• Baraka

Tuskegee Heirs: Flames of Destiny #2 Review - Primed for Liftoff and Netflix Streaming

Marcus Williams & Greg Burnham (Writers) • Marcus Williams (Pencils)

Omaka Schultz (Colorist) • Brandon Page (Inks) • Get it now

It's been a while since I reviewed the first issue of Tuskegee Heirs. It was a great launch to a new IP and bridged the gap between historical reality and a cool SciFi concept. The main selling point for that issue and this one is the beautiful art and character designs from Marcus Williams. The characters look amazing and the costumes would be fairly easy to adapt for cosplay.

I'm outside of the comics' target age demographic but there is a lot to love here. The characters feel young, idealistic, fun. The team is made up of a crew that you could easily see kids latching onto and pretending to be in school playgrounds around the country.

This comic picks up with the fallout of the previous issue. The kids are grounded (pun intended) and forced to lie low. The issue focuses more on the kids of the Tuskegee program and less on any specific mission. Whereas the previous issue gave "Slip" all of the memorable lines and moments, this issue does better in balancing the characters. The book gives each of the kids (Ayanna, Able, Genesis, Omar, and Slip) a cool moment and spends the time needed to begin fleshing out their personalities.

In addition to the solid script, there is some decent action throughout the issue. We learn that the kids are just as capable in combat on the ground as they are in dogfights in the air. This goes a long way in establishing that the book has a life beyond the kids just being pilots which may limit the appeal of the series to some audiences.

If I had to lay some criticism I'd say that the three issues that I have should have probably been released as a graphic novel. It doesn't have the decompressed storytelling problem that most mainstream comics have but It just seems a graphic novel would have been a solid way to tell this story.

The single issues are being sold at a premium which I get considering the book is independently financed. I do think a collected edition would work better in this format since the release schedule is scattershot. Issue #4 was released this year which means there was a multiple-year layover between installments. Issue #4 looks incredible but if 4-5-6 were collected it would give more bang for the buck.

Aside from my personal gripes aside, this is another good issue, it reads and paced like a classic episode of your favorite animated series. The classic character tropes are there and the series seems primed to be adapted into a series or film eventually which is great because we don't get to see many series featuring Black characters in fantasy or sci-fi concepts like this. Tuskegee Heirs is a nice break from the status quo.