Comic Review: Black Panther #2

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Comic Review: Black Panther #2

Publisher:  Marvel Comics | Writer:  Ta-Nehisi Coates | Artist & Cover:  Daniel Acuña  | Cover Artist: | Color Artist:  | Letterer: |VC’s Joe Sabino Release Date: June 27, 2018 | Price: $3.99

This review contains spoilers.

A shift in genre

The first issue of Black Panther felt firmly rooted in a comic book form, neo-slave narrative.  This issue ventures away from that genre. Comparisons to Star Wars are inevitable in issue number two, which largely focuses on T’Challa out-maneuvering fighter pilots from the Empire. Toward the end of the comic, the Emperor confronts his officials who have dropped the ball in eliminating T’Challa. This is a fairly simple plot line  that establishes the weight of T’Challa and comrade’s rebel status.

Stellar art

Daniel Acuña’s art really shines here and is the best part of the series thus far. The ship designs are so futuristic and streamlined, drawn in a  way that suggests they fly really fast. There’s a wonderful sense of movement during the fight. The backgrounds are given sporadic detail as the fighter planes whiz in and out of the environment. For the most part this works. But as someone who often has a hard time following comic book action, I did get a little lost. A few panels seem to lack the detail required to illustrate the action performed. This is especially the case when T’Challa enters a type of hyper speed. I didn’t notice this until a second read.

But everything about the art is amazing, from the sketchy outlines of the ships, to the blurred ghost of T’Challa’s plane speeding past the Empire’s fighters. The color palette is full and broad hitting the range of warm and cool colors on neutral backgrounds. It’s used in such a way to highlight the movement. Even the sound effects are rendered in a jagged and dynamic way that makes me pause to notice them.

Villians return

The second part of the comic takes place on Planet Bast. The Emperor is wildly unhappy with the failure to dispose of T’Challa. He’s drawn wonderfully here and seems legit scary. This comic works very well at establishing tension and consequences.  And we have the mysterious return of some familiar Black Panther characters.

Conclusion

I’m hoping Black Panther is able to grow into it’s own narrative without comparison. I like the pace that Coates is working with and hope we are able to stay in this setting for some time. It’s a pleasure reading and viewing each month.

Review Score: 8.5

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