Written by Jay Faerber and Drawn by Jon Sommarvia
Published by Image
GEMINI is a recent addition to the roster of Image superheroes. By day (most of the time) he’s Daniel Johnson: boring, mindless automaton. Works an ‘Office Space’ job, never goes out with co-workers, and spends all his free time at home watching TV. Or so he thinks. When darkness falls (or if big time evil can’t wait for nighttime), he becomes ‘activated’ by the US Government Powers That Be. Once activated, he’s Gemini, supreme kicker of villainous asses.
The idea isn’t one hundred percent original, but it’s not so done it doesn’t spark some interest. However, the writing will need to shape up in the subsequent four issues if Gemini is going to survive mediocrity. In this first issue, equal pages are distributed to both Dan/Gemini and the Geek Gang who ‘run’ the hero, and both stories are equally stereotypical. Gemini debuts as a raven-haired Mr. Incredible with a costume which strongly resembles that of Harley Quinn from Batman: The Animated Series. He makes bad jokes, he’s pretty damn spry, seemingly good at everything he does, and is the go-to guy when other supers are on the ropes.
The four government technicians charged with keeping a very close eye on our hero are pretty standard (and also geeky versions of Archie and friends). There are several ‘by the book’ types with varying levels of friendliness, and of course there’s a newbie, who immediately starts questioning the morals of secretly controlling an individual’s life.
Not to say GEMINI doesn’t keep a reader interested. Faerber drops enough hints to show Dan Johnson wasn’t always a government secret super-spook, and longing from the character to unconsciously break free of his ‘no social life’ programming is shown several times. Plus the art was rather enjoyable. The larger-than-the-average-bear proportions are quite fitting in a superhero book, and Sommarvia’s work reminded me a bit of Carlos Pacheco’s run with the X-Men during “Operation: Zero Tolerance”. His spreads of our hero and the villains are incredible; however he does need to work on consistency (Dan seems to swell even larger when ‘out of uniform’).
The end definitely qualifies as a “Holy Shit!” moment, and does make me want to pick up the next issue, just to find out how the hell Gemini manages to…well, I don’t want to give away the surprise.
Faerber needs to focus on unique story-telling more than following protocol (and to try not to explain a character’s powers three times in one scene), and Sommarvia and FColor need to hone their good work. I would like to see a little more imagination in the subsequent issues, though with an ending like that I’m inclined to be a bit more optimistic than I probably should be.