Writer: Ta-Nehisi Coates / Artists: Butch Guice, Mack Chater, Stephen Thompson / Marvel Comics
yeah, yeah, yeah, yeah “- Juelz Santana[/quote_simple]
Well finally all together now! We’ve been seeing more and more each issue of how each member of The Crew connects with Harlem and in turn how deep Ezra’s mission and connection to Wakanda were in his youth. Coates introduces us to Eden, who has carved out a block of Harlem after his father figure of sorts, Gateway, passed and just how Ezra helped him find a home. We need to do a Zach Morris time out here as Coates again digs back in the crates of back issues to give us another look at the past X-Men lore (via Gateway). Eden is a link to the X-Men’s lost years when they were operating from Australia. In this telling, Eden’s indigenous identity is not separated him from as he experiences harassment or discrimination by the police.
Eden takes up a majority of this issue apart from the flashback to Ezra and his falling out with his crew, which I’m good with. We still have yet to know that much about Eden and Coates does a great job filling in those gaps for us with heavy portions of back story. I think my favorite part of this issue, aside from the team finally being together and being closer to solving what happened to Ezra thanks to their witness Eddie, is the opening fight scene with Eden taking on the AmeriCops. Getting to see how Eden uses his teleportation powers in a fight was getting me into this series heavy. You give me a great fight scene, plus dialogue, and I’ll give you all the attention.
Butch Guice, Chater, and Stephenson did an incredible job displaying how adept at his powers Eden is when attacking — there’s a scene where he denies the Americops statement to give up with a simple, “Nah.” and the way the scenes overlap as he draws his spear is pretty breath taking. What I also like is how we’re seeing his ability be neutralized by his opponents. We don’t get an overpowered Eden, and it shows us as an audience that there is still room for improvement in not only his fighting style but in how he uses his ability as well. These fight scenes did a lot to get us to not only know Eden but keep him grounded as well.
It’s so bitter sweet as we head to the final issue of Black Panther and The Crew next month. We’ve finally gotten introspective looks into different sides of all these characters (save for Eden) that we’ve known for a while, and this perspective gets cut short just as the story is gelling together. Ugh! Let us have nice things, man! You can easily see this series being taught in a Social Studies class or African-American studies class on any level from high school to college. Black Panther and The Crew continues to be a gem glistening on the shelf that folks should snatch up as quickly as possible.
Reading Black Panther & the Crew? Find BNP’s other reviews of the series here.