Comic Review – Shuri #1 (Marvel Comics)

Our pal Kit reviews comics for us! This is one of those reviews.

Warning: minor spoilers.

“Even then I learned best by observation. And I moved like a panther” Shuri

Cover by Spratt (Marvel Comics)

While I was at a friend’s over the weekend we re-watched Black Panther, because it’s fantastic of course. There’s a pretty strong consensus between us that Shuri is one of the best characters in the film as well. This meant that when I saw Marvel were releasing a Shuri comic series this week I had to check it out, especially with the wonderfully realistic front cover drawn by Sam Spratt which caught both my attention and a likeness to Shuri in the movies that makes the comic very recognisable for new readers who will know her from the movie. I’ve really enjoyed Marvel’s Black Panther runs previously, so looked forward to seeing Wakanda and the stories it holds from somebody else’s perspective.

This coming was bought to us by:

  • Writer – Nnedi Okorafor
  • Artist – Leonardo Romero
  • Colour Artist – Jordie Bellaire
  • Letterer – VC’s Joe Sabino
  • Cover Artist – Sam Spratt

The story begins with a brief overview of Shuri’s history in the Marvel Universe. Explaining some of her previous adventures and the powers she’s obtained. With T’Challa currently busy elsewhere in the Marvel Universe, Shuri has time on her hands to focus on her inventions and some of the significant issues in Wakanda. We get to see her relationship with her ancestor’s and the dichotomy between her modern attitude towards those issues and those of her family and ancestors. We’re also treated to a flashback which defines her relationship with her brother and how the movers and shakers within Wakanda view her. To avoid any particular spoilers, the set up presented at the end of this issue could easily have been shunted in right at the beginning, which would have been a shame as we’d have been deprived of the chance to get to know this incarnation of Shuri that Okorafor is able to bring out.

Art by Romero, Bellaire & Sabino (Marvel Comics)

Bellaire’s light pallet provides a sense of reality to the issue. The less bold tones providing some gravity as opposed to intense wackiness seen in some comic books. The flash back is presented in very contrasting red and white giving an other worldly sense to the spectacle. Finally, the shift to warmer tones in the setting sun during the final scene gives the sense of change that the issue delivers to the state of affairs in Wakanda as well as Shuri and her story. Romero’s art compliments Spratt’s eye-catching cover art well, keeping the characters recognisable to those who only know the films to date. I’m very familiar with Sabino’s work now which as usual is well worked into the issue in both spoken and online chat format.

Final Verdict

My only issue with the set off for the series is I’m worried Shuri will simply fill in shoes that are not her own as opposed to really fitting into hers. We’ll see however. Okorafor clearly has a talent for Shuri, who is definitely in a safe pair of hands.

 

Comic Review – The Unworthy Thor #1 (Marvel Comics)

Adam reads as many comics as he can afford. Then he reviews one every other week.

This week I picked up The Unworthy Thor #1, the start of a new miniseries starring the Odinson as part of the Marvel NOW! initiative. The Unworthy Thor was written by long time Thor writer (and writer of the current Mighty Thor series) Jason Aaron, with art by Olivier Coipel, colours by Matthew Wilson and letters from VC’s Joe Sabino.

unworthy-thor-cover

Cover by Coipel

Two years ago in the Original Sin event, Nick Fury whispered a secret into Thor’s ear that caused him to become unworthy to wield the hammer Mjolnir, dropping the weapon on the surface of the Moon unable to lift it again. Since then, Mjolnir has been wielded by Jane Foster, taking the Odinson’s place as Thor and doing a damn good job of it. But what of the Odinson? Things haven’t been going well for him. He lost his hammer. He lost his arm (he did get a fancy new one though). But now, in the wake of last year’s Secret Wars, there is a new Mjolnir in the regular Marvel Universe, and the ex-Thor is determined to find it.

Jason Aaron has been writing this character for a long time now, and it’s very clear that he know exactly how the Odinson thinks and why he works so well when written well. Marvel do have a recent issue with holding out on a secret or plot point a little too long before the reveal (looking at you Cyclops post-Secret Wars), and the mystery of what Fury said to Thor has been held onto for so long now it is in danger of being underwhelming regardless of the gravity when it is finally revealed. However, the writing in all of Aaron’s various Thor comics since has been so strong that it is easy to forgive this point and just enjoy the story as it comes. The Unworthy Thor is no exception, with plenty of mystery and action, along with the return of a fan-favourite character.

unworthy-thor-interior-2

Art by Coipel & Wilson

Coipel’s art, probably better called ‘The Shirtless Adventures of the Odinson’, is hugely detailed and brims with a sense of the epic, and be it in the desolation of outer space or in the brutal brawls throughout the book there aren’t many artists better suited to this series. And he draws a damn impressive goat. I’ve extolled the virtues of Wilson’s colours multiple times before, but it does bear repeating. His colours bring an extra level of vibrancy to an already great looking issue, with the scenes on the Moon and in space looking colder, and the action beefier because of them.

The Unworthy Thor #1 is a great companion to the superb Mighty Thor, with gorgeous art and an interesting set up that promises a lot for the future of the Odinson and his corner of the Marvel Universe. I’m hoping that we do finally find out the reason for the unworthiness, but even if we just get a good Thor story out of it that would be fine too! Check it out at your local comic shop or digitally now.

Score: 8 Mjolnirs out of 10

 

Check out the recent collected stories that lead into The Unworthy Thor,  and support the site by picking them up through our Amazon links! Thor becomes unworthy in Original Sin; a new Thor picks up the hammer in Thor: The Goddess of Thunder & Who Holds the Hammer?; the Marvel Universe collides with the Ultimate Universe, and a new Mjolnir appears as a result in Secret Wars and Thors; and Jane Foster continues her adventures post-Secret Wars in the first volume of Mighty Thor: Thunder in her Veins.