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Clans of Belari #2 Review

3 min read
it's struggling to come together into a compelling storyline

Exploration of the past while Te’a seeks a future.

Creative Staff:
Story: Rob Blackie, Peter Blackie
Art: Daniel Maine
Colors: Carlos Lopez
Letterer: Taylor Esposito

What They Say:
The Clan Chieftains rebuke Cluthian’s bid for Chieftain status, so he turns to amassing alien-tech weapons with which he may take what he wants by force. Te’a has gotten a taste for flying, and despite the class rules against her — she wants nothing more than to become a pilot. She convinces Gummy to pressure a mysterious underground operator to circumvent the rules, but in doing so, Gummy has made a deal with the devil (yes, Cluthian) that is certain to come back to haunt him and Te’a.

Content: (please note that content portions of a review may contain spoilers):
With a first issue that was definitely a bit rough in some ways for what it needed to cover, Rob and Peter Blackie did as well as they could to get everything in place for the story that they wnt to tell. Both come from the Netflix series Frontier and have crafted something complex here to work with. Daniel Maine, who has worked largely at a publisher that I don’t follow personally, has produced some solid-looking stuff here to capture some of the weird elements but also the mundane things.

The flashback side is interesting as it shows a group that had left in a colony-style ship that was setting for their own plans and style of rule somewhere other than Earth. Utilizing a specialized design that nobody else knew, they ended up eventually settling on Belari and building a prosperous life, at least until they discovered a huge amount of alien tech and weaponry hidden in the surface of the planet. That forced them to change their view of being alone out there and over the next 100,000 generations, they began to solidify into what we know now with the clans and style of rule. It wasn’t exactly utopia at the first but as it went on it morphed into this more complicated and problematic style of rule and how people are set for certain things in life only.

In the present, we get Te’a and Gummy dealing with the fallout of those killed but it’s what comes from that which sets the stage. Gummy finally reveals his past since she’s heard enough now and the discovery that they’re not really related hits her hard. But it also forces her to demand from him that he help her become a pilot. Their past and why he changed course is well-presented by Gummy has little real interest in it when you get down to it, instead focusing on what she wants as part of that is to get away from him for a while as her level of trust in him has shrunk. And Gummy being who he is, he’s giving in and calling in some owed contacts in order to do just that, though it’s going to come at a greater cost I suspect than any of them realize.

In Summary:
The book also takes us to Souk station where the various heads of clans are meeting as a power battle is breaking out with who controls what and the jockeying of position to fill an empty position. It’s not bad or anything but it’s just kind of clunky with how it’s introduced and the lack of real clarity to it, especially as a bridge from what we saw in the past to the present. I continue to like the big picture ideas here and the cast so far is decent enough, but it’s struggling to come together into a compelling storyline because so little is being given to it as opposed to a lot of different plot threads to poke at.

Grade: B-

Age Rating: 15+
Released By: AfterShock Comics
Release Date: August 11th, 2021
MSRP: $3.99