Black Panther and the Agents of Wakanda #1
By Jim Zub, Lan Medina, Marcio Menyz, VC’s Joe Sabino, and Jorge Molina
Black Panther and the Agents of Wakanda #1 is a new title that is attempting to fill in the void left by S.H.I.E.L.D. with a team of unlikely heroes in the hopes of making it feel different. Being the first issue in this series, it is hard to tell how well this team will work together or if readers will be open to the odd mix of heroes who do not initially fit well together. This series has started off on shaky ground but thankfully the ending of this issue will peak the interests of many long-time Marvel fans.
Jim Zub takes on the challenge of creating a team book comprising of A-List, B-list, and arguably D-list characters to make a title worth following. Readers coming to this book, without any prior knowledge of how the team was formed, may be confused of how this unlikely team came together. Thankfully, Zub gives the reader a quick and concise bio for each member as they appear which will be appreciated for those who may not know some of the lesser known characters. The concerning issue with Zub putting all these characters in one team, is that they may come off as one-note. One scene has Wasp accusing Fat Cobra of being a walking cliché but as of now, all the team members featured in this issue fill specific roles we have seen in all sorts of teams before. These characters may all feel cliché if they do not get room to grow in future issues. This issue does not even cover the whole cast of Agents of Wakanda and we will still be introduced to the other agents, Ka-zar, American Eagle, Roz Solomon, Gorilla Man, and Broo in future issues. Only time will tell if Zub can pull off this balancing act well.
Lan Medina is the M.V.P. of this issue and his action scenes are particularly fun to see. Medina is particularly effective in guiding the reader’s eyes as they follow along the Wasp zipping through bad guys or a particularly viscous swipe from Man-Wolf that has an almost 3D effect from the blurriness along the path of his clawed hand. Each scene in this issue has its own unique feel to it ranging from a busy city area where the heroes are chasing bag guys, introducing characters too busy to join the fight, and a gruesome town being overrun by monsters. Marcio Menyz pairs well with Medina and has a healthy mix of colors that will either pair up or contrast well with each other. For instance, you can tell the Agents of Wakanda have a bit of a red theme to their costume, weapons, and energy effects. Another visually appealing aspect of the art and colors are the energy effects, particularly at the end of the issue while Fat Cobra is fighting against an odd rainstorm covered in a fiery aura.
Black Panther and the Agents of Wakanda #1 is a bit of a question mark with its odd pairing of characters. The end of this issue gives the series promise of an interesting story but hopefully the characters will get a chance to be flushed out and not get bogged down by a large cast. At the very least, the art in this series should provide fans with plenty of excitement from the fun fight scenes.