Kara O'Connor

Comic Review: Genius #1

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One young, gifted girl unites all the gangs of L.A. in a battle against the L.A.P.D. in Image’s new Genius.

Genius #1 cover courtesy of Image Comics

Genius #1 cover courtesy of Image Comics


Genius #1
Writers: Marc Bernardin & Adam Freeman
Artist: Afua Richardson
Publisher: Image Comics
Release Date: August 6, 2014

Interested in Genius? Pick up Genius #1 and start reading this series today.

Genius, from writers Marc Bernardin and Adam Freeman, is an interesting take on violence that plagues the streets of L.A. That the “hoods” gangs roll through and end their disagreements via gunfire and death are a reality in our culture. But what if a young woman with an exceptional IQ could convince these throngs of angry individuals to cast aside their conflicts and come together for one unified cause? Destiny Ajaye is just that young woman.

Destiny is the product of the crime-riddled streets of L.A.’s most notorious gang communities. After years of dealing with abuse from the police and violence that exists in this war zone, the highly intelligent Ajaye decides to infiltrate the gang system from the inside. She is determined to take it over utilizing her love of the game of chess to maneuver through the gang leadership. On the other side of this plan, an L.A.P.D. detective named Grey is on to Destiny, although he has no idea she is female. Grey has surmised a Suspect Zero exists and believes this “Zero” is pulling all the strings behind the scenes and perhaps building up to a war with his fellow officers.

Destiny is immediately an interesting, engaging, and complex character. Her quick background story effectively reveals a young girl who, with her genius, could easily have succeeded in any industry she chose. However, Bernardin and Freeman remind us that sometimes we are the product of our environment. The idea that Destiny could bring together L.A.’s most notorious gangs was chilling and believable while also serving as a reminder that this is an unfortunate reality in our culture. Afua Richardson’s art was well-executed, giving us a protected glimpse into a violent neighborhood where people are surviving as best they can.

In a world where the fight for power and release is true and real, Destiny is an anti-hero to the people in her community. No matter which lens you look through, this Genius is doing what she thinks is right. Isn’t that what we all do every day?

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