Writer: Jim Zub
Art: Scott Eaton, Sean Parsons, Marcio Menyz and Erick Arciniega
Release Date: 1/1/20
Reviewer: Archer of the Asylum
Black Panther and The Agents of Wakanda #5 is actually my first issue of this book, which is actually not a difficult point to jump in at. With this issue, Jim Zub is kicking off a two-issue arc featuring everyone’s favorite regenerating degenerate, that scarlet pimple of the Marvel pantheon, Deadpool.
The inclusion of the merc with a mouth actually made it really easy for me to jump into the series 5 books in, without having read any of the back issues. The writing quickly had me swept up with the sense of urgency of a world without Nick Fury and S.H.I.E.L.D. being the global backup to The Avengers. The artistry here is… goddamn, it’s going to sound trite but its the truth, it’s rich. The depth of colors are, to me, evocative of one aspect of my childhood – the Batman Animated Series in one very specific way. As I was reading, the opening panels especially, I found myself wondering if they had been drawn on a black medium and then colored over. It conveyed the dark moodiness of the interior of the Wakandan Helicarrier.
The writing did a wonderful job of pushing along the flow of the narrative, and Zub made it look easy to change from the more stoic and serious tone of characters like T’Challa. The weight of not only being the leader of Earth’s Mightiest Heroes but also the crown sovereign of a country comes across in spades. And Scott Eaton and Sean Parsons did a wonderful job of expressing the weight of it on the page.
But then in a moment, the tone changes as Wade races across the page on a Harley streaming live on Instagram. The tonal shift would be jarring if it was any other character, but when you see those yellow speech bubbles and that mask artwork you EXPECT insanity. And Zub didn’t disappoint.
The one and only criticism I have is actually the use of some of the other characters. Dr. Nemesis seems almost too perfect a shot and his jokes feel forced. Maybe that’s just me not knowing the character but he felt out of place However, I’ll see how it progresses down further issues.
This is a good book. It just is. It’s not so heavy that you’ll find yourself trying to be distracted, but it’s not all fluff either. The writing balances insanity and weighty leadership decisions on a fulcrum that is difficult to balance and makes it look effortless. The artistry is bright, deep, expressive, and most importantly entertaining. I’m thoroughly looking forward to reading this month after month. I came into this series blind; I’ve read only a very little Black Panther in the past, and now I’m hungry for more.