Saturday, August 5, 2017

Review: BLACK PANTHER: World of Wakanda #1


[This review was originally posted on Patreon.]

WRITER: Roxane Gay (with Ta-Nehisi Coates consultant)
ART: Alitha E. Martinez
COLORS: Rachel Rosenberg
LETTERS: VC's Joe Sabino
MISC. ART: Brian Stelfreeze
COVER: Afua Richardson
VARIANT COVER: Brian Stelfreeze; John Tyler Christopher; Natacha Bustos; Khoi Pham with Frank D'Armata; Skottie Young; Alitha E. Martinez with Rachelle Rosenberg
36pp, Color, $4.99 U.S. (January 2017)

Black Panther created by Stan Lee and Jack Kirby

Rated “T”

“Dawn of the Midnight Angels” Part 1

A sure sign that Marvel Comics is already preparing for the February 2018 release of the Black Panther film from Marvel Studios is that Marvel doesn't think that one Black Panther comic book is enough.  We already have writer Ta-Nehisi Coates' ambitious Black Panther 12-issue series.

Now, we get Black Panther: World of Wakanda, which will explore Wakanda, the African kingdom which Black Panther/T'Challa rules.  The writer of World of Wakanda's main story is author and feminist, Roxane Gay (Bad Feminist).  The story is drawn by Alitha E. Martinez, who was part of the original art team of the Marvel Knight imprint's Black Panther Volume 2 (1998), which was written by Christopher Priest.  Rachel Rosenberg colors, and Joe Sabino letters.

Black Panther: World of Wakanda #1 (“Dawn of the Midnight Angels” Part 1) focuses on the “Dora Milaje” (“Adored Ones”), the female personal bodyguards of Black Panther and the royal family.  We see the first meeting between Captain Aneka and Ayo, the young woman who would become her lover and partner in revolution.

I would describe this opening chapter of “Dawn of the Midnight Angels” as not great, but good.  The characters and the character drama is intriguing, but the Sub-Mariner part of it bores me.  I think writer Roxane Gay is on to something with the dynamics between the leads.  The art by Alitha E. Martinez is a mixed bag – good storytelling but average quality on the composition.  That aside, I highly recommend this title to Black Panther fans.

“The People for the People”

STORY: Yona Harvey and Ta-Nehisi Coates
ART: Afua Richardson
COLORS: Tamra Bonvillain
LETTERS: VC's Joe Sabino

“The People for the People” is an origin story featuring another female character who is a thorn in Black Panther's side.  That would be Zenzi, leader of The People, the group currently trying to topple the Wakandan monarchy.  Written by Yona Harvey and Ta-Nehisi Coates, the story attempts to dispel some of the mystery around Zenzi, and this first chapter definitely makes her a character worth discovering.  The art by rising star Afua Richardson personifies how her stylish graphics and compositions add zest and energy and intrigue into the stories Richardson draws.  Encore


Reviewed by Leroy Douresseaux a.k.a. "I Reads You"

The text is copyright © 2016 Leroy Douresseaux. All Rights Reserved. Contact this site for reprint and syndication rights and fees.


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