Genius Cartel #1
Story: Adam Freeman, Marc Bernardin
Art/Cover: Rosi Kampe
First off, this issue is not like the previous Genius story line. The original Genius arc was about a girl named Destiny Ajaye, a 17 year old military savant who leads the gangs to take control and somewhat secede Los Angeles, as a Black Lives Matters type protest, albeit one with a lot more teeth than what’s on the street. Destiny does reappear in this, but the revolution is over, and she now works for the government as part of the negotiated truce. This story is a lot more Ender’s Game than anything, with Destiny being trained at the Madrasa Institute. She doesn’t want to be there, and she makes it clear from the beginning complaining about the name. Destiny starts her training, goes on missions, and shows that while she is very good, its not what she wants. There is more plot after that, but I don’t want to spoil all of it. Point is, this is not the social commentary that its predecessor was. It could easily go that way, this is only the first issue after all.
The story is well written, if formulaic, with enjoyable dialogue and a main character that doesn’t feel cookie cutter. The pacing is just right, with a good balance of set up and action. The art is very enjoyable, with a stylized realism that suits the story well. The colors feel pitch perfect, panel to panel, and the little details, like reflections of light and the individual teeth and gums in a mouth, help pull you in the tale.
Verdict: Check it out. I hope there are more surprises in the next issue. The potential for this book is huge. Destiny is a likable military savant, (no small feat), and I can’t wait to see her process and adapt to being the secret right hand of the man. This will definitely be a comic to follow. If it can rise up above the expected, it will be unstoppable.