Pilot Season: Genius #1 (Top Cow – Bernardin / Freeman / Richardson )
Alexander, Hannibal, Napoleon, Patton. What if the greatest military mind of our generation was born in strife, surrounded by violence and combat since birth? When the gauntlet is dropped, the question isn’t “How did 17-year-old Destiny Ajaye unite the gangs of South Central into a killer army and declare war on the LAPD?” No, the question is, “Can anyone stop her?”
I bought this book simply on the fact it was written by Marc Bernardin and Adam Freeman, that’s how much I loved I their previous project, The Highwaymen, one of last year’s most under-rated books. Their superb amalgamation of action and dramatic writing continues in the pages of Genius!
The first issue brings the reader up to speed on Destiny. Destiny is the mastermind-level military strategist who has spent the last year manipulating the major gangs of L.A. while keeping herself off the map. She has watched her family and friends get killed by the gang wars and the powers that be (“even the good cops” in her own words) are helpless to stop it, but she isn’t… oh yea, did I mention she’s 17.
The writing is crisp, the action is raw and the emotions are believable. It’s a hard thing to make a midwesterner feel like a gang leader is a good guy, but Bernardin and Freeman do it! From almost the first page, I can’t wait to see how this modern day Hannibal is able to outsmart the LAPD, the US Government and eventually secede her half square mile of L.A. warzone from the United States.
Afua Richardson does an amazing job with the art, giving it an artistic “street tat” feel. The reader immediately jumps into Destiny’s world while still being able to keep track of all the action and interplay.
Genius is the 3rd of six books coming out of Top Cow’s second Pilot Season. Top Cow’s first Pilot Season did very well as far as sales were concerned. The concept behind Pilot Season is that over the course of a few months, Top Cow will introduce and publish six books that could turn into regular series. In August voting open and the fans themselves decide which two books get to move onto their own monthly issue. My vote is definetly going for Genius!