Monday, February 13, 2012
Black Panther #529
Ugh. Time to say goodbye to one of the best runs I’ve ever read. David Liss has gone from an unknown (to me) to a writer I will seek out from now on. The Black Panther has been a favorite of mine since I started reading, and I never would have guessed he’d work so well in Hell’s Kitchen. But here we are, and boy, has it been a great ride.
T’Challa shows off why he’s Marvel’s Batman, outmaneuvering Kingpin at almost every turn. I loved seeing Falcon, Cage, and Shuri admiring the masterpiece of manipulation that T’Challa employs to take down Kingpin’s entire organization. I love that Typhoid Mary and Lady Bullseye put the Panther on his heels a few issues ago, but when the odds are even, Cage and Falcon have absolutely no problem dropping them both.
I feel that Liss may have rushed the conclusion a tad. The last few pages of the comic include DD taking back the reigns to NYC, the Panther announcing his return to status quo in Wakanda, and protégé Sofija heading to Wakanda to join him. That closing shot is wonderful. I real cheer-able moment.
I appreciate that Jefte Palo came back to draw those last few pages, it gives the book a nice sense of closure. I do wish Francesco Francavilla could have come back, his distinctive art was instrumental in establishing the tone of this book. Shawn Martinbrough does a great job with the Kingpin wrap-up, too. I loved seeing Cage just snatch katanas out of ninja hands. There are a couple pages here I’d love to try and hang on my walls.
Nice job, David Liss. This will hold up as one of the best Black Panther stories of all time. Heck, I think it might be one of my favorite runs of all time, too. It’s only 2012 and I think we have a best-of-decade contender right here.