Writer: Ta-Nehisi Coates
Penciler: Butch Guice
Inker: Scott Hanna
Colorist: Dan Brown
Black Panther & The Crew #1 gives us a look at The Bronx in 1957 and Harlem in the present. The story revolves around Ezra, who was The Lynx back in the day. He’s now mysteriously died in police custody and that’s when we see the crew starting to form. This first issue only gives us some pieces, though. Misty Knight and Storm come together, but we don’t even see Black Panther in this issue. It’s a bold move, but it works.
Ta-Nehisi Coates is a writer who everyone should be reading. Whether it’s his Black Panther comics or his articles to his books, there’s something great in each of those. Since I largely don’t read issue to issue and trade wait (or wait for things to show up on Marvel Unlimited), I haven’t read everything he’s done with the Black Panther yet. However, I’ve read enough to know how outstanding his writing is. Black Panther & The Crew is no exception. The team will also include Luke Cage and Manifold, but we’ll see them in future issues.
This story sets up the team well without having too many characters appear in it at once. Misty and Storm don’t truly start working together until the end of the issue and from there you can tell how things will come together for the crew. It is a little bit of a slow burn, but it’s done so well that it doesn’t really feel like it. Yona Harvey is co-writing the series with Ta-Nehisi and she’ll pick up with the next issue as they alternate through it.
Guice, Hanna, and Brown do an excellent job of capturing Harlem in the present day portion of the comic. This is a solid creative team all around. The scene with Storm, Misty, and the Americops is a wonderful fight scene and shows the power of the two women. There’s also a lot of focus on facial expressions, which allows for fewer words. We see what the characters are feeling or thinking based on these expressions, so it doesn’t need words added for that point to come across.
Verdict: Buy. This team is just fantastic all the way around. It looks like a strong story and Black Panther does well when Ta-Nehisi Coates is involved. Don’t sleep on this one and go grab a copy of it.