Comic Book Reviews (Week Feb 26, 2020): Black Panther Issue 21, Far Sector Issue 4 & More!

black panther issue 21 review
Black Panther Issue 21 (Image: Marvel Comics)

Welcome to my comic book review roundup for this week (February 26, 2020). As usual, I’ll be going over all of the titles I’ve read. My current review list includes Black Panther Issue 21, Giant-Size X-Men: Jean Grey and Emma Frost, and more!

Fans of Storm have a total of four titles to check out this week. I’m going to begin with the much-anticipated Giant-Size X-Men: Jean Grey and Emma Frost which had the two titular telepaths trying to help Ororo Munroe.

The current five-part Giant-Size X-Men series is going to showcase some of Marvel’s most talented artists with stories from Jonathan Hickman. The first issue opened with Storm falling into a coma, and it’s up to Jean and Emma to find out what went wrong. Of course, the art by Russell Dauterman is gorgeous. His images are brought to stunning life through colors by Matthew Wilson. This is one incredible art team I want more of.

For those who don’t know, the current issue only has a couple of panels with dialogue. The entire story is told through Dauterman’s art. It’s a testament to his skill that you can easily tell what’s happening even when the characters aren’t talking to each other. Even the difference between Jean and Emma’s telepathic skill level is quite evident.

The African (and her past) inspired imagery to visualize Storm’s mind is just wow. Also, I liked the visual representation of the psychic resistances Ororo has. Probing her mind, even when she’s in a coma, is tough.

giant-size x-men emma jean
Giant-Size X-Men: Jean Grey and Emma Frost (Image: Marvel Comics)

Marvel fans can tell the current issue follows in the steps of New X-Men Issue 121, in which Jean and Emma went to explore Professor X’s mind.

The fifth issue of this series is supposed to focus on Storm and let everyone know what Marvel has planned for her. With what she went through in this week’s installment, I can’t wait to find out what happens to her.

Will Emma and Jean save her? Will Storm need to die and then be resurrected? Is anyone going to let T’Challa know about Ororo’s health? Why was she targeted? I have so many questions.

Recommendation: PICK IT UP!

Black Panther Issue 21

While Ta-Nehisi Coates is the one responsible for exploring Storm’s Godhead (and essentially making it kind of tough for other Marvel writers to handle the character), fans are still waiting for concrete answers to certain questions. If I’m not wrong, Coates will be concluding his Black Panther run in three more issues. And I hope we get an explanation about what it means for Ororo to be a Goddess.

Black Panther Issue 21 showed Nakia, Shuri, and Storm doing everything possible to prevent N’Jadaka from entering Wakanda Prime. The flashbacks featuring Nakia helped give her character more layers. It makes sense certain readers suspected her of being a spy and you know what? She indeed was. However, she changed and sided with the good guys.

As for Storm, again, I’m not sure if Coates made her demonstrate an Omega-level mutant ability in this issue or if it was connected to her Godhead. Perhaps it was both? I say this because of the plants that began growing around her. We have never seen Ororo grow plants so rapidly. That’s why I think her power display was tapping into her Godhead, too.

Just look at her connecting with numerous energy fields and micro-climates to mess with the life support of N’Jadaka’s fleet in outer space.

black panther issue 21 review
Black Panther Issue 21 (Image: Marvel Comics)

As for the story itself, I completely understand some readers not liking the slow-pace of Coates’ narrative. I’ve mentioned this before and I’ll say it again, Coates seems to be writing a novel (he is an accomplished novelist after all). His style isn’t translating well in the current comic book’s monthly nature. But if read together, I think everyone will appreciate the Black Panther-centric story he’s telling.

Recommendation: Up to you.

X-Men Fantastic Four Issue 2 review
X-Men + Fantastic Four Issue 2 (Image: Marvel Comics)

X-Men + Fantastic Four Issue 2

I enjoyed reading issue 1, even though certain characters seemed to be acting weirdly. I let certain narrative choices slide due to the entertainment factor. But, with issue 2 by writer Chip Zdarsky, I couldn’t ignore a lot of stuff. As of now, X-Men + Fantastic Four is a complete mess. All of the characters are acting as if they don’t each other at all and I’m not a fan. I am so tired of superhero teams fighting each other because the story demands it. This miniseries had the potential to be great, and I have my fingers crossed the last two issues deliver a good payoff.

A lot of the stuff is happening because of plot convenience. The fact we saw Doom being able to take down Kitty, Storm, Iceman, Pyro, and Bishop made no sense to me. Storm (a Goddess) and Iceman (an Omega-level mutant) surrounded by the ocean are deadly. Heck, even Valkyrie (an Asgardian being) knew not to mess with an uninhibited Storm and had to threaten flying to a populated area to land a surprise attack on Ororo.

Fearless Issue 9
Fear Itself: The Fearless Issue 9 (Image: Marvel Comics)

Furthermore, Ororo has a very tense history with Doom. The fact her altercation with Doom wasn’t shown and she (and the rest of the team) were held as prisoners (kind of) on Doom Island made me roll my eyes.

Also, someone needs to invest in Krakoa having better security. Why the heck didn’t the living island sense four non-mutants sneaking around? Sigh!

The privilege Sue, Reed, Johnny, and Ben exuded in front of the X-Men disappointed me incredibly. None of the non-mutant Marvel superheroes, including Captain America, have done much to protect mutants (a metaphor for discriminated minorities in the real world) and seeing the Fantastic Four not even trying to listen to mutants was a bad look.

I’m not saying I agree with the cult-like nature of Krakoa, but the Fantastic Four clearly overreacted in the current situation.

Recommendation: Meh!

X-Men Issue 7 review
X-Men Issue 7 (Image: Marvel Comics)

X-Men Issue 7

For those wondering what Krakoa has to offer mutants who got depowered because of the Scarlet Witch, X-Men Issue 7 gave us an answer. Due to the X-Men having the ability to resurrect mutants, depowered mutants can die and be brought back to life with all their powers returned to them. Writer Jonathan Hickman used Cyclops and Nightcrawler to discuss the moral and spiritual implications of the resurrection process.

While I don’t know why some reality-manipulating mutant (does anyone have Wiccan’s number?) couldn’t be contacted to help depowered mutants, I still liked the story Hickman shared. Also, Scott and Logan have sex with each other (while enjoying domestic life with Jean as a throuple) and there’s nothing you can do or say to change my mind.  

Recommendation: PICK IT UP!

Star Issue 2 review
Star Issue 2 (Image: Marvel Comics)

Star Issue 2

I have no idea why I’m reading this series, but two issues in, it has been quite enjoyable. I like seeing writer Kelly Thompson play around with reality manipulating beings in the Marvel Comic Book Universe. The art by Javier Penn and Filipe Andrade is impressive.

The current issue had Wanda teach some lessons to Ripley (who has been using her powers carelessly). I would like Wiccan to show up down the line, though. I need more moments where Wanda and Wiccan interact with each other. So, fingers crossed. Also, the reveal in the final panel was great.

Recommendation: You should consider checking it out.

Far Sector Issue 4 review
Far Sector Issue 4 (Image: DC Comics)

Far Sector Issue 4

It is very rare to find a solo comic book that continues to deliver quality. Four issues in, Far Sector by writer N.K. Jemisin is that comic book! As far as my opinion goes, this is one of the most highly-enjoyable Green Lantern books ever created. Jo is a great fictional character and I can’t get enough of her. The art by Jamal Campbell continues to be great.

This week’s issue touched a bit on the ring in Jo’s possession. Turns out, it is different from the Lantern rings we have seen before. Apparently, it isn’t as powerful as the other Green Lantern rings. However, it has the ability to recharge itself on its own. With how certain characters talked about the ring, you know they will exploit the ring’s weakness to handle Jo.

There’s a lot of political intrigue in the current series! Seeing Jo trying to interact with the Council was great. It showed that whether politicians are human or aliens from another planet, there are nefarious plans everywhere. 

Recommendation: PICK IT UP!

John Constantine Hellblazer issue 4 review
John Constantine: Hellblazer Issue 4 (Image: DC Comics)

John Constantine: Hellblazer Issue 4

I’ll tell the truth. I only picked up this issue because I thought John was going to hook up with the bearded guy. It didn’t happen. I’m disappointed.

Recommendation: Meh!

suicide squad issue 3 review
Suicide Squad Issue 3 (Image: DC Comics)

Suicide Squad Issue 3

I didn’t care for Tom Taylor’s current Suicide Squad series when it began, but even I have to say that issue 3 ended up being incredible. It featured numerous twists and turns that kept me flipping through the pages. I can’t wait to see what happens next. The art by Bruno Redondo is a visual treat.

Recommendation: PICK IT UP!

Mighty Morphin power Rangers 48 review
Mighty Morphin Power Rangers Issue 48 (Image: BOOM! Studios)

Mighty Morphin Power Rangers Issue 48

Writer Ryan Parrott’s Mighty Morphin Power Rangers is another series that more than delivers in every issue. While this month’s installment had some action-packed moments, I enjoyed the emotional interaction Jason had with Tommy during a sparring session. I also liked the little talk the Black Rangers had. Even though powerful, we have to remember the current characters are still very young humans trying to deal with a lot.

Seeing my favorite Pink Ranger Slayer was amazing and I hope she sticks around for a while. The final panel showed the bad guys increasing their firepower and I can’t wait for an epic battle.

Recommendation: PICK IT UP!

Which comic books did you read this week? Did you enjoy Black Panther Issue 21? What about Giant-Size X-Men: Jean Grey and Emma Frost? Let us know.

Author: Farid-ul-Haq

Farid has a Double Masters in Psychology and Biotechnology as well as an M.Phil in Molecular Genetics. He is the author of numerous books including Missing in Somerville, and The Game Master of Somerville. He gives us insight into comics, books, TV shows, anime/manga, video games, and movies.

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