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Review: Black Panther: World of Wakanda #4

black_panther_world_of_wakanda__4Folami is running on a body full of nanites. Let that sink in. Folami is so hell bent on vengeance that she let a stranger pump her full of nanites so she could be even more of an asskicker. If that doesn’t tell you that you’re going to need some popcorn to get through this issue, nothing will.

The events of Black Panther: World of  Wakanda take place before Black Panther #1 and there’s a whole lot of awesome going on. The phenomenal woman that is Roxane Gay weaves a story full of passion, revenge, love and power. It’s so well written that I had to put it down every few pages to digest the words on the page and the T she was spilling. This was Beyoncé level girl power in comic book form.

The Dora Milaje have always been some of the baddest chicks of the Marvel universe, they are fierce, they are strong, they can kick your whole ass and, look hella fierce doing it. This inaugural issue of this new arc focuses on them, a whole lot of rebuilding and, a hint that something shady this way comes. Obviously, I’m here for it but, I’m pretty sure you will be too.

I’m resisting every urge to go full on spoiler tsunami because, this was such a good read that I want to tell everyone, everything about it. But, I also want you to buy this comic so I’m turning my spoiler meter down to 3. This issue shows us the aftermath of the Thanos and Black Order attack, the efforts to rebuild, the guilt of lovers who weren’t there to save their queen in the fight because they were off doing loverlike things. Gay serves up a Shakespearean level divided kingdom drama that is flawlessly executed and beautifully crafted.

The side story of two of my favorite Midnight Angels, Ayo and Aneke, add just enough extra brooding tension to the issue that you can see it becoming an arc on its own. (If you don’t know who the Midnight Angels are, get on that because if the Dora are some of the baddest chicks, the Angels can take their lunch money making them THE baddest). This issue shows the guilt and sadness they feel over by being there for the attack, it also shows us the type of Dora/Chieftans daughter Folami is and, is a precursor to what can and, probably will come next from her rash thinking and quick temper. There’s a crossing of Folami’s path and Ayo and Aneke’s that thanks to Folami’s new upgrades will undoubtedly lead to a bad end for at least one of them. We get to see a serial rapist put down and the unforeseen consequences that action will have.

Alitha E. Martinez penciled some kick ass facial features and showcased all the ways that a black woman can be beautiful. There wasn’t a hint of a white person dipped in brown crayon, or one face fits all with a different haircut that you usually see in comic books. And, colorist Rachelle Rosenberg regulated every shade of brown to perfection giving us actual differences in each characters melanin tone.

This issue was chocked full of storylines all interwoven in a way that shows all things are connected and, I’m looking forward to the butterfly effect dial waves that this will send throughout the series as a whole. Gay serves up a lot on a small plate and a lesser writer would have had so many bumps in the road, through clunky dialogue and unnecessary exposition but, Gay is a pro and not a word, bubble or scene is wasted. The handling of the lesbian relationships between Ayo and Aneke is human, real and compassionate. In the short number of pages that showcase it, there’s never a sense of putting on a show or pandering. The way she handles sexual assault is flawless, showcasing the shame and fear. This was a mostly female crew and what they pulled off I’m sure will inspire a legion of little girls who think they can’t, to take up thief pens and pencils and do it too! This issue is a fearless, well thought out tribute to the comic gods and they are well pleased.

Story: Roxane Gay Pencil: Alitha E. Martinez Color: Rachelle Rosenberg
Story: 9.9 Art: 9.8 Overall:9.9 Recommendation: Buy

Marvel provided Graphic Policy with a free copy for review

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