Well, sometimes I get something I like and I want to read more but then take my time getting to it. I’ve been reviewing a lot of stuff like that lately.
That seems to be the rule once again here with Ta-Nehisi Coates’ Black Panther run, so here’s the second volume subtitled One Nation Under Our Feet Book Two.
Bringing a country under control isn’t easy, even for a scientist and strategic genius like T’Challa. It is especially difficult when he is still trying to revive his not-really-dead sister Shuri. As such, a good political leader knows the importance of alliances and allies. That means a quick cameo from Iron Man and a more substantial appearance by a team calling itself the Crew: former Avenger Manifold, former Queen of Wakanda Storm, as well as Luke Cage and Misty Knight. Meanwhile, Shuri is learning old Wakandan folk tales and legends from a spirit that looks like her mother.
Here’s the thing: Coates is growing as a comics writer, but the volume still only covers four issues. There just plain isn’t much story here, and I still don’t know if that’s due to Coates or artist Chris Sprouse. My guess is Coates, seeing as he had a journalism background prior to coming to Marvel to write Black Panther. As such, Marvel opted to put a pair of older Black Panther adventures featuring what may or may not be the first appearance of Killmonger as well as an appearance by a snake themed villain called Venomm. Yes, with two M’s. Those two issues are…not that interesting, truth be told. Those drag the whole volume down. Let’s say 7.5 out of 10 trips to the afterlife. I really like Coates’ work, but I would prefer longer volumes of his work instead of mediocre 70s Black Panther adventures. And if the work is good enough, I don’t mind waiting for a full six issues instead of Marvel trying to rush out four just to keep them coming in as timely a manner as possible. I assume that’s what happened. Otherwise, why not go with six issues?