The second-ever Marvel’s Voices: Heritage #1 is out this week, celebrating Indigenous superheroes and creators. If it’s anything like last year’s edition, expect interesting stories exploring a variety of characters. Featuring characters like Forge, Snowguard, and American Eagle, each story shows off its characters well where heroes are needed.
This issue opens with a story by Jim Terry and Brittany Peer about people on a ranch getting attacked by a giant robot. As the preview shows, it features a lot of characters who rush in to save the day. The art is bright and hopeful, with a cool robot design to boot. The story is very quick and is over before you know it, acting as more of an action scene than a full story.
Next up is a Snowguard story by Nyla Innuksuk and Natasha Donovan set where Snowguard grew up. This story has a fairy tale vibe thanks to some animal characters she meets. This story has more of a beginning, middle, and end than the first tale, but is also over quickly with a quick resolution.
This is followed up by a story focused on American Eagle by Steven Paul Judd and David Cutler. This is a fun story, exploring a 65-year-old hero who has pretty much been forced out of superhero work due to growing old. But does he still have enough in the tank to save the day one more time? Judd explores the life of a hero much like those of celebrities who chase a dollar on the convention circuit. It’s the strongest story in the collection and it has a satisfying conclusion.
Next is Rebecca Roanhorse and Shaun Beyale’s story “River: A Friend in Need” which features a young boy who can see spirits. This tale is more of a taste tester with more to come, but it plays with the trials of bullies in school well enough. It’s also very short and is over before you know it.
Closing out the book is a reprint of Darcie Little Badger and David Cutler’s story from The United States of Captain America #3. This story plays a part in Joe Gomez’s decision to become a hero, which was referenced in the main story of the same issue. Joe is a builder of things and of the community around him. There’s something pure about him that is lifted up, which helps remind us we all can be Captain America in our own ways. Cutler draws in a more cartoony way which suits the villain that’s used here.
Little Badger doesn’t pull his punches either, reminding us that someone like Joe Gomez would be wary of a man like Captain America who wears red, white, and blue, and in the final moments of the story, he makes a case as to why Joe would don his own Cap costume. It doesn’t feel cheap and it suits the character that was introduced in this issue.
All told, Marvel’s Voices: Heritage has its heart in the right place, but ends up falling short — literally. Each story is shorter due to the anthology format, and the majority end up being too short to make an impact. There is the very good American Eagle tale, and the reprint story by Darcie Little Badger is good too, but this a thin read and a hard book to recommend.
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