One of my all-time favorite movies is Menace II Society. It’s a film which showed quite a different take on how it is to grow up Black and poor. Right before that movie came out, only a few short months before, Boyz N Da Hood and South Central told different narratives. What set Menace II Society apart from the previous two was not the optimistic conclusion but the redeeming qualities of its antagonist characters. It showed the world that Black people are not monolithic in appearance or narrative.
Life is that much messier and people are even more complicated. When you grow up in poor communities your world is a bit more skewed and grounded in reality than those with advantages. Rarely has this narrative been told in the dystopian genre. In the debut issue of Xogenasys, we find a protagonist whose circumstance is so disparate, life becomes one fight at a time.
We meet Darius Smith. Young men who live in areas like his literally fight for their lives in an online streamed fight. Raised by a single mother he looks to transfer to a different school so that he can be eligible to fight as well. His new school comes with its own set of troubles in the form of an old acquaintance who tries to rope him in illicit activities. By the issue’s end, those activities catch up to Darius but not before an unexpected opportunity shows up and changes his life.
Overall, an excellent debut issue that gives a unique take on a well-traveled genre. The story by by Tre McIntosh and Nickolas Draper-Ivey is excellent. The art by Draper-Ivey is gorgeous. Altogether, a story you will not soon forget.
Creator: Johnny O’Bryant Story: Tre McIntosh, Nikolas Draper-Ivey
Art: Nikolas Draper-Ivey
Story: 8.8 Art: 9.1 Overall: 9.3 Recommendation: Buy