Monday, January 7, 2013

New Avengers #1

Why didn’t anyone tell me that this is basically Black Panther #1? Now maybe that is just the first issue, but I sure hope not. Jonathan Hickman clearly has a great take on the character and I want to see BP in his own book again. Hickman gives T’Challa a major boost in powers; in this one issue he teleports, generates a Cap-like energy shield, and turns invisible. That’s all in addition to his regular strength, speed, and vibranium claws.

T’Challa is drawing together the Illuminati in order to address a strange, inter-dimensional incursion that starts in Wakanda. It’s hard to say exactly what the invaders’ goal is, but thanks to a well-designed new villain (Black Swan) and some quick deaths, there is already some emotional weight to the story. Hickman doesn’t have much time to make us care about his new Wakandan creations, but he uses his pages wisely.

So far the Illuminati is Captain America, Tony Stark, Namor, Reed Richards, Dr. Strange, and Black Bolt. I thought I read that Beast would be taking Professor X’s place, but maybe that is still to come. (I’d rather see Cyclops or Magneto!)

Steve Epting is a known quality for most comic fans. His art is dynamic, with thick blacks and great use of shadows. He does tend to draw young-looking women, and Black Swan is no exception. But his Avengers look great; I hope to see him drawing Black Panther for a long time.


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