Tuesday, December 17, 2019

#IReadsYou Review: BLACK PANTHER #1 (Marvel Action)

IDW PUBLISHING – @IDWPublishing @ Marvel

[This review was originally posted on Patreon.]

STORY: Kyle Baker
ART: Juan Samu
COLORS: David Garcia Cruz
LETTERS: Tom B. Long
EDITOR: Denton J. Tipton
COVER: Juan Samu with David Garcia Cruz
VARIANT COVER ARTISTS: Paulina Ganucheru; Elsa Charraetier with Sarah Stern; Gabriel Rodriguez with Nelson Daniel; Alex Milne with Paris Alleyne
28pp, Color, $3.99 U.S. (January 2019) – shipped April 3, 2019

Black Panther created by Jack Kirby and Stan Lee

“The Little Things”

Marvel Action is a new line of comic books produced by IDW Publishing under license from Marvel Comics.  The titles in this line will feature Marvel Comics characters in comic books aimed at “middle grade readers” and “younger readers.”

The third release in this new line features Marvel Comics' most famous African character and the most famous Black comic book character in North America, Black Panther.  IDW's Black Panther (also known as Marvel Action: Black Panther) is written by Kyle Baker; drawn by Juan Samu; colored by David Garcia Cruz; and lettered by Tom B. Long.  This new Black Panther series is set in the technologically advanced African nation of Wakanda, where the Black Panther, a.k.a. King T’Challa is responsible for defending his people—and the world—from any threats.  He gets plenty of help—and sass—from his genius sister, Shuri.

Marvel Action: Black Panther #1 (“The Little Things”) opens in Wakanda's Western Forest where the people's idyllic existence is shattered by stampeding animals.  Meanwhile, T'Challa is giving a speech about the increase in vibranium production when a sudden violent storms shatters this rather sedate event.  Now, Black Panther and Shuri must solve the mystery of a weather system that seems to be specifically targeting Wakanda.

Now that I think about it, I wonder why Marvel Action: Black Panther is the first time that Kyle Baker, one of the best comic book creators of the last three decades, is working on a Black Panther comic book.  Baker has always been a straight-forward storyteller who is capable of both humor and pathos.  With Marvel Action: Black Panther, Baker creates a comic book that moves like a Saturday morning cartoon that is full of action and adventure – in addition to offering an exotic setting.  I think Baker's writing, already quite good, is going to get stronger with each issue.

Juan Samu's art for Black Panther has the illusion of appearing to be in motion.  The graphic design is splashy, and the story pops on the page.  David Garcia Cruz's coloring adds to the sense of motion and energy in this story.  Tom B. Long's lettering jumps off the page, also making this comic book seem even livelier with each page.

IDW Publishing is three for three.  Its Marvel Action Spider-Man, Avengers, and Black Panther titles are all winners – for readers young and young at heart.

8.5 out of 10

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

The text is copyright © 2019 Leroy Douresseaux. All Rights Reserved. Contact this blog or site for reprint and syndication rights and fees.


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