Black Panther (1998) #52 Review

Summary

The dirty cops and gang members meet up to discuss their Panther problems. In the process they discover the gang member now recording their conversations for BP. They realize as a result of the rubber bullets and the cheap recorder they are not dealing with the Wakandan King.

Cole gets a visit from Tork who informs him suspension is up and hands him back his gun and badge. The Black Panther costume he burnt the night before mysteriously shows up in his bedroom. Downstairs the car as well turns up like nothing happened. Tork explains the history of wakanda, T’challa and Hunter to Cole. Tork warns him not to get involved with Hunter again.

Back at work Sal the crooked cop decides to put Cole on street duty. He accepts to hold on to his job, refusing for weeks to don the BP costume. Meanwhile he watches from street level as the avengers and even spider-man sour through the sky above. With flashes of a lost love and his mind and conscience working over time he puts on the BP mantle and goes to the wakandan embassy where he tangles with one of the Dora Milaje before coming face to face with T’challa.

The Good

Characterization- Cole, Cole, Cole….I like this dude! Driven is the best word to describe this man and love it or hate it he’s accessible, sympathetic and well crafted. This issue finds more of his mind being exposed to us the reader. The dead girlfriend he now sees at night is another cause for guilt which has only just scratched the surface. His dedication to providing for his family is something I tip my hat too. Brotha has to even kiss ass and put up with a shitty job to boot! He does it all with a smile (well that’s an exaggeration but you get it!).

Symbolism- as Cole sits at ground level watching the Avengers Quinjet take off and spider-man cut through the towers was like a man looking at “gods”. The art captured the longing and release that accompanies being a hero and watching it all from the normal perspective. There is a certain intoxication that comes with power and when Cole finally soars between the towers he is free! Free to be a god among men free to be the hero he knows he should/could be!

Friendship/Family- I loved the portrayal of Tork and the Cole’s. That scene where Tork bust into their bedroom pointing his gun at the bed while Cole’s pregnant girlfriend is there; Priceless! Only someone very close to you could pull that shit off and not have your girl or even you cuss then out or kick they ass! Lol His mom rushing in to kill the “rat” was also just balls to the wall funny shit! These people are bonded and the love just oozes out of every page.

Mystery- This issue finds Cole piecing together the mystery of “Him” who apparently chose Cole for the role of new BP. Sure we know it’s T’challa but the whys behind this are reason enough to keep on reading!

Art- Human proportioned characters, nothing over the top and straight up realism make the art in this gritty crime drama perfect!

The Bad

Colors- The colors this issue seemed dull and lifeless compared to the last two issues.

Action- There was no action to speak of in this issue except for the last two pages. Considering things have been pretty high tension before this dialing down of the action may not please some.

WTF moment?- Torks pants disappear between arriving at the apartment and heading downstairs……why? where? did his pants go?

The Ugly

3.6/5

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Caribbean born college lecturer, Multidisciplinary specialist/Androgogue/Philosophical Pedagogue; founder/CEO of World of Black Heroes, freelance writer and all around comic book geek. I enjoy a good book, video games, movies and most of all fatherhood. Written credits include work for Islandstage.net, Comicvine, Independent comics etc.

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