Black Panther #33

Black Panther #33 (Marvel – Hudlin / Portella) Let’s get ready to rumble! The new Fantastic Four just took another wrong turn on the dimensional superhighway – and this time, they’ve landed in the middle of a gang-war between machine-gun toting Skrulls! I cannot believe how much non-buzz this book is getting right now.  The last couple issues have found BP, Storm, Ben and Johnny teleporting between worlds like lost pinballs.  They landed on a world with a little bit of FF past.  A Skrull world where they had taken all of their cultural clues off of a old-time gangster novel (Byrne era, but wasn’t there a Next Generation episode like this?), and the last time the FF were here, Ben helped start a revolution that changed the course of the planet for good… or so they thought.  Once the FF left, the skrulls looked back to Earth broadcasts for inspiration and saw some of the civil rights broadcasts from the sixties and seventies.  This newer sense of enlightenment split the society into two groups: the Uptowners (based on the old-school gangster) and the Downtowners (based on Civil Rights movement).  The first reason I think the buzz will be up for this book is the story from the context of U.S. History.  In writing this plot, Reginald Hudlin has given himself the ability to show Storm and Black Panther interact with “Martin” and “Malcolm” the leaders of the Downtowners and have them dialogue about vastly different approaches to bring about peace.  With these story devices, Mr. Hudlin has the option of hitting the reader bluntly square across the face with a political bat, but he chooses not to.  Hudlin should be praised for his ability to intelligently and concisely show both leaders, their passion and their viewpoints on each without the reader feeling he has sat through something forced on him.  When the mainstream finds out about this issue, I have no doubt the Hudlin google score will be through the roof. The second reason for the buzz on this book is…

SECRET INVASION ALERT:  We have Ben and Johnny running all over the Marvel Multiverse in the Black Panther book, but they are also going hardcore in the current Fantastic Four book.  In the BP book, it’s informally written that all of the BP plot happened in-between issues of FF (about 2-3 months ago).  But possibly not, given that Skrulls have kept the “new” FF at bay in the BP book, it could be that the Thing and Human Torch that are presently in the FF book are skrulls!  Can’t wait to see when this thing blows wide open.

Issue Grade: A

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Updated: December 6, 2010 — 10:10 pm

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