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Review: Black Panther World of Wakanda #6

STL039910.jpgRembert Browne takes over writing duty in the latest story arc for the Black Panther: World of Wakanda titled “Death of the White Tiger.” Luckily for us fans, it’s not really a death so much as a suspected rebirth or reincarnation. This issue picks up after the “Midnight Angel” storyline and focuses on Kevin Cole, The White Tiger. We get a glimpse into the mundane nature of his post-Wakanda Black Panther life as an NYC cop. He’s both bothered and excited to be called back into the service of Wakanda by the Black Panther and once again puts on his White Tiger costume to hunt down some enemies of Wakanda hiding out and dealing in black market Vibranium in NYC.

Joe Bennett, Roberto Poggi, and Rachelle Rosenberg serve up some serious artwork. Lots of strong lines, beautiful skin tones, realistic ethnic features and shadows that contrast and showcase the heroes and the villains. The art is consistent and the panels are perfectly laid out. Everything in this issue complements every other part making it a flawless companion piece to the Black Panther universe.

The current story arc is interesting and well thought out enough to make up for the lack of the Midnight Angels and open the door the strong black male lead we find in Kevin Cole. Browne takes special care to add all of the little details necessary to make Cole an interesting and complex character. I’m looking forward to seeing where this extraordinarily strong creative team takes what seems to be a compelling story line and how it all intertwines with the rest of the Black Panther universe. But, wherever this story arc goes, I’m all strapped in and ready to go along for the ride.

Story: Ta-Nehisi Coates, Rembert Browne Art: Roberto Poggi, Joe Bennett & Rachelle Rosenberg
Story: 8.9 Art: 9.0 Overall: 9.0 Recommendation: Buy

Marvel Comics provided Graphic Policy with a FREE copy for review

Review: Black Panther World of Wakanda #5

It’s going down! Roxane Gay brings pure fire in yet another amazing issue of Black Panther: World of Wakanda. There are Midnight Angels gone rogue, Dora Milaje taking it to the streets and cleaning house all Wakanda and, Folami acting most foul in her attempt to quench her blood lust. Everything about this issue from cover to cover is amazing and I can’t wait until the next issue. There’s so much richness, culture, and purity in this story that you feel attached to the characters. Even the villainess Folami is relatable, you still want her caught and dealt with but, you feel for her. Gay’s amazing writing gives an emotional depth and a realism to every character that she brings to life on the pages of this issue and I am here for it.

Alitha E. Martinez lays down some beautiful, dimensional lines and Roberto Poggi follows up with amazing color that brings the characters and Wakanda to life. There are beautiful and distinctive facial features for all of the variety of shades of color that the story showcases. People look like real people of color and it is wonderful, Martinez even shows different body types and characteristics making this issue even more gripping and making each character even more a part of the story.

This issue tackles so many great issues like rage, sexual assault, exploitation of the weak, and sexuality. What’s great about it is that Gay makes sure to show the ugly and beautiful sides of life in a way that makes everything seem real, human and relatable. The care she takes with the lesbian love story of two of my favorite Midnight Angels is pure magic, instead of exploiting it she makes it a part of the story because the characters are a part of the story not because they are lesbians. The way she shows the Dora dispensing justice throughout the city and keeping its bad guys in check is engaging and, the way she shows Folami’s rage and vengeance makes her relatable even though we all know she’s wrong. This issue highlights all of the amazing things that any sensible reader would love about the series and makes it accessible enough to draw in new readers. Dawn of the Midnight Angels concludes in an amazing way and I’m looking forward to the next story arc and seeing all of the great things that I am sure this stellar team has in store for us.

Story: Roxane Gay Art: Alitha E. Martinez and Roberto Poggi
Story: 9.9 Art: 9.7 Overall: 9.8 Recommendation: Buy

Marvel Comics provided Graphic Policy with a FREE copy for review

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