Writers: Thomas Sniegoski and Jeannine Acheson
Art: Igor Lima, Adriano Augusto, Dezi Sienty, Carlos M. Mangual, and Taylor Esposito
Publisher: Dynamite Comics
Release Date: January 5th, 2022
Pantha #1 borrows elements from The Wicked and The Divine comic and the Alien saga to set a new course for the character.
A terrorist hijacking at the beginning of the issue sets things in motion, and along the way, we meet the current human forms of several Egyptian gods, including the Goddess Protector of the Pharaohs herself, Sekhmet, who now goes under the identity of Lora Dunmore, a wealthy televangelist. Because what other type of televangelist is there?
Though we only get a brief glimpse of this group of Earthbound Egyptian deities, they each have their own unique personalities, functions, and styles, and I look forward to an inevitable meeting between each of them and Pantha in the future.
First issues are always a roll of the dice, especially for obscure characters, because an origin has to be provided and all the pieces put into place. Unfortunately, Pantha gets pushed to the back burner here, only getting a couple of brief moments throughout the issue. It was a bit disappointing after waiting so long for a new Pantha book, like buying a ticket to a Star Trek convention to see William Shatner, then getting there and William Shatner walks to the podium, yells “Live long and prosper, here’s the guy that played Security Officer #4 in Episode 62. Good night!” then jumps into a stretch limo and hurtles away, tires screeching, as an unrecognizable actor wobbles up to the podium with 50 pages of notes.
The story itself is interesting, with a new insectoid-type threat and Sekhmet’s machinations, which are geared more towards self-preservation than destruction, and may possibly lead to a new status quo between her and Pantha.
Igor Lima’s art for Pantha #1 shines in the way characters are drawn. The Egyptian pantheon’s human forms each have their own style, and they’re easily recognizable even without dialogue.
I especially loved the way Lima drew Samira (who is Pantha’s human form). Her elegant nose and smile reminded me a bit of actress Cate Blanchett, and Sekhmet’s human form Lora Dunmore reminded me a bit of Janine Turner, an actress I loved back in the ’90s.
Pantha #1 is the beginning of a new era for Pantha, and though she doesn’t appear much in the issue, I’m interested to see what direction it will be headed in from here on.
Both Pantha’s human and panther forms are drawn beautifully, and I hope this team has a long run on the book.