Comic Book Reviews (Week March 2, 2022): Black Panther Issue 4, Nocterra Issue 8 & More!

black panther issue 4 review
Black Panther Issue 4 (Image: Marvel Comics)

Welcome to my comic book review round-up for the week of March 2, 2022. I will be reviewing Black Panther Issue 4, Nocterra Issue 8, X-Men Issue 9, and more!

Let’s begin with Black Panther issue 4 by writer John Ridley with art from Juann Cabal and Ibrahim Moustafa. The issue opened with T’Challa needing to leave Arakko and saying goodbye to Storm. I really enjoyed their interaction as Ororo tried to make T’Challa tell her the truth. She knew something was troubling him, but T’Challa being T’Challa decided to keep his problems to himself even though he told Ororo not to worry too much and that he’ll tell her the truth when the time’s right.

With the previous issue revealing Gentle to be a sleeper agent working for T’Challa, I liked how Ororo already knew about Gentle’s role. Due to her asking Gentle to tell her all the details after T’Challa left the planet, I have a feeling Storm will jump in for an assist down the line. Of course, the two will need to have a conversation about keeping secrets from each other once she’s helped T’Challa.

Black Panther issue 4 review
Storm asking Gentle to tell her the truth in ‘Black Panther’ Issue 4 (Image: Marvel Comics)

I get that certain fans don’t want there to be any secrets between Black Panther and Storm, but I feel that due to their positions, telling each other everything is a bit unrealistic (even in the context of fictional comic books). As far as my opinion goes, they don’t have to reveal every detail unless completely necessary and both of them should respect the stance of keeping certain things from each other. Yes, they are in love, but they are also leaders of entire nations that don’t always see eye-to-eye.

T’Challa and Storm’s relationship in the current arc reminded me of the dynamic between Bruce and Selina. Yes, Ororo and Selina aren’t as smart as T’Challa and Batman, respectively. However, both women have a very good read on their significant others, allowing them to call out or drag their men when needed.

As for the rest of Black Panther issue 4, Shuri figured out that the recent attacks were connected to someone from Wakanda. At this point, there aren’t a lot of people T’Challa can trust. I’m looking forward to seeing how Ridley plans to develop T’Challa as a character as the current mystery deepens and our hero’s past decisions return to bite him.

Does it have obvious queer characters? No.

Recommendation: Pick it up! 

Dark Knights of Steel issue 5 review
Dark Knights of Steel Issue 5 (Image: DC Comics)

Dark Knights of Steel Issue 5

From writer Tom Taylor and artist Yasmine Putri, Dark Knights of Steel issue 5 offered some fun and surprising developments. Readers have been theorizing that a shapeshifter’s involved in the current story because there’s no way Zala decided to go on a brutal rampage. Also, the way Kal-El used the kryptonite shard to stab Bruce without feeling any side effects served as another hint of a shapeshifter (there could be more than one) messing with everyone. 

So, yes. Currently, I do agree with the shapeshifter theory. The culprit is either a shapeshifter/s masquerading as Zala and Kal-El or some powerful telepath took control of their actions. Perhaps it’s both? Hmmm.

Dark Knights of Steel issue 5 review
Poison Ivy and Harley Quinn in ‘Dark Knights of Steel’ Issue 5 (Image: DC Comics)

Dark Knights of Steel issue 5 also offered a well-written romantic scene between Poison Ivy and Harley as Harley tried to convince the Queen of the Forest to help defend the kingdom. I hope we get to see more of the two women working together as the story progresses.

Diana also reconnected with Zala and they promised to fight on the same side if war was inevitable. There’s just a lot of queer romance going on in this book! Ha!

Does it have obvious queer characters? Yes.

Recommendation: PICK IT UP!

Nocterra issue 8 review
Nocterra Issue 8 (Image: Image Comics)

Nocterra Issue 8

Nocterra issue 8, by writer Tom Snyder and artist Tony S. Daniel, offered an intense installment as Val made a decision about Bill’s fate. I have to say that I have been enjoying Bill as a villainous character in the current story. There’s just something cool about him. And after finally learning about the Shade King’s grand design, I’m interested in seeing what type of role Bill will get to play to help Val and the rest of her team save the world.

Does it have obvious queer characters? No.

Recommendation: Pick it up.

X-Men issue 9 review
Storm communicating with Arakko in ‘X-Men’ Issue 9 (Image: Marvel Comics)

X-Men Issue 9

From writer Gerry Duggan, I basically picked up X-Men issue 9 due to it having some awesome Storm scenes. The issue mainly dealt with Krakoa and Arakko voting on how to handle the threat posed by Orchis. I don’t understand why the X-Men still haven’t used all of their reality warpers and magic users to put an end to Orchis, but oh well.

X-Men issue 9 showed Ororo being able to communicate with Arakko. Even though Storm’s powerset allows her to connect with entire planets, seeing that aspect of her powers mentioned or explored in stories is quite rare. That’s why, as a Storm fan, I loved the panels showcasing Ororo talking to Arakko as she addressed the other members of the council. Arakko knocking Tarn unconscious was hilarious.

In another location, Destiny making her disdain for Rogue marrying Gambit also offered some chuckles.

Does it have obvious queer characters? Yes.

Recommendation: Pick it up.

Night of the Ghoul issue 5 review
Night of the Ghoul Issue 5 (Image: comiXology Originals)

Night of the Ghoul Issue 5

I was provided with a free digital copy of Night of the Ghoul issue 5 for review. The opinions I have shared are my own.

From writer Tom Snyder and artist Francesco Francavilla, Night of the Ghoul issue 5 served an intense penultimate installment. As usual, the narrative jumped back and forth between the past and the present as our main cast tried to deal with the Ghoul. Forest’s not out of danger yet, and I’m excited to see how the past and present will connect in the finale. Is it even possible to defeat the Ghoul? We will find out soon enough. 

Does it have obvious queer characters? No.

Recommendation: Pick it up! 

Which comic books did you read this week? What did you think of Black Panther issue 4?

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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