Thursday, December 23, 2010

Black Panther #513

Wow. This was good. I'm not familiar with David Liss, but I really love his new take on the Black Panther. T'Challa was in one of my first comics (a FF annual) and he's been a fave ever since. Black Panther hasn't felt right to me in years, but THIS is a take I can get behind.

The first thing Liss does is move T'Challa out of Wakanda and put him in Hell's Kitchen. It's a bit forced, but T'Challa wasn't as cool with an army and uber-powerful wife always hanging in the wings. I don't think he needs to be powerless, as he seems to be now, that heart-shaped herb that gave him his panther powers shouldn't have faded with time! But the cost is worth it as we see the most approachable and likeable Black Panther in years. In his attempt to stay connected to the people, T'Challa takes a new identity and a new job as the manager of a diner. Liss keeps BP's dialogue the same, with the same cadence and power, but it is just hilarious when he's dealing with shift changes and spilled food.

The new villain, Vlad the Impaler, is fine, he's actually pretty reasonable for a crime boss, at least so far. He's a good match for BP at this power level.

Francesco Francavilla's art is awesome. BP's new street-level costume is tremendous, with lots of pouches and pockets for street-fighting gear. I don't know that BP needed to go quite this low-tech, but he looks awesome doing it!


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