June 19, 2017

Marvel Reviews: Black Panther & The Crew #3

Black Panther & the Crew #3
Publisher: Marvel
Writer: Ta-Nehisi Coates
Artist: Butch Guice & Mack Chater
Colorist: Dan Brown
Cover: John Cassaday & Dan Brown

T’Challa and Orroro take center stage in the latest issue as Coates reveals Ezra’s decades long connection to Wakanda. Not only that but we see how those threads have reached into the current day and are bringing these individuals together to fight a sinister evil. One that has the face of Hydra on it.

Coates is forming this team in a way that brings the reader along as we’re all finding out plenty of secrets together. It gives the title a more organic feel and isn’t just a group of heroes who one day wake up and want to join together. There are several great moments here from the shoutout to the Harlem Hellfighters to the superhero prospects for Ezra’s team back in the 50s. But Coates also delivers something that I didn’t know I was missing and that was more T’Challa and Storm. Their time is uneasy and tense because of their shared past but when it’s time to do some classic undercover work they are fantastic to watch. Plus I didn’t expect T’Challa to start singing Frank Ocean’s Nikes and then deliver a smooth line to Orroro that gave her pause.

Guice’s style is perfect for this type of story and he makes it look good along with the assist from Mack Chater. They are right in line with the narrative and hit every character beat necessary to keep things moving along just fine. This is what keeps various sequences interesting like when T’Challa pinpoints all of the listening devices and when they finally see what the design of the building actually forms. Though it’s also a case where vanity will get you found out with the quickness. The most action in the issue takes place in the last few pages and quick and hits as hard as the explosion at the end.

Marvel cancelling this series after only the second issue still seems like a huge mistake especially after the reveals we get here. Black Panther & the Crew is a slow burn and not filled with superheroes trading punches which is not a bad thing when it’s written smart and drawn well like this series.

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