Written by: Ralph Macchio
Penciled by: Andrea Di Vito
Colored by: Laura Villari
Lettered by: VC’s Travis Lanham
Covers by: Andrea Di Vito & Laura Villari; Variant cover by Ron Lim & Rachelle Rosenberg
Fantastic Four #53 by Stan Lee & Jack Kirby
This story begins with the Wakandan monarch talking the finer points of vibranium to diplomats in Dubai. Shouldn’t he have people that can do this for him? Oh well.
What you should know
T’Challa is the King of the African nation of Wakanda, and he dons the hereditary mantle of Black Panther to protect the people and resources of the kingdom. Just to let you know, this is not present day Black Panther. This is T’Challa as a somewhat new to the throne, King and a newish Black Panther. The chronology is not laid out as clear as that, but the narration points to this being the case. I say all this to say that he’s not the fully confident and fully formed King T’Challa, we see today.
I want to start by saying I love the art in this issue and love the combo of Di Vito and Villari, especially when Black Panther in costume is on the page. It is bold, it is sleek, and it is polished. The style is always perfect for Marvel, and I love it! Macchio is another legend in the game of comics, known for his work as a writer and editor for Marvel spanning 3 decades. The style reflects an older style of comic writing that is not too complex and wraps up simply in 22 pages. I love the tension in T’Challa’s introspection, basically this being Black Panther is challenging!
But while the plot makes sense, there’s action, and there is logical progression, it seems too formulaic. The other books in the Black Panther tapestry, the main, Rise of Black Panther, and even the cancelled World of Wakanda and Black Panther and the Crew, are much more compelling and feel much more connected to the running narrative. If I can get a sense of how this series weaves and relates to the others, other than the main character, I can have more faith in it. It’s like it has the sound but not quite the fury going for it.
Sound and Fury starts off in a very cartoony, villain-of-the-week way, so I’m interested to see how the book progresses. I’m not left with a lot of suspense for the next issue because it wrapped up nicely with a bow on top. I hope the next issue provides more clarity on what we can expect from Sound and Fury going forward. I liked the addition of the FF book and the introduction of Vibranium and Klaw but couldn’t get over how much of a jerk Ben Grimm was to T’Challa…