Monday, January 2, 2012
Black Panther #526 & 527
Oh man, is that the coolest cover in months, or what? I've been loving these pulp-style images for BP over the last few issues, but this one takes the cake. You know Kingpin is in some trouble when the Panther actually goes and gets some friends.
I'm really enjoying David Liss' last story arc for a few reasons. I don't think I've ever seen Kingpin match up against BP before, and both characters are such excellent planners that they make good adversaries. I'm also quite pleased with the ever-expanding cast for this final arc. Falcon, Cage, Typhoid Mary, and Lady Bullseye are enough to almost turn this into a team book.
The best part about this arc has to be how seamlessly Wakandan politics and plot points are weaving into post-Shadowland New York. Wakanda is such a cool element of the Marvel Universe that I was sad seeing it neglected in BP's solo title. That's finally being rectified now. My only hope now is that Vibranium becomes a resource for Wakanda again and we get a bit of a reset for BP's status quo.
With Francesco Francavilla moving on to Captain America & Bucky, it seems Black Panther's title is the unlucky one. Shawn Martinborough does an admirable job imitating Francavilla's style, but Michael Avon Oeming's pencils are so unique that he ends up making the book his own a bit too much. I've always liked Oeming's art, but his style is so recognizable, issue 527 doesn't quite fit in with the rest of the run. That's the price we pay for two issues in one month, though.