Review: Genius #4

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Genius #4

Writers: Marc Bernardin and Adam Freeman
Artist: Afua Richardson
Letterer: Troy Peteri

SYNOPSIS: In the penultimate issue of Genius, a group of undercover cops wreak havoc right on Destiny’s front door and she resorts to desperate measures to regain control of the situation.

REVIEW: As the Genius series draws to a close, Top Cow have released the final 2 issues on the same day, meaning that there’s no waiting around for the finale.  A welcome marketing ploy that ensures that readers follow the story through to its conclusion.  Hey, they’re right there next to each other on the shelf; better buy issues #4 and #5.  This also means that the entire series fits nicely into the August release schedule and it really does feel like a serious comic book event.

First of all, this is without a doubt the issue with the greatest pace to it.  It’s a quick read and instantly leaves the reader wanting more.  Just as well issue #5 is already out!  While the issue starts with a bang, the part that really hooks the reader in is an exchange between Destiny and Detective Gray, whom we’ve been following throughout. Gray is a worn-out detective who is just desperate to be done with all of this and it’s tempting to feel sorry for him whenever Destiny has pulled one over on him.   The good thing about this series is that most of the characters are quite well fleshed out meaning that there are no pantomime villains.  Instead, everyone has motivation and a real reason for being there.

After the slower pace and simpler visuals of issue #3, Genius #4 has some truly delicious layouts.  It’s back to the police file look in a few places and there’s a great spiral page where the dialogue curls around from the edge to the centre of the page.  Visually, there’s an entirely different look to Destiny in this issue and it was really good fun seeing her like this.  A clever plot twist is based almost entirely around the fact that the only picture Gray has of Destiny is one of her as a young girl.  A fantastic moment that actually led to me gasping as I turned the page.  It’s been a while since I’ve done that while reading new comics.

I really do hope that the fantastic team behind Genius can pull off an ending that is equal to the rest of the series.  It’s been consistently good, well-plotted and cleverly paced.  It’ll also be sad to see the last of Destiny but it’s good to quit while it’s ahead.  Perhaps if it had been spread out over a longer series then it wouldn’t have been as good and probably would have been stuffed with filler dialogue (as is seen in so many other books that don’t know when to stop).  Instead, what you get with Genius is sharp art, concise writing and a finely tuned mini-series that really packs a punch.

Roll on issue #5.