Writer: John Ridley
Art: Juann Cabal, Federico Blee, and VC’s Joe Sabino
Publisher: Marvel Comics
Release Date: December 22nd, 2021
“Two great tastes that go great together”. That’s been the Reese’s Cup motto for decades, and it applies to so many things. Who can resist combining two awesome things to get something even better?
There’s not a Reese’s Cup or Peanut Butter & Jelly sandwich anywhere in Black Panther #2, but there’s a fusion of genres, superhero action mixed with “Bourne Identity” style spycraft, and it’s amazing. In Black Panther #2, T’Challa and Shuri, along with Wakandan sleeper agent Omolola, continue their quest to get all the Wakandan sleeper agents to safety as they try to figure out who has sent a cadre of assassins to kill them all.
T’Challa is grimmer than usual throughout the issue, and it’s interesting to see him in this “I don’t give a damn” mode, amping up his fighting style to a new level of brutality, even as Shuri continues being her light-hearted self. Their dialogue is spot on and I love their exchanges throughout the issue.
The story flows perfectly and is filled to the brim with great moments: T’Challa dealing with a stubborn sleeper agent who refuses to go to a safe house, Shuri using Wakandan technology to re-enact the last hit made by the assassins, and a brutal fight between T’Challa and an assassin. Hilarious moments alternate with deathly serious ones, taking you on a great rollercoaster ride over 22 pages.
Like the best popcorn film, Black Panther #2 takes you on a great ride and makes you want the next issue to come out NOW.
It’s all wonderfully James Bondish, and a total 360 from T’Challa’s adventures in space from his last run (which was also great, but I’m enjoying this more).
Artist Juann Cabal’s art excels in many areas. His characters’ expressions convey emotion and I love the way he draws T’Challa, Shuri, and Omolola in costume, they look streamlined and intimidating. My favorite aspect of his art is how he draws the Wakandan technology. The holograms and spheres that Shuri wields pop off the page, they truly look futuristic. I also love Cabal’s assassins’ outfits, including the masks they wear with the red squiggly lines and the huge weapons they wield. They look like they walked right out of “Squid Game”, and I love the design.
Black Panther #2 is by far my favorite book of the week. I love the mix of secret agent style intrigue and world travel, coupled with T’Challa’s new attitude and Shuri’s bleeding-edge technology. It’s a great issue and I look forward to see what comes next.