Monday, April 17, 2017

Black Panther & The Crew #1 Review - Marvel Monday

Writer: Ta-Nehisi Coates
Penciler: Butch Guice
Inker: Scott Hanna
Colorist: Dan Brown
Letterer: VC’s Joe Sabino
Cover: John Cassaday, Laura Martin
Cover Price: $3.99
Release Date: April 12, 2017
Review by: Ryan Douglas 

I don’t get excited for many new Marvel titles nowadays. But I’ve been looking forward this series. Some of my favorite Marvel characters teaming up to bring down a big bad. Ta-Nehisi Coates has had a well praised run on his Black Panther series. So I’m excited to see what he can do with a team book. Let’s begin this journey.

The issue starts out with a flashback to the Bronx in 1957. We’re introduced to Ezra, who ran with a more classic crew to bring down local drug peddlers. Misty narrates as she explains she always heard tales of the mysterious team. But there was never any proof found to confirm if Ezra’s team existed.

Now we see in the present day, a march is taking place for the recent death of Ezra. We learn two weeks prior Ezra was taking into jail while protesting. Just two days later he was found dead in his cell. The body counts had been racking up under police custody. Tensions are tremendously high between the community and local authorities. The city has even called upon the Americorps for extra security.

The next morning after while Harlem sleeps in, Misty is up early to meet with Malik, Hazel and their friend at a diner. Misty recognizes the friend and mentions she once knew her in a different life. Malik is hesitant to work with a cop to find answers. But Misty is well known and trusted among the neighborhood. Malik is quick to go after the local authority and place the blame there. On the other hand, Misty isn’t ready to jump to that conclusion just yet and wants to put in some investigation work first.

Visiting the jail where Ezra died, she comes to find the cops are hiding something even if they don’t know what they’ve gotten into. Misty is able to catch a lead after speaking with a down to earth correctional officer who gives her a name.

As Misty is leaving the county jail, the friend of Hazel and Malik waits outside for her. The two takes a bus to a nearby Harlem neighborhood. While sitting on a park bench, they are surrounded by Americorps and advised to provide identification. When the Americorp officer mistakes Misty’s licensed weapon as a threat she is then stunned. Things go awry from there leading to stunning her friend as well. Misty’s able to shake it quickly and use her bionic arm to scramble the faulty Americorps system causing them to blast through each other. Their reinforcements are sent in with a quickness. But the surprise comes when the sky begins to pour and it’s revealed Storm is the mysterious friend. She brings on the lightning to destroy the remaining Americorps. It all makes sense to Misty now as she understands Ezra is setting things in motion for her to lead the new crew.

Overall, a good set up for what’s to come. Ta-Nehisi Coates shows us the stakes while providing very strong dialogue. Now that we see Misty Knight will be uniting this crew. I look forward to seeing them all come together and each person's role going forward. Personally, I think based on this first issue the title should’ve been called Misty Knight and The Crew.

The art doesn’t necessarily vibe with me and some facial expressions were a bit off. I hope the art get’s better over time. But the story itself kept me engaged not to let the art distract from that.  

Bits and Pieces

If you’re expecting things to kick into gear right away based on the awesome cover. You won’t get that, instead, Ta-Nehisi Coates takes the time to flesh out the main character who will carry this title for the time being. Although the art style is somewhat off it doesn’t take away from the engaging story being told.


1 comment:

  1. I totally agree with the retitling of it as the Misty Knight & Crew. I was very much so waiting for Panther action but this issue was solely Harlem based and I could've sworn Luke Cage would pop up. It was awesome to see Storm reveal herself. Nevertheless, the writing did pull me in. After watching the Luke Cage series I have grown accustomed to Misty Knights reluctant engagement yet inability to deny true justice being brought to hand when faced with obvious wrongdoing. Still can't wait to see how T'Challa ties into this.