Clans of Belari #1 - Review

by Olivier Roth on July 07, 2021

Writers: Rob and Peter Blackie

Artist: Daniel Maine

Colorist: Carlos Lopez

Letterer: Taylor Esposito

Publisher: Aftershock 


As I was reading the first issue of Clans of Belari, one thought kept juggling around in my brain - “found family” stories can be really fun. Couple that theme with the theme of clan divides on the system called Belari, and you get a very strong first issue. 


The issue begins with a two-page spread that establishes the rules of the Belari system with the four tenets that spell out exactly how this clan system operates. From there, we are introduced to both of our main characters as they survive a ship crash: the pilot Gummy, a pilot in the Frigate Clan, and Te’a, an outcast. Two people, from two very different worlds, become the found family. I instantly connected to the character of Gummy as he sacrifices his position within his own clan to save Te’a, as it would be the only way for her to survive. She then becomes his daughter and the issue does a nifty time-skip 


Rob and Peter then proceed to show, as was as tell, the reader of the different clans and how they intermingle with one another, using Te’a as the reader’s gateway to the world - she knows what questions to ask her now father Gummy, and is quite observant that she knows that what he is telling her is the norm, he does not act upon it himself. It’s easy to see that he does this to protect her, but it will be interesting what their dynamic is going forward. 


The pencils in the issue by Maine jump from great when concentrating on the characters to breathtaking whenever he draws scenery. What I liked the most when reading was getting to know that each clan had a distinct look to them, and Maine makes sure to introduce this almost right away. The flight jumpsuit that Gummy wears is a dead giveaway that he’s from Clan Frigate and that they are either pilots or work on the ships. Once we hit the time jump, you see that Te’a is also wearing a jumpsuit, signifying that she is now part of Gummy’s clan. From there, you can see the different styles from the other clans that they meet and at the end of the issue, the creators provide a handy guide to explain it all. 


The colours by Lopez are what elevate the art throughout. This is not a dark book. The inks can be a little heavy at times but for the most part, Lopez brings a much more vibrant look that I wasn’t entirely expecting. He outdoes himself on the first two-page spread as that galactic view is amazing. 


As first issues go, the creators do a great job of introducing the theme of found-family and a clan system that is just ripe to be overthrown. It’s definitely a book worth checking out. 

Our Score:


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