The Search for Sadiqah, Issue Zero Review
By Animaine Sparkster
Have you ever wondered what it would be like to have a hidden destiny waiting for you behind a cross country adventure? Ok, maybe that’s a little too far-fetched. How about being misunderstood, told to withhold your potential, or treated like you’re wrong for being naturally inquisitive? Do you fight for the ones you love, only to be told that you’re wrong for doing so? If you can relate to any of these things, you might just identify with Sadiqah, the protagonist of Greg Burnham’s latest creation The Search for Sadiqah. He’s not alone, either. He received cover art and some back end assistance from his long-time partner in art, Marcus Williams. If the duo of Burnham/Williams sounds familiar, that’s a good thing. You might recall another title the pair worked on together, Tuskegee Heirs. The series follows 5 young pilots-in-training in the not-so-distant future, when a deadly invasion takes place and forces our Heirs to grow up fast. Along with Shannon Sapenter on the pencil/inks & Patricia Daguisan adding the coloring/lettering, “Team Sadiqah”, as they’re known, is producing some of the most gripping artwork and storylines that the comic industry has seen in a long time.
Growing up watching Western comics/cartoons that were mainly created and drawn by White people, as well as Anime from Japan, I’m used to seeing Black people reinterpreted through the lens of non-Black people. Sometimes they get it right, most of the time they don’t. That’s no knock against them, but there are certain things that most won’t pick up on unless they’re intimately knowledgeable with Black bodies (or Black themselves). This is where Team Sadiqah comes in. From the way the hair kinks & flows simultaneously, to the real fullness of the lips, they capture the Black form with style & realism equally. Get comfortable because that’s only the beginning of this short issue’s greatness. To say the colors sing would be a tragic understatement as they take the stage and command your attention on every panel. Speaking of panels, each page is dynamic and alive. The way the characters pose and express, you often forget you’re reading words on still pages.
If you’re wondering why I haven’t mentioned the story, don’t worry. I saved the best for last. Without spoiling any of the more juicy beats, Sadiqah is growing up in the 1920s in a town named Tulsa, Oklahoma. At the time, Tulsa aka Black Wall Street was a haven for Black American greatness and opportunity. However, if you know anything about Tulsa in the early 20s, you know that Sadiqah’s world is about to change drastically and abruptly. The Black Wall Street Massacre is one of the darkest shadows (no pun intended) cast by Jim Crow onto American History. By choosing this as the jump-off point for his story, Burnham is giving us history with our action and adventure. That adventure, by the way, involves the answering of some theories our protagonist has about her heritage. Like why she’s so headstrong, & why she feels so at home with being in the middle of a fight against bullies. Considering how this is just the prelude, only time will tell if these components continue to weave together seamlessly for our young heroine and the story itself. However, given Burnham’s track record, I have the utmost confidence in him and all of Team Sadiqah to deliver a compelling story that runs the gamut of emotion & experience. The stage is set for a powerful tale that is sure to resonate with readers from all walks of life, and I can’t wait for the proper Issue #1.
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