It’s going to be an early day tomorrow, so this is going up tonight instead.

General Information

Title: Black Panther #39-41

Author: Jason Aaron

Illustrator(s): Jefte Palo (art) and Lee Loughridge (colours)

Cover Date: Cover dates range from September to November 2008

Cover Price: $2.99 US / $3.05 Can each

Detailed coverage of all applicable issues of all Secret Invasion related titles can be found at this address.

Premise

The seemingly backwards nation of Wakanda is actually the most technologically developed nation on Earth, and is ruled by the country’s sole superpowered hero, the Black Panther. The Skrulls come out against Wakanda in force so that they might gain access to its vibranium stores, but the Wakandans never go down without a fight.

High Point

“Sometimes you have to send a message.”

Low Point

I thought the Skrulls were supposed to research their targets. They had that many agents in place, and still thought it was a “backwater nation?”

The Scores

This is an original approach for the Secret Invasion, which is still entirely consistent with what we’ve seen of Wakanda elsewhere. It’s a very different attitude and outcome than we’ve seen in the other tie-ins so far. I give it 5 out of 6.

The artwork is very well suited to the gritty nature of the story. It clearly depicts what’s going on, allows us to distinguish the different characters very easily, and establishs a twilight or nighttime combat tone which is very effective for the story being told. (It’s also necessary, if this happens simultaneously with the daytime attack in New York.) I give it 5 out of 6.

The story holds up very well. There’s a nice twist to it, but the hints for it were there from the start, and subtle enough that I didn’t catch them until the second reading. If Jason Aaron were staying with the title, I might be too, but these were my last issues as Reginald Hudlin is back with issue 42, and I haven’t been terribly impressed with his run. I give it 5 out of 6. (Jason Aaron has made similar improvements to “Ghost Rider” since taking over from Daniel Way.)

The characterization is very well done. T’Challa and Storm are spot on, and the Skrull Commander K’vvvr is more developed after his first issue here than Kl’rt was after his first three decades of appearances. In fact, we almost feel sorry for K’vvvr when it’s all said and done, which says quite a bit considering he gave the order to torture the title character. I give it 6 out of 6.

The emotional response is the strongest I’ve ever had from the title. (I joined for Civil War with issue 18, and stayed for the “Fantastic Four” and “Secret Invasion” crossovers.) This was interesting and involving, for the first time in years. I give it 6 out of 6.

The flow is very well done, moving from scene to scene and issue to issue quite rapidly. It helps that the entire story could have taken place in the span of an hour, but it still works very well. I give it 6 out of 6.

Overall, this is a good tie-in, and the best the “Black Panther” title has been in a long time. I’d recommend these three issues to anyone who follows “Black Panther” or “Secret Invasion,” but not the rest of this series. I give it 5 out of 6.

In total, Black Panther #39-41 receives 38 out of 42.

Secret Invasion Review Checklists

Background reviews:

Infiltration reviews:

Main Event reviews (including date the last issue should be available, or “complete” if they’re all out):

  • Secret Invasion #1, #2, #3, #4, #5, #6, #7: October 22, #8: November 19, full series: November 19
  • Avengers: The Intiaitive #14-19: November 26
  • Black Panther #39-41
  • Captain Britain and MI 13 #1, #2, #3, and #4.
  • Deadpool #1-3
  • Guardians of the Galaxy #4-6: October 15
  • Incredible Hercules #117, #118-120
  • Iron Man: Diretor of S.H.I.E.L.D. #33-35: November 19
  • Mighty Avengers #12, #13, #14, #15, #16, 17-20: November 26
  • Ms. Marvel #28-30: complete
  • New Avengers #40, #41, #42-47: November 26
  • New Warriors #14-15: Complete
  • Nova #16-18: October 29
  • Punisher: War Journal #24-25: November 29
  • Secret Invasion: Amazing Spider-Man #1-3: October 22
  • Secret Invasion: Fantastic Four #1, #2, and #3.
  • Secret Invasion: Frontline #1-5: November 19
  • Secret Invasion: Home Invasion (online only)
  • Secret Invasion: Inhumans #1-4: November 12
  • Secret Invasion: Runaways / Young Avengers #1-3
  • Secret Invasion: Thor #1-3: October 29
  • Secret Invasion: Who Do You Trust?
  • Secret Invasion: X-Men #1-4: November 19
  • Thunderbolts #122-125: October 22
  • X-Factor #33-34, She-Hulk #31-33

Aftermath (Dark Reign) reviews:

  • Avengers: The Iniative #20-?
  • Dark Reign: New Nation
  • Invincible Iron Man #8-?
  • Ms. Marvel #34-?
  • New Avengers #48-?
  • Secret Invasion: Dark Reign
  • Secret Invasion: Requiem #1
  • War Machine #1-?
  • several unannounced titles, I’m sure