Ready for something completely different? It’s Genies VS. Aliens in Jinnrise #1 from Image Comics!
It’s a great premise.
The art is problematic in places
The concept may be too much for traditional audiences
Previously: How come we’ve never had contact with beings from beyond this world? Could it be we aren’t ready? Could our actions be keeping us from joining the planetary coalition? Or maybe we have been visited before, and we just don’t remember it.
GENIES VS. ALIENS
Aliens have decided our planet is ripe for the taking, and because we as a planet are so disorganized; fighting with one another, killing each other, not taking care of our natural resources, the aliens have decided to strike. For Andrew Markus, a student studying abroad in Marrakesh, his view of the planet is quite different – if it isn’t technology oriented, if it isn’t modern, it’s hokum, worthless, and backwards. So when the aliens do attack, and a young boy releases a genie to fight them off, Andrew’s world is suddenly changed forever.
One of the big concerns I had when I started into this book was that it would wind up being more on the preachy side than the adventure side. It may still play out that way, but for now, this issue reads like Independence Day set in Morocco, with magic instead of science winning the day. I can get behind that, and like Andrew, if Mr. Awan handles the rest of this series in the way he started, there may be opportunities for eyes to be opened to other cultures without an outright dismissal from the reader. That’s not to say that this book doesn’t have its problems. The only way to know what country this story is set in is to wait for a news broadcast toward the middle of the book. Readers will never see the main character’s name mentioned unless they’ve read the solicitation. Still, as an opening chapter to what comes next, I’m intrigued.
I have mixed feelings about the art in this issue. There is some very detailed work on the backgrounds, and the architecture and objects on each page look stunning. The humans are anatomically proportional, but there are some very strange moments where the faces distort out of control, and the hands look look really deformed (in a bad way). Ultimately I can get past the anatomy, but I think the biggest disappointment, for me at least, is the coloring. Every pages (including the stuff that takes place in the alien ship) has a muddy yellow tone to it. It’s kind of a turn off, and even with the blue genie, which should be a complementary match, the pages look dull and flat. Part of this could be the style of the coloring which looks like something done with a colored pencil than a more traditional digital coloring style. It takes some getting used to, but I’m not sold on it, yet.
BOTTOM LINE: NOT MY CUP OF TEA
I’ll say this for Jinnrise, it has a great premise, and a great setup, but for whatever reason, this book just doesn’t do it for me. It’s not a cultural thing, but more the result of a story structure, pacing, and art direction that doesn’t do it for me. I’m in for a second issue, just to see where the story goes next, but that may be it. For most, I think this story will be a bit out there as it mixes, sci-fi, magic, and an object lesson. Jinnrise #1 earns 2 out of 5 Stars from me.