The cold war between Atlantis and Wakanda heats up.
Who is the secret member of the Illuminati that many of the members do not know about?
How does Black Bolt lie?
Cover- What a tease this month as the cover depicts Black Panther/T’challa in mortal combat with Namor his one time friend and now enemy of Wakanda number one. It’s very simple in its illustration with its bland background with the two combatants casting shadows and then a nicely cut and pasted New Avengers 2013 logo on the ground/background.
Art- Beautiful art courtesy of Mike Deodato the space scenes in particular were simply stunning.
Black Hero- This issue we have quite a few faces that I’ve missed, namely the reigning queen of Wakanda Shuri. By the way you can purchase the three shuri books Here, Here and HERE in our online store. I also liked that T’challa got so much of the spotlight this issue.
Characterization- Hickman nails the personalities of Shuri, T’challa, Dr. Doom and Namor really well so much so that despite being a filler issue these personalities give an otherwise shallow transitional tale some much needed weight. The great line of demarcation between these two siblings bred to rule was that T’challa was the calm man or reason, Shuri meanwhile is allot like Wolverine she loves a good fight and is more traditional minded than T’challa who is ruled by science. Offering her a peace treaty was ridiculous because she literally has a need to prove herself to her people and by her very nature she would regard a peace treaty as tantamount to blatant weakness.
Practicality– Wakanda is a wounded country. In the face of Doomwar and Avengers vs X-men Wakanda no longer seems to be the preeminent superpower on the marvel globe. They do seem weak to those looking from the outside, the fabled Wakanda was almost conquered by Doom, had their Vibranium almost completely lost, no longer have an established monarch on the throne now they have a woman and an inexperienced one at that. Then their capital is destroyed during Avengers Vs X-men. Outsiders may now think you can actually mess with them and get away with it, no doubt their trading power and the value of their dollar has also gone down. In many ways I think this fictional country is similar to America after 9/11. They have something to prove, they have to go to war IF for no other reason than to show the rest of the wold that they still are a force to be reckoned with, their is still a reason to fear us! In illustrating this Hickman has succeeded very well.
Politics- Despite Doomwar passing their are still dissidents within Wakanda plotting to overthrow the royal family. Clearly the monarchy some would think should be replaced by democracy or autocracy of some kind. Many readers have often asked if Wakanda is such a paradise do they have crime and this while not explicitly stated does lead one to believe that the major problems the country is plagued with is a need for change. There is a deep seated hatred of the royal family and the monarchy and the crime stems from this discontent.
Foreboding- No one has realized just yet that Black Swan is have telepathic conversations with Terrax….what things are they plotting while they are imprisoned and when will they be revealed? What the hell is Dr. Strange up to? What the hell is Black Bolt and his crazy brother plotting behind everyone’s backs?
Accessibility- Unfortunately you would need to know a serious bit of continuity and read quite a few back issues in order to fully understand what the cause of the war or even the history of the characters to enjoy what takes place here.
Filler- Honestly this issue was filler on so many levels, we already know the war is taking place so we really didn’t need all this posturing to bring us to a conclusion we already knew.
Shadow Physics- Hickman please for the love of god use the shadow physics technology pioneered by T’challa during Doomwar which was superior to Vibranium, no other writer has acknowledged this and god damn it if this continuity whore isn’t just dieing every year it gets pushed further under the carpet!