Before the alien Kibrani arrive to add Earth to their list of interstellar conquests, Andrew is a graduate student (presumably American, though that isn’t specified) studying abroad in Marrakesh. He doesn’t think much of the local culture, and that theme is delivered with a heavy hand, with Andrew and his best friend wandering through the marketplace talking for several pages about how backwards the people are and how bad it smells. Cultural sensitivity is plainly a lesson Andrew must learn, and, by the looks of things, the lesson won’t be subtle.
The Kibrani turn everything upside down, though, when they start blowing the place apart in standard, ruthless alien warlord fashion. The only apparent hitch in their plan of invading with overwhelming force – aside from some almost groan-inducing hubris – is that a genie shows up and starts fighting off their aerial forces with its bare hands. Perhaps not by accident, this first genie looks like a hardcore version of Robin Williams’ character from Disney’s Aladdin.
This is an interesting concept for an alien invasion story, and does have some potential to bring a different cultural perspective to the scenario than we usually see, but within the bounds of this first issue, Awan’s plotting and dialogue feel a bit unrefined. Vassallo puts plenty of energy into the art, though, and though his sometimes-caricaturish faces seem a little out of place, there’s definitely some attractive artwork here – though nothing you’ve never seen before. The first issue of Jinnrise is an alien invasion comic by the numbers, genies or no. This could become a very interesting and novel spin on an otherwise tired scenario, but the series will have to develop a bit before it reaches that point.