Written by: Ta-Nehisi Coates
Art by: Kev Walker, Stephane Paitreau, and VC’s Joe Sabino
Cover Price: $3.99
Release Date: January 16, 2019
I have not been a fan of this series since Fresh Start began. I am still wondering why Marvel decided to let Coates take everything familiar away from the character in what originally seemed to be an initiative to get new readers on the book. Add on top of that an over-indulgence of political sub-plots and the big “wow moment” hinging on prior knowledge of the Black Panther mythos and this run is far from new reader friendly which is a shame as there hasn’t been a better time for this book to explode. Oh well, we will have to wait and see how Coates overall plan works out, I guess. That aside, how was this issue? Actually, it’s one of the better ones if you ask me. As Branden would say, “Let’s discuss”…
The first thing that I think most readers will notice is how damn good it looks. Kev Walker’s panels are big and really let his character designs shine, but the real star is Stephane Paitreau’s colors. The deep, dark color palette sets up a somber tone that works for this story.
As for the story, we drop in on T’challa as he drops in on an Imperial freighter on a mission for some raw vibranium. It’s mostly just him and Nakia (via comm) talking back and forth while T’Challa kicks Imperial ass. Guess what? I really like it! Maybe it’s the focus on the two characters, but there is something more here…this feels like a Black Panther comic book!
Sure, there is the usual Coates political undercurrent here, but seeing T’Challa struggling with doing what he is supposed to vs what he knows is right is really well done and in the end, this is the hero I’ve been waiting to see. It’s not all perfect, mind you, as the situation is a bit forced too much as if Coates needs the reader to fully see that T’Challa has no other option, but it’s still satisfying.
This is a very quick read with great art and a Black Panther I can get behind. Sure, I wish we were getting more answers to the overall picture, but I wasn’t bored reading this issue and that’s something I can’t say about the other seven issues that came before it. Hopefully, this is the start of something good and this book will start getting fans back onboard.
This is a quick story with great art and best of all, shows the reader the hero that seemed to be missing a bit from this series. I am still waiting for bigger answers to the overall story before I can be convinced to suggest to others, but this is a good first step.