A terrible Black Panther comic (and series overall)
Review for Black Panther: The Man Without Fear 515-A

Comic Book by Marvel, Apr 01 2011
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April 04, 2011

A terrible Black Panther comic (and series overall)

This series has been dreadful, boring crap.

Starting with the repetitive Simone Bianchi covers - two of the three have focal points on T'Challa's knee protector. I don't know why DC and Marvel have such a love for Bianchi, but I find his art terrible and his perspectives awkward.

The interior art by Francesco Francavilla, who does everything (pencils, inks & colors) is dull and muddy. I'm finding more and more when an artist does all the work, particularly the colors, the art fails to engage the reader. Here we get very boring layouts, very boring artwork and horrible coloring of mostly black, brown and yellow.

All that said about the visuals, the biggest offender here is David Liss and the overall story and specifically the dialogue. I've read most of the Black Panther comics from the last 15 years and while it doesn't make much sense for him to give up everything (and everyone, including his wife) to live a fake life and protect Hell's Kitchen, I'm willing to buy it as a premise. But, when you throw in horribly cliched Russian mobster named, ugh, Vlad the Impaler (with the stilted, broken English - a pet peeve of mine) and his inept sons and have half of each issue focusing on them, it's hardly a Black Panther comic at all. T'Challa's supporting cast of Moon Knight also-rans comes off as completely forced. Add to that the unbelievable characterization of T'Challa in his attempts to adjust to life in Hell's Kitchen (he shouldn't be inept at being and average Joe like Liss writes him), choppy, unnatural dialogue from every character (it's like some weird bastardization of Bendis-speak) and I find every aspect of Liss' work to be completely missing the point and/or painfully boring and cliched.

Part of the awkward dialogue (other than the cliched broken English) is that T'Challa and Vlad almost never use contractions. That's definitely creating some of the stilted dialogue issues. But the "crazy" plot turns of T'Challa and the wife and the son and the doctor are eyerolling inducing. And, sweet Yoda, the dialogue between the son and the doctor is almost worth retyping in full for it's cheesy glory, instead I'll just paraphrase the two pages - "We will go behind your father's back and steal his powers." "He's so stupid and trusting." "And not as handsome." "Let's not go there, doctor." "I hope your father won't be angry, he seems angry." "What he doesn't know won't hurt him.").

After reading this issue, I've stopped pre-ordering this title. Awful stuff.


Agreed, T'Challa would have zero problems adjusting. This guy just took on Doctor Doom and suddenly is having problems with a nobody?!?!
Poop wrapped in sunshine? Still poop. ;) Good review.

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