Writer: Al Ewing, Daniel Kibblesmith
Art: Ig Guara, Carlos E. Gomez, Carlos Lopez, Matt Milla, VC’s Joe Sabino, and Edgar Delgado
Release Date: July 17th, 2019
The stunt-riding cursed king of Wakanda, the Ghost Panther, heads to the year 2099 in this week’s all-new SECRET WARPS: GHOST PANTHER ANNUAL #1 by Al Ewing and Daniel Kibblesmith. Can he rally the inheritors of the legacy of his fellow heroes to defeat the Martian invaders? Let’s dive in and find out!
WARNING SPOILERS AHEAD!!!
Readers, these SECRET WARPS are fun, totally crazy, and extremely heavy at times however, Al Ewing puts the pedal to the metal on this one and makes it off the wall with pure creativity. Maybe it’s because it’s a world totally untouched yet open to so many possibilities that Ewing can let his imaginations run wild? But right from the first page, readers journey from Ghost Panther escaping a trap from Bushman the Hunter, to Ghost Panther traveling to 2099 to stop a Mars Invasion. Guys; the issue was nuts!!! But, the good kind of nuts that are glazed with that amazing sugar coating on them you get at the fair…
Anyway, Ewing took the time to think everything through as well and did so in about 20 pages. Big Al told a story that could have been a 12 issue maxi and somehow cleverly constructed a time travel tale that made sense. Now, maybe this reviewer is wrong? However, the way I understood the issue, Ghost Panther was always supposed to get to the future and stop the invasion. Captain Peace was always supposed to travel to the past to stop events in the future. If she never went back in time, that’s what would have actually fractured time itself. It’s a time paradox, which is right in my wheelhouse.
Additionally, Ewing’s character development of the 2099 heroes was teeming with ingenuity and flavor. For example, the future Soldier Supreme is part vampire while the 2099 Weapon Hex is part Hulk!!! Furthermore, the Ghost Panther from 2099 is a cyber version of the original. The genuine fun Ewing must have had creating these characters and their backstories shine through on each page. This reviewer would love the opportunity to sit down with Ewing and figure out how he came up with some of these characters, as well as the stories involving them. Furthermore, the follow-up story by Daniel Kibblesmith was also quick, exciting, and informative while also introducing Knightblade into the Warped World. Readers; I simply can’t express how much fun the issue was to read.
SECRET WARPS fans, something is brewing. This reviewer can feel it. At the beginning of each issue so far, the Soul Stone has been a focus. Now, readers find out that the Stone is cracking and eventually this fan wouldn’t be shocked to find out that these Warped characters make their way into “our” Marvel Universe. If that doesn’t happen, this reviewer could see stories branching out from these annuals that focus solely on their universe just like the Ultimate Universe did at one point in time. The potential, inventiveness, and imagination that writers could run with seem to be untapped and practically unless. However, these annuals could be a little taste to see if these series would sell making us all Marvel Guinea Pigs. I for one am totally digging them. However, Marvel will need to do it right if it’s going to work!!!
Even though the last issue was a bit too confusing and this reviewer felt a bit let down, this week’s annual was beyond entertaining and brilliantly enjoyable. Ewing and Kibblesmith raised the bar from last week’s SECRET WARPS and truly made this reviewer excited to see where these annuals will lead. With only two more issues to go, I’m all in!!! Fans of the INFINITY WARS, as well as the SECRET WARPS tie-ins, will love these annuals. Additionally, if my theory is correct and something more substantial and permanent is emerging from these SECRET WARPS, this reviewer recommends picking these annuals up and adding them to your collection.