Grumpy Bird Reviews: Black Panther v6 #02

I wonder how much of this costume is based on the movie version and how much is just Stelfreeze going with traditional and simplistic looks for the title character. Questions I don’t have the power to find answers to. Still it looks fantastic on the page.

IMG_2902writer: Ta-Nehisi Coates

artist: Brian Stelfreeze


Quick Review: This book is a hodgepodge of different stories adding up to one issue. I’m guessing this is done to help enrich and clarify what is Wakanda, or at least this freshest interpretation. Some segments are stronger than others, or at least more immediately engaging. There was one two page segment that did not seem to immediately connect to any of the surrounding pages and when there is only 22 pages of story to be had that is a loss of some valuable real estate. But, no matter what it is all pretty.

Spoilers Lurk Below? Maybe?

Analysis: If this was just another writer and not Ta-Nehisi Coates I wonder what my thoughts on these first two issues would be. I’ll admit that I am impressed by the mans stature and body of work which means that I am assuming he knows where this is going and at the end it will all pay off. I have high hope that the overall story will be a good one even if the experience of the individual issue is honestly kind of lacking.

While it was clear from last issue that Wakanda is the main character in this book, it seems like the Midnight Angels might be the big draw for Coates. Whereas I have to admit that they might be the least interesting part of the book to me. It doesn’t help that they visually remind me of a Predator, down to the almost fishnet like garment and masks. Although I guess they have more feathers. But it also seems like they are gearing up for a battle of the sexes style story with them, and that doesn’t really excite me.

I also found it a neat contrast that their over whelming victory on the page was followed by T’Challa seeming to have bit more of a struggle. Again, like last issue, I’m reminded of the differences in owning the page of Priest’s Black Panther when compared to Coates’. Also, how much more gadget based and Iron Man like this Panther is. I know they are trying to show the advanced tech side of T’Challa, but I do wish it didn’t come off quite so much like Stark.

Even if I didn’t necessarily have the highest exaltations for this issue as a work, there is no doubt that Stelfreeze is doing a spectacular job. His mix of highly detailed and stark silhouette make this a very nice book to look at. Still, there are plenty of nonexistent backgrounds making a lot of this issue take place in a color void. But the main image of the panel is usually so striking that it almost makes up for it. Really the only artistic touch I didn’t like is the above mentioned Predator/Angels.


Wrap Up: I do feel that this will shape up to be a nice story. At least I have that hope. Still, as an issue this felt very piecemeal and like it did not deliver enough forward progression to the overall plot, nor did nothing memorable enough happen to really suck me into the story. When the next issue comes out a month from now I’ll be hard pressed to remember what, if anything, happened this issue. Which is a shame with creators with this amount of talent.

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