Review: Genius #2

Marc Bernardin and Adam Freeman take the reader out of the war zone and into the press room to unveil another level to Destiny Ajaye’s genius. The war will not only be fought in the streets, but will also be fought in the living rooms of the everyday American watching the late night special or browsing the internet.
Representing the media, Bernardin and Freeman introduce Izzy Cortina, a rough and tumble editor who demands results. She is all about breaking the news and will go to whatever lengths to do so, and does she ever! She jumps out of a helicopter into the South Central streets after her pilot refuses to land fearing being shot down by the LAPD or the gangbangers.
In the meantime, Destiny is still engaging the LAPD on the ground and leading her gangbangers, while her videos go viral on the internet and are picked up by Izzy’s news channel. Destiny’s talents are on display from the mixing of chemicals in the creation of explosives to deftly handling a sub-machine gun all the while keeping her eye on the bigger picture. She juggles everything perfectly forcing the hand of LA’s SWAT team.
Bernardin and Freeman do a wonderful job of adding realism to the story incorporating talking heads arguing over the morality of the “South Central Siege” as well as including leaders such as Al Sharpton and Jim Brown discussing how they will address the situation. They also briefly touch on police corruption. These details add the extra touch in reinforcing the believability of the story.
The book builds to an excellent climax with Destiny and her gangbangers coming to a head with LAPD’s SWAT team. Afua Richardson’s action sequences are up to par whether it is bullets riddling gangbangers or cracking the shield of a cop in cover. Her use of highlighting the characters in certain panels reinforces the emotions of the characters, whether Detective Grey is in orange yelling to pull the officers back or a mother and her two kids highlighted in blue are taking cover from the gun fight. She also does not use traditional panels throughout the book, but on one page has the flow set up wonderfully from a kitchen setting blending into a bird’s eye view of the city with cars burning and police vehicles looking like ants. The page doesn’t end there, but also shifts to Destiny armed with a rifle on the rooftop to a picture of what she is seeing through the scope. Richardson does this a number of times and each time the story flows effortlessly.
Following the battle with SWAT, Bernardin and Freeman leave an excellent cliffhanger that will challenge Destiny in a way the reader has not seen yet and test her genius once again!

Bernardin and Freeman add another layer to Destiny’s brilliance and, coupled with Richardson’s artwork, improve upon an already entertaining series.
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