The “Spider-Island” tie-ins seem to work because they satellite around the concept of the event, not the actual story. Black Panther gets his own set of issues for this Spider-Man event because he, too, is in Manhattan. There is no Spider-Man in this book. This book must succeed on the power of its own story, and in that regard it does. This is a fun issue that requires no knowledge of the overall event, except for the one panel given in the recap.
A new character, Overdrive, talks us through the events in this issue. His voice is pretty constant and will not be to everyone’s tastes. He’s like a Jason Statham character infected by a Kevin Smith script. There’s some quality to what he says, and how he says it, but the pure onslaught of words means there’s also going to be some misses. The character seems to have some legs, so his barrage of thoughts can be overlooked at times. Having him discuss his observations of the events in Manhattan via Twitter is actually a great move. The realism of the situation is that Twitter would become a massive tool in this sort of situation and David Liss’ inclusion of such discussion is a definite plus for the book.
This issue is mostly one large car chase. Black Panther follows along and arms himself plenty. The action doesn’t become dull because it is constantly varied. Liss and Francesco Francavilla throw all sorts of ideas, angles, and concepts into the mix.
The business involving Lady Bullseye comes as a fair surprise. It also shocks and definitely repulses. The reveal is set up and delivered perfectly. It’s a great moment you won’t forget quickly. A shame, then, that the rest of Lady Bullseye’s appearance is so forgettable. She doesn’t do much and certainly isn’t much of a foe at all. She’s too easily brushed aside and that hurts the credibility of the character and thus the threat of this issue.
Every page, and panel, is framed by a yellow border of scattered spider webbing. It’s a format that works for this book and does not wear thin by the end of the issue. Francavilla knows how to draw up some great action sequences and the chases and fights zip across the pages. He uses color to enhance the motion and bring the focus of a panel to the fore. This comic, like all Francavilla comics, looks gorgeous.
“Black Panther: The Most Dangerous Man Alive” is a very tidy little satellite comic to the “Spider-Island” event. T’Challa gets his own slice of business to deal with and the events from this issue are only going to spiral further out for this hero. There’s plenty to enjoy in this book and you don’t need to be reading anything else to settle down with this one and appreciate the ride. I’m looking forward to seeing where this one goes.