Pilot Season: Genius #1

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?’ NOTE: Recommended for mature readers.

Just like the comic-book Seraph, which I reviewed HERE, this is part of Top Cow Comics’ annual “Pilot Season” event. That’s where several one-shots are released in the same month, and whichever one sells the most becomes an ongoing series. This one is from the 2008 Pilot Season, but I only recently heard of it via the World of Black Superheroes Blog. So I went ahead and ordered it.

From writers and creators Marc Bernardin and Adam Freeman, and drawn by Afua Richardson, this is an interesting story about this girl Destiny, who lives in Compton and has somehow united the local gangs under her leadership, and has been ordering them to stage attacks on the police. Her goal, apparently, is to drive the police out of the city, take it over herself and establish it as her own nation. This is, of course, a totally outlandish plan, yet it somehow seems plausible within the context of this story. The police are preparing to respond to the increased violence with a massive show of force, with Destiny is ready for and has her own “troops” prepared to hit the cops from every angle. There’s a fascinating subplot where one detective has been researching the increased violence for the past couple of years and has figured out that it can’t be just random violence, like the chief of police and the media think, and becomes convinced that there is a secret leader out there coordinating all of this. Of course, he doesn’t know who it is, and as he tries to convince the chief of his idea, he repeatedly refers to the hypothetical leader as “he” or “him”, just assuming that it must be a man.

But the best characterization is that of Destiny. She’s an orphan, having lost both parents to street violence, and therefor her motives for taking over Compton are benign. She believe that the system encourages violence and poverty amongst the poor in urban cities, and since the government won’t do anything to stop it, she figures it’s time for the people to take over. In addition to her knowledge of military tactics, she’s smarter than she appears. In public, she speaks Ebonics and slang, and dresses like a street thug, but in private with her closest friends she talks “White” The street lingo is just to gain the acceptance of the boys in the hood.

This title obviously didn’t win the Top Cow Pilot Season, and therefor is left open to future stories, but still tells one complete story in this issue, which I think makes it worth reading. I recommend it with a rating of FOUR STARS.

This issue can be downloaded for a mere $1.99 via Comixology and, within minutes, you could be reading it!

And, once again, for you Luddites who still want printed comics, you can go ahead and order a copy via

UPDATE: Since posting that, I have been informed via Twitter from both Marc Bernardin and Afua Richardson that this book DID win the 2008 pilot season, but just got delayed. But it is due to return later THIS YEAR! So that’s all the more reason to buy this issue NOW!

2ND UPDATE (5-19-14): Finally! A full miniseries is due this summer! Read about here: New series a stroke of pure GENIUS

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