In the wake of Shadowland, there’s a new protector of Hell’s Kitchen! He has no kingdom, no vibranium, and no high-tech safety net–just bloody knuckles and the will to prove himself in a foreign land where the fiercest of jungle predators stalks the most dangerous urban prey! His name is T’Challa, and in the aftermath of Shadowland, he will create a new life, a new identity, and learn what it is to be a different kind of hero. But with Daredevil gone, the bad guys are coming out to play, and a new nemesis–Vlad the Impaler–plots his bloody rise to power. Be there as national best-selling author and Edgar Award Winner David Liss and the pulp master Francesco Fracavilla (Zorro, Green Hornet) begin a shocking new chapter for the world’s most dangerous man!
In the present-T’challa is taking out mobsters in a warehouse. After taking out the goons he demands to know where Vlad is. His assailant without flinching refuses to divulge the information chiding him for being a cheap “daredevil’ knockoff before his men rain down gunfire on T’challa.
Three Weeks earlier- T’challa meets with Matt Murdock (daredevil). They talk of Shadowland and Doomwar, with T’challa deciding to remain in hell’s kitchen to test him self. After Matt leaves the city T’challa meets with his best friend Foggy Nelson who delivers his new life, forged papers of all kinds so he can convincingly become…. Mr. Okonkwo an African Immigrant who owns a restaurant “Devil’s Kitchen”. He hires a waitress, Sofija with a dark past and connection to Serbia. His apartment building has some interesting neighbors. He talks with his Wife Storm who agrees to give him time to “work through his problems”.
We then meet Vlad and his family, wife, two sons beautiful lavish house away from Hell’s Kitchen. His younger son meets with a boy from T’challa’s apartment building. Vlad then goes to “work” where he reveals he is the only surviving Romanian super soldier and he plans to fill the vacuum left by Kingpin’s absence.
T’challa meets a neighbor whose interest in him is more than just casual friendly. He suits up and takes to the streets; he starts making a name for him self by taking down Vlad’s men. He send s message to Vlad that he is the new law in Hell’s Kitchen. In the morning Vlad is pissed, his eldest son decides to deal with their vigilante problem.
Which takes us back to the present as T’challa flees from the hailstorm of bullets. He knocks out the power and goes to town on them. He then gets the info he wanted from Vlad’s son. Upon returning home however one of his neighbors has died. He vows not to lose anyone close again.
At Vlad’s house he makes plans to kill the new vigilante his first priority.
Fricking awesome cover– I’m NOT fan of Bianchi’s art BUT the cover he turns in for this issue is just breathtakingly gorgeous. The contrast with the interiors also makes it stand out from your typical Noir/pulp comic book.
Throwback- Fans of the Black Panther Batman/Christopher Priest run should be happy with these turn of events.
The Art- Francavelli’s art matches the tone of the story very well.
Story- The story flows seamlessly and everything is placed meticulously in every single frame. I can already see the storyline unfolding in the coming issues. Vlad is a wonderful Villain for T’challa and a challenge for a number of reasons. Most notably are his superhuman abilities. T’challa is de-powered and still recovering from his injuries so while he is more experienced and mare skilled, Vlad has Power and health in his favor. T’challa’s new Waitress will play a very important role since she has a dark past from Serbia….and our villain is from Serbia….so many possibilities. The friendly neighbor will tests just how chaste T’challa is …..though lets be honest it would be more shocking for him to cheat on Storm than be killed in this title. Vlad’s sons and their connection to the citizens T’challa will come to care about is also intriguing. I also loved the death of the neighbor which T’challa could have stopped IF he wasn’t so hard pressed on getting Vlad. This was the most poignant part of the Story for me, because what sense is winning a battle if the people for whom you fight are all dead?
Long time Black Panther fans will have to beat back their suspension of disbelief with a vibranium stick!
Black Panther fans from the Reggie Hudlin era will cringe at the downgrade the king has gone through.
It still makes no sense why someone as deeply patriotic as T’challa would abandon his country to come play vigilante in an American Ghetto.
I wanted to hate this comic, hell some of you already hate it without reading it but I can tell you this tale…..is damn good! 3.5/5