Saturday, January 22, 2011

Black Panther by Jack Kirby vol 2 TPB

Only Jack Kirby could have a team called the Black Musketeers and make it seem fun rather than racist.

This is a weird trade. Jack Kirby handles most of the issues, but the big showdown with his new villain Kiber is written and drawn by a different creative team. The story is satisfying as a whole, but it is weird seeing Kirby just disappear from the credits.

The trade is very Wakanda-centric, but the main protectors of the Panther Cult are T'Challa's relatives, the aforementioned Black Musketeers. With the real Black Panther missing, Wakanda turns to T'Challa's relatives; a race car driver, a doctor, a large woman, and an elderly financier. They are surprisingly capable, and do a decent job protecting Wakanda in their genericized Panther-suits.

Once the real Panther returns, they stay involved in the Kiber plot. I don't remember seeing them again, but I like the idea of the Black Panther having a large extended family. I know they added his new sister in recent issues, but this feels a lot more realistic and possible. Surely we would have heard about a sister in earlier BP appearances?

Kirby's art is awkward, thrilling, and exciting. The poses (and dialogue) are unnatural and wonderful at the same time. The technology is brilliant and complex. You know what you're getting in a Jack Kirby book, and I love it.


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