but still ask questions that many will be too afraid to answer.

About the Author

Chris White

Rock n' Roll Nerd, Gamer, Writer, Lover and procrastinator.