Rating: 4.5/5 – When Is a War Comic Not Simply a War Comic?
by ComicSpectrum EiC Bob Bretall
Dreaming Eagles will ultimately tell the story of the Tuskegee Airmen, the first African-American military aviators in the United States Armed Forces. This first issue, written by Garth Ennis and wonderfully illustrated by Simon Coleby, mostly provides a framing sequence for telling that story.
We start out in 1966 with Reggie Atkinson, now running a local bar, and his son, who is keenly interested in the civil rights movement. Reggie has not talked to his son in detail about his time in the Army Air Corps during WWII, but with the help of his wife (who prods him into doing what needs to be done, like many good wives tend to do) he decides it’s time to tell his son all about the challenging path they traveled against the bigotry of not only the general populace, but also fellow soldiers and many of the leaders in the Army at the time.
While it served to get the story off to a slow start, the context that was set in this debut issue felt important to the telling of the tale. The history mixed in with the fictionalized framework and characters made those characters feel very real. Ultimately this is a series that will appeal to fans of war comics as well as fans of dramatic tales featuring the heroic efforts of African Americans who laid down essential foundations for ending segregation and showing that there was nothing they could not do, providing concrete proof against a general unfounded prejudice of the time that African Americans were somehow physically or mentally inferior. This was a well crafted beginning to the tale and I’m looking forward to seeing it play out in actual training and combat in upcoming issues.
Reviewed by: Bob Bretall
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