Welcome back to the Marvel Rundown! This week, we take a look at the conclusion of the latest run of Black Panther, in a spoiler-free review. Then, head on down to the Rapid Rundown for takes on Invincible Iron Man #16, Web of Spider-Man #1, and X-Men Forever #1!

What did you think of this week’s batch of fresh Marvel Comics, True Believers? The Beat wants to hear from you! Give us a shout-out, here in the comment section or over on social media @comicsbeat, and let us know what you’re thinking.

Black Panther #10

Black Panther #10

Writer: Eve L. Ewing
Penciler: Chris Allen
Inkers: Craig Yeung & Oren Junior with Chris Allen
Colorists: Jesus Aburtov & Andrew Dalhouse
Letterer: VC’s Joe Sabino
Cover Artist: Taurin Clarke

Reviewed by George Carmona 3rd

It’s hard to review just this final issue when this entire run has been a true gem of a read. Dr. Eve Ewing has been working the Marvel Universe like a master, from her work on Ironheart and Ms. Marvel to the Champions and Photon to this run on Black Panther, she captains a squad of talented pencilers and inkers, Chris AllenMack ChaterMatt HorakCraig Yeung, and Oren Junior, colorists Jesus Aburtov and Andrew Dalhouse, letterist Joe Sabino, along with cover artists Taurin Clarke to give Panther fans a unique 10 issue run to fold into the Panther mythos.

The T’Challa in this series is an outcast of Wakanda’s new Parliamentary government but still secretly works to protect his beloved country from the shadows of Birnin T’Chaka as a Black Panther who is more like DareDevil or that Bat guy. Ewing’s skill at being the sharpest Blerd in the room shines as she further builds out the country of Wakanda with Birnin T’Chaka, a city that isn’t the pinnacle of what the world thinks of when they think of Wakanda, a city far from the capitol and oppressed by crime, the perfect setting for this techno-noir adventure. Panther finds a home in this almost-forgotten city that should go on the list of great fictional places as Ewing uses the Panther as our guide, investigating the criminal underworld that has infested the city named after his father, which leads to the stars.

Black Panther #10

And then there’s the art. I’ve written about this before but it needs to be restated, the linework that primary artist Allen has been putting down for most of this series is a masterclass in style, design, and storytelling. To enhance his pencils, Marvel has gone the traditional route by using an inker. I got to meet Allen at last year’s New York Comic Con and see some of his artwork for the early issues of this run and as beautiful as the colored product is, seeing the actual art was amazing. That solid line work is beautifully colored by Aburtov and Dalhouse who use vibrant colors to breathe life into the people and neighborhoods of this city. If you haven’t read this series and are waiting for the collected edition, if it doesn’t have a gallery of Clarke’s gorgeous covers of this run then you are doing yourself a disservice and are missing out, as the covers are a perfect match to the interiors.

Ewing and crew craft a fusion of Afro-futuristic action, pulp, sci-fi, sociology, and mysticism this run has something for everyone.

Rapid Rundown!

  • The Invincible Iron Man #16
    • Once there existed a Marvel comic issue consisting entirely of splash pages as Thor fought a giant serpent. This was The Mighty Thor #380 by Walter Simonson with Sal Buscema on inks, Max Scheele on colors, and John Workman on letters. I bring this up only to reframe the direct comparison being drawn upon by the Invincible Iron Man team in #16. With this issue marking the climax of Tony’s war on Feilong’s Stark Sentinel culture and unveiling of the new mysterium armor, Gerry Duggan’s captions drag the spectacle with far too much preface, and not nearly enough catharsis. This approach makes for a climax that feels more jumping on point than conclusion and payoff. While it only took Walden Wong one issue to find a consistent approach to inking Creees Lee’s pencils, the shot selection feels at odds with Tony’s inner monologue. Where Thor #380 was built on main event style bombast, it excelled at marrying dialogue/caption to the overall fight narrative, whereas IIM #16 spends most its runtime going over how we got here. With cohesion a running theme, color artist Bryan Valenza paints velvet mecha amidst a warm day in the Outback with ease, but the color mood lacks the finality of a climactic standoff. All the more damning is the injection of overly bombastic sfx from VC’s Joe Caramagna whose color and font choices feel like a bumper sticker slap on Lee/Wong’s pages instead of inherent to the event. It’s been said “you come at the king, you best not miss,” and, for me, Team IIM whiffed hard at a classic, but you’ll have to decide for yourself. — Beau Q.
  • Web of Spider-Man #1
    • There’s a story Eon Productions likes to tell about planing out a new Bond film. They try making another From Russia With Love but end up making another Goldfinger. The same could possibly be said about the last few years of Spider-Man stories (are own Tim Rooney has said as much). No longer are they stories about your friendly neighborhood Spider-Man. No longer are there stories where Spider-Man loses his apartment or has to fight Scorpion on the way to a job interview. It’s event after event after event. At least, once a year we get some variation of Spider-Verse and Spider-Man has to stop some calamity from hitting New York. This winter and spring saw “Gang War”, and the summer will see at least Miles Morales involved in whatever “Bloodhunt” will be. Well, Web of Spider-Man #1 hints that once again Spider-people will have to deal with thing on potentially a massive scale, again. If there’s one this book does well, it is remind you how many various ancillary characters have books right now. Did you remember there’s a comic about Norman Osborn as the Golden Goblin? That Kaine is still the Scarlet Spider? Remember Dark Web and Chasm? Well it’s coming back in crossover form. Maybe. Almost all of the short stories here are commercials for bigger stories. And the problem here is none of these brief short stories gives these character, outside of Peter Parker, Miles Morales, Gwen Stacy, or Jessica Drew, any compelling reason to exist. The only short in here that feels even vaguely like a Spider-Man book is the piece by Greg Weismann and Joey Vasquez. It’s just Miles and Peter enjoying coffee and catching criminals. It’s fun, to the point, and absolutely sells you on the vibe of that book. This is a platonic ideal of a Spider-Man story. Everything else in here reads like a weak trailer with no emotional investment. —DM
  • X-Men Forever #1
    • I was a huge fan of this issue, but I need to get it out of the way: this is Immortal X-Men #19, right? We’re all in agreement on this, yes? The publishing schedule for the Fall of X has driven me wild, because it would’ve been great for this miniseries to lead right into Rise of the Powers of X. Kieron Gillen immediately answers some of the biggest questions raised at the beginning of Immortal, providing context for exactly how we got to the No-Place in ROPOX AND setting up some tantalizing teases for a certain fiery bird. It’s a great way to make this series feel important in the midst of all of these shenanigans, while also setting up a separate, compelling narrative. This ability to successfully juggle subplots is something I’ve always enjoyed about Gillen’s writing, whether it be WFH or creator-owned. It doesn’t hurt that Luca Maresca does a fantastic job in these pages, with some pretty spectacular spreads. There’s one toward the top that reveals Destiny’s, uh, destiny in the Krakoan era, and it does a great job at presenting information to us in a way that feels both overwhelming and familiar. Federico Blee keeps the book clean and consistent, with distinct shifts in tone between scenes/locations that signal mood and atmosphere. Clayton Cowles’ lettering is, as always, top notch, easily balancing Gillen’s verbose script with Maresca’s energetic layouts. The entire Immortal sequence, from AXE to Sins of Sinister to ROPOX to now has been incredibly solid, and though I’m sad to see it end, I cannot wait to see how the story wraps-up. —CB

Next Week: X-Force #50 and Miles Morales: Spider-Man #300!


  1. I love the concept, art, and theme of Dr. Ewing’s BP series, even the new costume design, but the series never clicked for me – really enjoy the Ultimate BP version more now.

Comments are closed.