Review: Black Panther Man Without Fear #513

Published on December 22nd, 2010

When last we saw Daredevil in Issue 512 he was well a little messed up. Apparently even The Man Without Fear needs a sabbatical. Enter The Black Panther.According to The Black Panther Dare Devil told T’Challa to watch over Hells Kitchen while he is gone and Panther agreed with one condition. He has to do it his way with no one telling him how to dispense his form of justice.This brand new direction for Daredevil also lends to a new writer with David Liss and new artist with Rancesco Francavilla.Do they live up to the fantastic writers and artist that have been in this book over the last few years or are they stumbling in the dark? Read on to find out.

blackpanther513The book opens with Matt and T’Challa  having a conversation high over the city. Matt is basically  laying out that he needs time to digest the things that have happened to him during Shadowland  and therefore needs to get away for a while leaving T’Challa to watch over the Kitchen.He then sets T’Challa up as the owner of a diner that looks identical to the Edward Hopper 1942 painting Nighthawkes.Nice touch guys. They then set up that T’Challa wants to cut himself off from anyone and everyone that could potentially help him. He wants to do this completely on his own.We get to see Foggy for a few frames as he hands over T’Challa’s new identity. We also see T’Challa saying goodbye to his wife Storm  via Sype.They set up T’Challa pretty fast with a lot of surprises. For me it is just a re branding of The Panther. Marvels way of making him a bit more contemporary. And I have to say it kinda works for me! We also see a new villain called Vlad The Impaler emerge. Vlad apparently is not a vampire but is trying to suck money from the streets of  Hell’s Kitchens people.We also learn that he has a bit of the Super Soldier formula in him and that is the root of his power.

The writing for the Black Panther is interesting. It is written in that pulp style which really works for this books direction. I like that they are forcing the Panther to reinvent himself and thus change who The Black Panther is. The rest of the book is well paced and as far as I can tell there wont be to many Dare Devil books until he is back so if you don’t like it and you just really want to see old horn head well be patient he is coming back very soon!The art work isn’t horrible but it just isnt my thing. It seems like it is pulp but it is just missing something. That extra added layer of detail and style. It is very similar to Sean Philips work a little scaled down actually and not in the vein of Steve Epting or Gabriel Hardmen. Again it isn’t bad just missing the layers that I typically enjoy.

I guess knowing that this book has a finite number of issues with T’Challa as The Man Without Fear makes it a bit more bearable. Having the Black Panther as DD’s fill in is more for The Black Panthers benefit then I think it is for Dare Devils. In the end it will be a short different story, which will make it shine as something limited and a little more special.

Final Verdict: Stick around for a nice little treat that wont wear out it’s welcome. Black Panther is bringing something back to his character that we haven’t seen in a very long time and it doesn’t take Matt Murdock to see this will be a special little story!

Sheldon Lee