The party is over and Destiny faces two huge challenges: betrayal and loss in one of two issues of Genius on shelves this week. Will she capitulate and fold her hand or will she continue to fight? But an even better question: is it good?
Genius #4 (Image Comics)
Destiny’s first major challenge comes in the opening pages; her recruitment squad led by Alonzo was recruiting, but not for Destiny. Alonzo and his boys are deep undercover LAPD, and their only goal is to put an end to Destiny. The battle scenes appear more like slaughterhouses, with Alonzo’s crew gunning down fleeing partiers in their bathing suits—including women and children—despite his insistence during the attack planning process that all civilians had vacated the area. However, Alonzo’s crew is outgunned and outmanned; his tactic of surprise fails when he refuses to pursue his target and instead makes a run for it. Destiny’s response is brutal: no mercy. She overcomes her first challenge with ease, erasing the traitorous faction.
Her second challenge is much harder to overcome, although circumstances force her to move on quickly. Destiny is distraught and overcome with emotion as one of her closest and most valuable crew members is killed. However, the sequence doesn’t pack the emotional punch it should. Writers Marc Bernardin and Adam Freeman attempt a bit of humor by breaking the emotional tension with “Was that an uncomfortable silence?” The choice for this line disengages the reader from the dramatic display of emotion Afua Richardson has drawn on Destiny’s face and in her body language. The sequence also ends with a very strange statement by Destiny. As she shuts her fallen comrades eyes she comments, “Give him a house better than his house and a family better than his family…” It seems extremely out of place and almost religious for Destiny, something the reader has not seen from her character at all in previous books.
Bernardin and Freeman quickly abandon the emotional page and force Destiny’s hand into some undercover work of her own. There is some light humor when Destiny dreads putting on high heels, but Freeman and Bernardin focus on self-confidence and overcoming the almost impossible with sheer willpower. The climax of the book occurs when Destiny reveals her true goal for the South Central Siege: self-purpose. The reveal falls flat and the reader conjures up a multitude of paths Destiny could have taken to achieve this goal besides an all-out street war that has escalated beyond the LAPD.
Afua Richardson is once again enjoyable, although there are some scenes where a character’s arm is in an awkward position and is painful to look at or a police badge is supposed to be hanging on a pair of pants but instead looks suspended in mid-air next to the pants! Her take on a Lucky Charms and Trix mash-up, Lucky Trix, is downright hilarious with everything from the leprechaun and the rabbit to the side of the box detailing the ”benefits” of the cereal.
Is It Good?
The book ramps up the story and keeps the action and tension flowing; however, there are some odd writing choices halfway through that drop the reader out of the story and minor art details that feel out of place.