Black Panther #18 Review: The Beloved Strike

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Cover to Black Panther #18 by Brian Stelfreeze and Laura Martin
Black Panther #18 cover by Brian Stelfreeze and Laura Martin

Black Panther and Shuri team up with the Dora Milaje in their move against Ras the Exhorter and his cult dedicated to the Originator gods of Wakanda. The Dora Milaje strike at where they believe Asira, a former flame of T'Challa's who was kidnapped by his enemies, is being held. Meanwhile, T'Challa and Shuri fight another incursion of monsters in Obodo Makeda. They find a village wiped out and two-headed creatures coming from yet another portal.

This is as good a time as any to point out how skilled writer Ta-Nehisi Coates is at constructing a lengthy story arc that stays engaging enough to not feel so long. He accomplished this with the first arc, 'Nation Under Our Feet', and 'Avengers of the New World' is staying just as exciting.

That being said, the diversion advertised with the return of the Klaw in Marvel Legacy, does concern me that this story may run just a bit too long, but we will see.

The spotlight on the Dora Milaje in this issue is welcome, as the Ayo and Aneka are two great characters. The fight against the creatures in which Black Panther and Shuri engage is really cool, and you get to see the extent of T'Challa's fighting prowess on display.

There are two artists who take over this title, and, unfortunately, that does leave a portion of the comic feeling visually lacking compared to the rest of it.

Interior art from Black Panther #18 by Wilfredo Torres and Laura Martin
Black Panther #18 art by Wilfredo Torres and Laura Martin

The sections with the Dora Milaje are done by artist Wilfredo Torres whose work, while not bad, feels a bit too cartoonish for the kind of tale being told here. Meanwhile Chris Sprouse, who has done a lot of work on Coates's Black Panther, provides a heavier style that is quite welcome in this comic. It's very detailed and fits the world of war and political intrigue that is Wakanda.

Color artist Laura Martin keeps things lively with a well-balanced palette that leans on the darker given the troubled times the Black Panther is dealing with in his homeland.

Black Panther continues to be among the best of Marvel's offerings with another knockout issue by Coates, Sprouse, Torres, and company. It's a pensive and intriguing title that knows how to let loose with some kick-ass action sequences. I highly recommend it.

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About Joshua Davison

Josh is a longtime super hero comic fan and an aspiring comic book and fiction writer himself. He also trades in videogames, Star Wars, and Magic: The Gathering, and he is also a budding film buff. He's always been a huge nerd, and he hopes to contribute something of worth to the wider geek culture conversation. He is also happy to announce that he is the new Reviews Editor for Bleeding Cool. Follow on Twitter @joshdavisonbolt.
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