Review: Jinnrise #1
Part 1: “Manifest Destiny.” International student Andrew Marcus’ world is torn asunder when interstellar forces, the “Kibrani,” invade earth. With all hope seemingly lost, humanity’s last chance may be a long-despised and forgotten race: the Jinn (otherwise known as “genies”)! But are they our hope… or greatest fear? Combining the best of summer blockbuster fare and quest myths like Lord of the Rings, Jinnrise is a modern re-introduction to global myth.
Jinnrise is a new six part story by writer Sohaib Awan with art by Tony Vassallo. Timothy Yates provides colors while Ed Brisson handles lettering. The story is one with alien invaders and a world in ruin. With humans left completely defenseless, it will take something of mythic proportions to save them. It will take Jinn aka genies! With an interesting concept that could easily dive into corny territory, the question is does Jinnrise pull off the improbable?
The story opens with a narrative from our main character telling us about a lesson he learned. He has seen the error of his ways and now acknowledges the importance of people’s lives and how everyone matters. Cut to the alien invaders hovering menacingly above the earth. We then backtrack and meet our main character Andrew Marcus. Andrew is an international student studying abroad with a friend. They both look down on the culture they find themselves in. It’s a world of open air markets, handcarts, and camels where sellers try to hock their wares. The two students act very arrogantly and are downright jerks to one vendor in particular. Not long after that the aliens invade and it’s pandemonium. A young girl and boy are watching the carnage unfold on TV. The mysterious young boy grabs a lamp. Andrew’s friendship is tested and he learns a lesson or two as per our open narration. The aliens, the Kibrani, attack and it seems all hope is lost. Then through some twists and turns we see a genie. It’s in the title so it’s not really a spoiler.
Awan crafts an interesting opening story. We get our character introductions, but we don’t learn a great deal about anyone in particular. We’re thrown into the alien race and can infer their plans and how they’ve been conquering planets that “need them.” We’re sort of just thrown into the situation without too much buildup. The story shows a lot of potential, so hopefully it will smooth out over the forthcoming issues. The art is handled very well by Vassallo. It’s a realistic look with a slight cartoony edge. The colors are amazing and help sell the odd creatures and fights we’re seeing unfold on the page.
Bottom Line: Jinnrise is a solid introductory issue with a very unique and interesting premise. The first chapter doesn’t knock your socks off, but it’s enough to guarantee you will come back for the next part. Plus, the Jinn look amazing and pull off some incredible feats. Awan lays out a great concept with real possibility, so it will be interesting to see if he can smooth some things out and pull it off in the next issue I give this big summer blockbuster of an issue 4/5