Wednesday, March 18, 2020

#IReadsYou Review: BLACK PANTHER and the Agents of Wakanda #1


[This review was originally posted on Patreon.]

STORY: Jim Zub
ART: Lan Medina
COLORS: Marcio Menyz
LETTERS: VC's Joe Sabino
MISC ART: Leinil Francis Yu with Sunny Gho
COVER: Jorge Molina
EDITOR: Wil Moss
VARIANT COVERS: John Buscema with Dave McCaig; Inhyuk Lee; Leinil Francis Yu with Sunny Gho; Yoon Lee
28pp, Color, $3.99 U.S. (November 2019)

Rated “T”

Black Panther created by Stan Lee and Jack Kirby

“Eye of the Storm” Part 1 of 2

It makes sense that Marvel Comics would publish more than one Black Panther comic book series.  After all, the 2018 Black Panther film was a worldwide box office smash and won three Academy Awards, as well as receiving a best picture Oscar nomination (the first film based on a comic book to do so).  The release of that film spurred a reportedly big jump in sales of Black Panther comic books and trade paperback collections, to say nothing of the merchandise sales that left some retailers sold-out or short of supply.

The latest Black Panther ongoing comic book series is Black Panther and the Agents of Wakanda.  It is both a Black Panther title and an Avengers-related series, spinning off from Jason Aaron's run on Avengers.  Black Panther and the Agents of Wakanda is written by Jim Zub, drawn by Lan Medina; colored by Marcio Menyz, and lettered by Joe Sabino.

Black Panther and the Agents of Wakanda #1 finds Janet Van Dyne/The Wasp and Colonel John Jameson III/The Man-Wolf in Miami fighting the “Scavengers.”  This group of tech-thieves is in Miami to find a lost cache of experimental S.H.I.E.L.D. weaponry.  Soon, however, Okoye, the tactical head of the “Dora Milaje” and director of “the Agents of Wakanda,” is leading her teammates to a meeting with their boss, Black Panther.

T'Challa, the current Chairman of the Avengers and the King of Wakanda, has located an example of the kind of situation for which the Agents of Wakanda was created – gathering intelligence and dealing with immediate hazards the Avengers cannot.  Pawhuska, Oklahoma, U.S. is experiencing some kind of demon invasion.  Can Black Panther, The Wasp, Okoye, and Fat Cobra (the immortal weapon and kung-fu champion) stop this invasion... or even discover the power behind it?

Black Panther and the Agents of Wakanda writer, Jim Zub, described this comic book as “[Jack] Kirby-fueled Mission: Impossible in the Marvel Universe” to  He said the team is “a strike force of misfits and monsters tasked with defending humanity.”  The Agents of Wakanda aren't the first superhero group to take on the “weirdness” in the “weird corners” of its comic book universe.  There is also DC Comics The New Terrifics.

The Truth is that everything about a superhero comic book universe is weird, so comic book writers who claim that there is a particularly “weirder” segment ripe for storytelling better bring it.  Jim Zub, a good comic book writer who has produced some comic books that I have enjoyed, does not bring it.  In Black Panther and the Agents of Wakanda #1  Zub's dialogue is bland, and he makes the characters, some of Marvel's best, seem somewhat run-of-the-mill.

Lan Medina's art is really good... in a few places, and is storytelling is... professional.  Marcio Menyz's coloring is really good, and the color effects caught my attention.  Joe Sabino's lettering is also professional and maybe... a bit perfunctory.  But practically nothing in this first issue is exciting.

If Jim Zub can give Black Panther and the Agents of Wakanda the spark he gave his former Image Comics series, Wayward, then, this could be an exceptional superhero comic book.  Black Panther and the Agents of Wakanda #1 doesn't seem like the introduction to something that will be exceptional.

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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