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 – Black Panther #3 (Marvel Comics)

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

Warning: Minor spoilers.

“It is time that flesh bow down on his knee again.” Tetu

Black Panther 3

Cover art by Stelfreeze & Martin

This week I was faced with an interesting choice of comics to review. You’ll see a lot online talking about Captain America: Steve Rogers #2, and no new series caught my eye. Fortunately, one comic stood out to me out of the regular bunch I was due to pick out this week: Black Panther #3, written by Ta-Neshi Coates, art by Brian Stelfreeze and colours by Laura Martin.

The issue picks up from Tetu’s point of view. He’s the leader of the Nigandan army who earlier in this arc incited a riot in Wakanda. He feels T’Challa (Black Panther) has been neglecting his duties and his traditional routes. He sees himself as the spirit of Africa and T’Challa as all that is wrong in the modern world. The comic proudly portrays the spiritual connection in African traditions, backed up by vibrant colours. T’Challa is struggling with his duties as leader of a country, he fights for the world and his country, in the meantime there are so many other fires he doesn’t have the time to put out. There are a few plot threads at play here, and although separate they each feel important to the overarching narrative.

Black Panther 3 interiors

Art by Stelfreeze & Martin

As for the art, Stelfreeze has produced something special here. So many individual panels stand out as miniature masterpieces and somehow makes the scene somehow feel like it’s all a part of something much larger, complementing the narrative. The desert scenes in particular at the beginning and end stand out for me.

On a side note, I feel I need to spend more time taking the art into account in my reviews. I have already discussed the main aspects of it for Black Panther #3, however what I need to make this meaningful is a consistent point of comparison across everything I review. Fortunately there is a classic test to measure the skill of an artist. Can they draw hands? So, here goes –

Can Stelfreeze draw hands? Yes. Yes he can. I was surprised when I took the time to look, not that they looked good (the rest of the art had already confirmed Stelfreeze’s skill as an artist) but at how well he was able to capture the personality and gesture of each character in their hands in every scene. The gesture communicates both the character as a person and what their currently saying. So yes, 10/10 for hand drawing skills!

(Editor’s note: I’m expecting Kit to review the hand drawing abilities of artists in all his reviews from now on)

Final Verdict

Black Panther is one of the series I look forward to every time it comes out. Yes this is issue 3, but it’s probably the best so far in the current run. I seriously recommend picking up issue #1 and catching up if you aren’t up to date already.

Score: 9.5 War Dogs out of 10