Graphic Novel Review 199/200: Black Panther & The Crew

Please keep up with all of my old Graphic Novel Reviews here as I quest for 365 in 365 days! Or search #GN365 on Twitter.

Hey, all!  Happy Black History Month!  I have some cool things coming your way in February, and today, I’d like to kick things off with a comic that is written by one of my favorite writers: Ta-Nehisi Coates.

Title: Black Panther & The Crew 

Author(s): Ta-Nehisi Coates, Yona Harvey, Butch Guice, and Scott Hanna

Publisher:  Marvel Comics (2017)

Age Rating: 13+

I’ve enjoyed the writings of Ta-Nehisi Coates for some time now, and I’ve loved his Black Panther run, so having the opportunity to read and review a spin on the Black Panther, set in NYC with a team of bad-ass heroes, I’ll say…yes, please!

Black Panther & The Crew follows the team of Black Panther, Misty Knight, Storm, Luke Cage, and Manifold from loners doing their own thing in the story to teaming up and fighting Hydra on the rooftops of Harlem.  But this title is not action-packed: its beauty rests in the contemplation and dialogue of the heroes and those around them.  Coates has a way with dialogue that is rarely seen.  I would have been fine if there was no action in this six-issue trade if I was able to simply read the heroes sitting around and talking about…well, anything.  That’s how good Coates’ writing is, and I think he knows it, spending more time with characterization through dialogue than action/adventure.

The art is fine; it’s good.  Honestly, against the words of Coates, any art would be secondary, making this trade a good object of study.  The use of effortless colloquial language, used by Coates, is a great example of how to write a good conversation.  If you read my review of Bendis’ spy graphic novel, Fire (review here), I spent a good deal of time discussing his breaking up of dialogue, physically, on the page.  Read both of these together, and you will learn a good deal about language on the comics page.

While this book was fairly simple in its concept, it was extremely cool to see these bad-ass heroes helping the people of NYC.  This is the story I wanted out of the Luke Cage Netflix show…the pacing of the story at least.

Happy reading!


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