Marc Bernardin and Adam Freeman begin Genius #3 with an absolute shocker. They take the reader back in time to when Destiny was only 12 or 13 years old and reveal a kid who is not trying to blend in as she was in Genius #1, but is instead taking her first steps on the road of violence. Is it good?
Genius #3 (Top Cow Productions/Image Comics)
Returning to the present, Destiny is confronted with a mutiny by her own soldiers. They are not upset about the tactics she used per se, just the fact some of them died in a war against the LAPD. It is quite disappointing that Freeman and Bernardin chose to go this route as opposed to the soldiers being upset about Destiny using certain members as sacrificial lambs to lure the LAPD in for slaughter in her plan from last issue.
After these two initial sequences, the book plods along and ends up with Destiny and her crew enjoying an urban pool party. Destiny is cast in a different light; she is not serious, ruthless, or determined. Instead she is light-hearted, enjoying the moment and wishing it could last longer, but knowing ultimately it won’t. The scene also includes some commentary from Detective Grey, which comes off more as a lecture than anything else; thankfully, Bernardin and Freeman realize this too and sarcastically refer to him as Braniac. Despite this, the scenes with Grey act as filler in a lackluster transition to a sequence focused on the leadership of the LAPD, which in itself doesn’t really add anything to the story besides inform the reader the National Guard will soon be entering the picture.
The rest of the book continues in the same fashion with unnecessary filler dialogue, although, there is an interesting sequence when Alonzo returns from his recruiting mission to the sound of sneers and jeers; even Destiny is ragging on him because he did not bleed with everyone else. If anything the sequence shows one of Destiny’s few weaknesses: leadership.
In spite of most of the writing being a setup for the next issue, Afua Richardson is on top of her game once again. The opening sequence is not only frightening to look at, but also displays young Destiny’s emotional gamut. There are also minor details in the scenes which are downright funny. The Burger Hut logo has a cat face next to a combination of Burger King and Pizza Hut logos. Destiny also uses everything from a Troll and a Mr. Potatohead to a Barbie and a Mr. T look-a-like doll. One of the best pages is something Richardson had not yet exposed the reader to thus far in the series. She displays Detective Grey completely distraught with a mass array of papers strewn on the floor. It makes the reader want to pat him on the shoulder and let him know it was not his fault.
Is It Good?
The book fails to live up to the expectations established in the first two outings; however, it does set the stage for the next installment.