Thursday, January 9, 2020



[This review was originally posted on Patreon.]

STORY: Daniel Kibblesmith
ART: Ricardo López Ortiz
COLORS: Felipe Sobreiro
LETTERS: Joe Sabino
EDITOR: Wil Moss
COVER: Ryan Benjamin with Rain Beredo
VARIANT COVER ARTISTS: Adi Granov; Cully Hamner with Laura Martin
28pp, Color, $3.99 U.S. (November 2018)

“Parental Advisory”

Black Panther created by Stan Lee and Jack Kirby; Deadpool created by Rob Liefeld and Fabian Nicieza; Dora Milaje created by Christopher Priest and Mark Texeira

Part One: “A Small Misunderstanding”

Black Panther is a Marvel Comics superhero created by Stan Lee and Jack Kirby.  The character first appeared in Fantastic Four #52 (cover dated: July 1966).  Black Panther is T'Challa, the king and protector of the (fictional) African nation of Wakanda.  Black Panther was also the first Black superhero in mainstream American comic books.

Deadpool is a Marvel Comics anti-hero character.  He was created by artist-writer Rob Liefeld and writer Fabian Nicieza and first appeared in The New Mutants #98 (cover dated: February 1991).  Deadpool is Wade Winston Wilson, a disfigured and deeply mentally disturbed assassin-for-hire and mercenary with a superhuman physical prowess and an accelerated healing factor.  The character is depicted as joking constantly, being sarcastic, and having a tendency to engage in the literary device of “breaking the fourth wall” and speaking to readers.

Black Panther and Deadpool are two of Marvel Comics' hottest movie characters, with Black Panther appearing in a record-setting 2018 film that has Oscar buzz.  Deadpool appeared in two films, Deadpool (2016) and Deadpool 2 (2018), each of which grossed well over $700 million dollars in worldwide box office.  Black Panther vs. Deadpool is a new comic book miniseries bringing the two hot Marvel characters together.  It is written by Daniel Kibblesmith; drawn by Ricardo López Ortiz; colored by Felipe Sobreiro; and lettered by Joe Sabino.

Black Panther vs. Deadpool #1 (“A Small Misunderstanding”) opens in Wakanda where the citizens are celebrating “Ubusuku Bokufa,” the nation's “Night of the Dead” festival.  T'Challa/Black Panther and his sister, Shuri, are working on a new surgical method for humans that involves something called “star cells.”  Meanwhile, in the United States, Deadpool's battle with “The Wrecker” causes a beloved Marvel Comics character to end up near death.  The one thing that can save him, “Vibranium Therapy,” may be out of reach for Deadpool.

Deadpool goes to Wakanda with a plan, a crazy plan that involves working things out with Black Panther in a plan-of-action that follows the line of action in a superhero-crossover-comic-book.  But does Black Panther want to play with let alone help Deadpool?

I am not going to act as if Black Panther vs. Deadpool is a great comic book, but I expected it to be a disaster.  Yet it is not; there are a few good moments.  Black Panther vs. Deadpool #1 has a kind of Looney Tunes quality to it.  I can see comedy elements that remind me of Wile E. Coyote vs. Road Runner and Bugs Bunny vs. Elmer Fudd (or vs. Yosemite Sam).  Daniel Kibblesmith does not quite pull off the madcap humor of classic Warner Bros. cartoon shorts, but I think he has potential.

I like Ricardo López Ortiz's art here more than I did his run on the first arc of Mark Millar's recent Hit Girl revival (entitled Hit Girl in Columbia).  Ortiz's scratchy, impressionistic drawing style is not as effective at storytelling as it could be simply because there is too much clutter in the line work and inking.  And here, some of the art is just ugly or badly drawn.

Felipe Sobreiro cannot fix this with his coloring, and Ortiz's art even makes Joe Sabino's lettering look like clutter, and that should not be.  While I found some things to like, I am not sure that I will return for the second issue.  I can't see myself paying $3.99 for this, let alone playing $21+ (with tax) to read the entire miniseries.  Black Panther and Deadpool fans might find Black Panther vs. Deadpool worth the price and the effort, though.

5 out of 10

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

The text is copyright © 2018 Leroy Douresseaux. All Rights Reserved. Contact this blog for reprint and syndication rights and fees.


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