Genius Cartel #1 (Image Comics)
Okay. So. Follow me on this. You’ll occasionally get a certain type of person that will say things like “You can’t abort those cells~! What if those cells grow up to be the doctor that cures cancer~?!?” or something along those lines. The corollary to their question has nothing to do with the cells but rather people; who is to say that the pregnant woman wouldn’t be the person to cure cancer but now she won’t because she got assaulted and pregnant or isn’t ready for a baby and now is stuck with one or about a billion other similar questions?
Following that train of logic, what if the cells (once they become a baby) do have the capacity to cure cancer? What happens when that baby is thrown into a world where they are unwanted and neglected, or given to parents that are unable to provide the education and environment that child needs to do that one specific thing? They’re not likely to be able to cure much of anything once they’re riddled with student debt or indoctrinated into a conservative mindset or otherwise crippled by Republican anti-science values.
A few years back, Image Comics published a comic that started looked at this, though not in the way you might be thinking. Genius posits that every generation or so, a mind is fostered on the cradle of humanity that possesses an advanced understanding of strategy and tactics. This is the tale of a young African-American woman named Destiny who was born with that gift but condemned to the poor ghettos that litter America, a result of decades of neglect and abuse fostered on an entire nation.
Using her gifts, she was previously able to unite the warring factions in South Central and waged war on the local cops, using military tactics and basically making the police look like idiots dressed up with military hardware. The military was called in and Destiny was defeated, although the implication was that Destiny threw the fight.
See, she knew that her enemies couldn’t resist the chance to use her intelligence and talent for their own gain, so instead of killing her they convicted her and threw her in a military prison for gifted youngsters. Their hope is to raise her in their image. Her goal is much more straightforward: she wants to learn everything they can teach her because the resources she had at her disposal were not enough to get her what she wanted.
The original mini-series was controversial and brutal, writers Marc Bernardin and Adam Freeman pulling no punches as they took a look at the gangland two dozen years of neoliberalism and Reagenomics fostered, on top of the two centuries or so of casual racism that hobbled a whole subset of American citizens. They then applied a chosen one to that modern hellscape and turned her loose, letting artist Afua Richardson out to play.
Afua’s not back for this installment; Rosi Kampe is taking over and if you’re not familiar with her artwork from her stint on Unknown Lands or Destiny, NY, well, you’re in for a treat. Her artwork is bloody gorgeous, and I’ve got the sense we’ll get to see plenty of blood before this tale is done.
Do not miss this. It’s going to be awesome.