Secret Warps Ghost Panther Annual #1 / Writers: Al Ewing & Daniel Kibblesmith / Artists: Carolos Gomez & Ig Guara / Colors: Carlos Lopez & Matt Milla / Letterer: VCs Joe Sabino / Publisher: Marvel Comics / Publish Date: July 17, 2019
The Universe was folded in half by Gamora when she had the Infinity Stones. This lead to the merging of two souls into one being. When the Universe was unfolded the new merged souls were preserved inside the Soul Stone. Secret Warps is that world inside the stone and features our favorite heroes and villains merged.
Part 3 of this story is broken into 2 parts and picks up with Ghost Panther (Black Panther & Ghost Rider). When we last visited the Secret Warps Weapon Hex, Soldier Supreme, and Iron Hammer had met a new hero, Captain Peace. She came from the future to tell them they had changed the world for the worse.
Days of Future Mars
Al Ewing opens the book with “Days of Future Mars”. Here we see Ghost Panther get out of enchanted chains put on by Bushman The Hunter. Getting help from his fire panther skull, gifted from Zarathos, and back up from his father, a literal giant flaming panther. Ewing fleshes out the character’s strengths while introducing us to other warped individuals. When the panthers join the rest of the warped crew Ewing shows us how brave and selfless Ghost Panther is by sacrificing himself to 2099 to fix the timeline.
Although, the story tends to be a bit over complicated at points, Ewing’s Martian conflict is interesting. Watching T’Challa, also known as Johnny Blaze, fight with the 2099 Defenders was fun. Seeing new characters warps is exciting, especially when they are characters you may not know separately well. Captain Peace, a mix of Captain Marvel and Justice Peace, introduced in the last issue, is especially poignant. If anyone knows the Civil War II Captain Marvel, then they will find it interesting that this mix with Justice Peace makes her keep the future instead of try to change it. Big points to Ewing for adding this angle to the warp.
Art of the Past and Future
Carlos Gomez and Carlos Lopez’s, art and colors add depth to the story. The page of backstory by Gomez shows the juxtaposition of 2099 conflict, peace in Wakanda, and the villain obtaining the Time Diamond to help the story come across more clearly. The movement of the art also lends to moving the complicated folded history forward. Lopez’s colors are eye catching and add depth to the constant fire raging. The best part about these souls becoming one is how they look mashed together. Again, Captain Peace is the coolest of them all. I want to be her due to this artwork!
Daniel Kibblesmith’s short second story “Midnight Mass” introduces the direction Ghost Panther will go in the future. Kibblesmith also creates the insanely cool Knightblade, Misty Knight and Blade mix, who joins the Ghost Panther and his Dad to fight old evil. Kibblesmith is establishing himself as one of Marvel’s great writers. His new characters are full of life and engaging. You want more of them instantly, such as last week’s Drrf in WOTR Omega (see my review on this site!). His Ghost Panther is more centered than the first half. He is hesitant to seek the fight, but when the fight finds him he picks up the mantle again. The adventures of Ghost Panther and Knightblade, are stories that readers will look forward to.
Ig Guara and Matt Villa’s, art and colors, keep the tone and style from the first half while also adding their own flavor. Gueara’s version of Misty feels real, but drawn with grace of movement and extraordinary strength. Villa has made her Blade blue eyes glow against the darkness of the section. Then turns to sepia tones when she is describing her past. As in the first half, Ghost Panther’s fire is the star here, which also helps in making the two stories cohesive.
Overall, this book is fun. Although, background knowledge of other issues and the initial warps runs are helpful in understanding the story. The art is fantastic and cohesive throughout the stories. Ewing and Kibblesmith have different takes on storytelling, but both are effective in engaging the reader. I truly hope they keep giving these kind of projects to Kibblesmith. He excels in these stories and is becoming one of my favorite writers at Marvel. Finally, Captain Peace, needs her own book stat!
Verdict: 4 out of 5