BLACK PANTHER AND THE AGENTS OF WAKANDA #1 / Writer: Jim Zub / Artist: Lan Medina / Colors: Marcio Menyz / Letters: VS’s Joe Sabino / Cover Artist: Jorge Molina / Publisher: Marvel Comics / Publish Date: September 18, 2019.
Black Panther and the Agents of Wakanda
S.H.I.E.L.D. is gone and there is a hole in the Earth’s defenses. Who do you call when the Avengers are too busy? Who do the Avengers call when they need help? These questions are why Black Panther and the Agents of Wakanda are working together. Black Panther has gathered a group of eclectic heroes to be his Agents of Wakanda and assigned his fiercest fighter, Okoye, to lead the group. As some of the team are out on assignments, Okoye, Fat Cobra, Wasp (Janet Van Dyne), and the Black Panther himself check out suspicious intense energy in a small Oklahoma town. What they find is like nothing they’ve seen.
Jim Zub tells a fast-paced and interesting story with Black Panther and the Agents of Wakanda, Eye of the Storm, part 1. This is a two-part story, therefore it isn’t surprising to see the source of the intense energy on the last page, but it is a shock to learn who is causing the disturbance. Zub also skillfully accentuates his characters’ personalities through their interactions, so that you know these characters, whether you’ve read them before or not.
Although, I will say that Fat Cobra’s personality is larger than his sumo wrestler physique and a reader can feel a bit beat over the head with it. We get it, he likes to eat. That being said, Fat Cobra’s joyful disposition is needed on such a serious team. It was nice to see Fat Cobra’s powers, as well as how powerful and skilled Wasp can be. The action Zub creates is fun to watch, especially with a team that has very different skills and powers.
Lan Medina’s art throughout the book serves the writing. Although many of the action sequences are drawn well, there do seem to be some panels that feel unfinished, especially after looking at Jorge Molina’s beautifully detailed cover. In particular, the gang of bad guys, in the beginning, feel like sketches in their car instead of fully realized characters. The same goes for later on when Okoye is fighting and shadow overtakes most of her face. I would have liked to see more facial dimensions on certain panels. Fat Cobra in particular looks somewhat different per panel, and clarity may have helped that factor.
That being said, Medina’s drawing of Okoye, while she is explaining where the other team members are, is gorgeous! The detail of Wasp and the way the character is moved through the art is exceptional. The monsters created are also truly frightening. All of this art is accentuated by Marcio Menyz’s colors. The deep purples and reds of the last battle scene show us how much more difficult that fight is as compared to the everyday colors of an earlier fight. The Holographic Garden is colored in lighter blues and greens, which make the reader feel they are inside a computer and a garden.
Overall, Black Panther and the Agents of Wakanda is well put together and exciting with art that supports the action taking place. Jim Zub shines writing these characters and surprises the reader with some twists. The relationships he creates in this one issue makes me interested to see how they will evolve moving forward, as well as how they will look when the other team members are present. Black Panther and the Agents of Wakanda are a large team with completely different personalities and skillsets. It’ll be fun to continue to see them all in one spot and fighting for the safety of the masses.
Verdict: 4 out of 5