The best of summer blockbusters combines with the weightier underpinnings of “quest myths” when student Andrew Marcus’ world is torn asunder by an alien invasion. With all hope seemingly lost, humanity’s last chance is a feared and forgotten race: the Jinn (aka “Genies”). And with their re-emergence begins a journey that may answer the question: What is the nature of true power?
Written by Sohaib Awan and David Liss. Art by Tony Vassallo and Andrew Huerta.
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 greatest hope… or greatest fear?
Our story begins with American exchange student Andrew Marcus. Andrew has recently relocated to Marrakesh, Morocco and is struggling to come to grips with his culture shock. The people of Morocco seem backward and primitive to him, but he doesn’t have long to hold on to his prejudices before aliens invade! The Kibrani, a warrior race hell bent on conquest and subjugation, have their sights set on Earth, and Andrew finds himself defenseless and caught up in the attack. Hope seems lost until a small boy named Yunus and his uncle Salim, a salesman in the market, come to Andrew’s aid with an otherworldly trump card up their sleeve – a Jinn! Jabal, the leader of an ancient race of genies imprisoned long ago by one of his own kind, is sworn to Yunus’ command, and readily dispatches the incoming attackers in a dazzling display of power.
Before Andrew has time to figure out what just happened and whether the Jinn are friend or frenemy, The Kibrani counter-attack, sending formerly exiled general Lashad-Brim to finish off Andrew and his uneasy allies. It’s with the self-sacrifice of Salim and his wife, as well as some explosive assistance from a mysterious mercenary named Harris that Andrew, Yunus, and Jabal are able to escape Lashad. They form a new plan: they will free the Jinn leaders one by one and enlist their help in battling back the alien invaders. The team is rounded out by Haya, a mysterious orphaned girl with ample ability in hand-to-hand combat. Together, they set off on a worldwide journey to free the Jinn and repel the Kibrani attack, but each step of the way, Andrew finds himself equally terrified by both possibilities – subjugation by dominant alien warriors or by powerful magical beings. Can Andrew set his prejudice aside and learn to have faith in his new allies, or is he simply siding with the lesser of two evils in a desperate act of self-interest?
At the heart of JinnRise lies a warm and oft forgotten truth: “Everyone matters. At the end of the day it’s true: The game of life’s about us all… whoever we are or wherever we’re from.” Sohaib Awan, Tony Vassallo, and Andrew Huerta’s tale of trust and enemies becoming friends is one that is highly poignant in our world today: Despite Andrew’s mortal terror and somewhat narrow worldview, he comes to realize that he must have faith in those different from himself and work alongside them if they want any chance at bettering the world for everyone. JinnRise reminds us all that when humanity is at stake, borders disappear and where you’re from becomes irrelevant – it’s about doing the right thing, not for reward, but because it is what’s right.