Wednesday, August 17, 2011

Black Panther #522

Wow, this is one of the best comics on the stands, bar none.

David Liss continues his barely connected Fear Itself tie-in, keeping the focus on Hell’s Kitchen and the Panther. Hate Monger returned thanks to Fear Itself, but he’s spent this entire crossover keeping things on a small scale, and other than a quick mention of panic in the streets and the Thing rampaging around New York, this is a totally self-contained comic.

There is so much to love in this comic. The Hate Monger is absolutely despicable, he’s a manipulative, evil jerk who relishes his ability to demean even his most loyal followers. And the poor American Panther, he’s a bad guy, but you have to feel a bit sad for a guy who knows he’s being mentally dominated and controlled. And the few times he can speak up for himself, the Hate Monger will make him pay for it. (The other ringleader is an even better slimeball, I don’t want to ruin what makes him so great.)

Of course, the real star is still the Black Panther. T’Challa is getting his mojo back, and about halfway through this issue he just sort of states that he’s going back to doing things his own way, and you KNOW that’s bad news for the bad guys. T’Challa has had a hard time over the past few months, I’m looking forward to him handing out some butt-kicking next issue.

Franco Francavilla’s art is still wonderful. This issue looks more painted, the colors are even more washed out than normal, but of course, it works great for this particular story.


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