Tuesday, August 19, 2008


Nobody knows more than I the allure of the urban action-thriller. I have been associated with quite a few of them through York Entertainment - editing, re-writing, advising, marketing and so forth.

There’s a huge market out there for hard-fisted tales of hoods tired of “the man” (showing my age here) putting him down, and going after his piece of the pie.

Well Marc Bernardin and Adam Freeman (The Highwaymen, Monster Attack Network) have done this archetype one better in giving us GENIUS (Top Cow ).

In this case, they’ve mixed the right facets in with the blaxploitation, and come out with a socially relevant, ball-bustin, gun-totin’ character in Destiny Ajaye.

She does Coffy (and Pam Grier for that matter) proud.

Destiny is a product of her environment, and with the world of South Central Los Angeles as the backdrop, that environment = war zone. With rival gangs banging each other and the LAPD trying to ride herd over all of it - Destiny has learned and understands (far better than the rest of us) the art of war.

In this regard she is a prodigy, but instead of chess or the violin, Destiny's unique skill is violence tempered by strategy and tactics. She undertakes uniting the south central gangs and going to town on the LAPD (deservedly so) who she and the neighborhood sees as “the enemy.”

If you like real world tales of crime. If you would like to begin to try and understand some of the problems we have in Los Angeles (and Iraq) concerning crime, social order and law enforcement. If you want to read something that picks up where FOXY BROWN left off. If you just want to read something that doesn’t have a cape or cowl in sight, then read GENIUS.

The art is by Afua Richardson who blends an anime/manga style with graffiti art. His girls have hips and tits and the guys chests and bling. Both carry guns with personalities all their own. The coloring is realistic as the tonal range looks “depleted” with lots of browns and grays and tans that capture the smog-filled, grim and gritty fucking nightmare we call home. When we do see color it’s for a reason and appropriate to the story.

As part of Top Cow comics’ “Pilot Season” GENIUS only has one issue (well, that’s not quite true as Destiny has a subscription of issues), and to be honest - this issue is really just the first act of what could be a cool three issue first story arc.

That shouldn’t stop you from running down to the LCS and picking it up.
After that, if you want to see more GENIUS you will have to go to the Top Cow site and vote.

Wait, let’s make this simple and go ahead and vote for it - THEN go to your LCS and buy it.

Pilot Season: Genius #1 $3.99 for 32 pages
(W) Marc Bernardin, Adam Freeman (A) Afua Richardson (COV) Afua Richardson


marc bernardin said...

thanks again. but Afua; yeah, she's a she. Which only makes it cooler, yeah?

Cunningham said...

Oh yeah...

Which is always interesting, because there are those who think that female action characters can't carry (a movie).

I was about to say comic, but that's not true at all. And since GENIUS more closely resembles a movie than a comic (genre, style, tone)it's ridiculous that they say that...

Because seriously -- Nikita, Sydney Bristow, Lara Croft, Coffy, Foxy Brown, Cleopatra Jones, Sydney from SCREAM, et al -- might take exception to that idea.

Girls kick ass.