Writers: Thomas Sniegoski and Jeannine Acheson
Art: Igor Lima and Adriano Augusto
Letterer: Dezi Sienty
Publisher: Dynamite Comics
Release Date: March 30th, 2022
Sekhmet comes under attack as an ancient enemy of mankind comes to life, an eldritch horror straight out of H.P. Lovecraft. Meanwhile, Pantha finds an ally in one of the new Egyptian gods, as their leader Set has his own twisted plans for humanity.
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Pantha, in full panther form, battles a giant insectoid horror as Pantha #2 picks up immediately from the last issue. The insectoid creature has an interesting design, having the skeletal body of a giant canine combined with the feelers and thorax of an ant, attacking with fangs and webbing that shoots from its mouth. The battle raged for a few pages and was fun, reminding me of one of those old Ray Harryhausen Sinbad films I used to watch, where giant statues came to life, battling on a UHF Channel on a winter Saturday afternoon long ago.
This is one of the main reasons I love this comic and other Dynamite comics, they go all-in on the pulp goodness. Anyone who’s a fan of Edgar Rice Burroughs, Leigh Brackett, H.P. Lovecraft, or Robert E. Howard will feel right at home here.
Pantha herself still comes off as frustratingly two-dimensional, though this issue continues filling in her past, and we find out more about some of the truly evil things she did in her past. I hope they continue focusing on the dichotomy between Pantha’s past and the present, where she’s trying to redeem herself. There’s nothing more attractive in literature or film than a character seeking redemption.
Various gods serve as mildly interesting supporting characters in the book, most notably Nick Heart, a Marvin Gaye-esque singer who’s really the Egyptian god Ihy in human form. Nick is the most interesting character in the book, an immortal who finds himself continually unable to resist temptation and bad habits through the centuries. He’s his own worst enemy, and it’ll be interesting to see how the relationship between him and Pantha grows in future issues. We also get to see Set this issue, the leader of these new Egyptian gods on Earth, whose current incarnation is a wealthy Bruce Wayne-type mogul named Darian Blackwood. He’s as dull as a cracked brick, and his machinations seem to be more evil than good.
There are also a few pages devoted to Sekhmet and the old Egyptian gods, who are under attack. Their attacker seems to be the over-arching villain for the book and gives the book a foreboding feeling that borderlines on horror. It’ll be interesting to see how Pantha eventually figures into this sub-plot.
Igor Lima’s art on Pantha #2 is reminiscent of Paul Pelletier or Dan Jurgens, with great detail throughout. The creatures in the book are where he shines, and he draws Pantha’s battle in a savage fashion, filling the panels with fangs, blood, and gushing liquids.
I felt Pantha herself was drawn in an over-sexualized manner, but I suppose for these pulp style books, it fits.
Pantha #2 continues the story of the Egyptian new gods and old gods, adding another layer of conflict, tension, and plotting, even as it expands on Pantha’s past.
Hopefully, as the story continues, Pantha will be placed front and center, and not feel so much like a supporting character in her own book.