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Week of February 14th Volume 1 #634

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NEW FUNNY BOOKS ARRIVING ON WEDNESDAY
ACTION COMICS #997
ACTION COMICS #997 VAR ED
AMAZING SPIDER-MAN ANNUAL #42 HAWTHORNE VAR LEG
AMAZING SPIDER-MAN ANNUAL #42 LEG
AMAZING SPIDER-MAN RENEW YOUR VOWS #16 LEG
ANGELIC #6
ANIMOSITY EVOLUTION #4
ARCHIE #28 CVR A MOK
ARCHIE #28 CVR B PITILLI
ARCHIE #28 CVR C SCHOENING
ATLAS AND AXIS #2 (OF 4)
AVENGERS #679 LEG
AVENGERS #680 BRADSHAW CONNECTING VAR LEG WW
AVENGERS #680 LEG WW
BABYTEETH #8
BARBARELLA #3 CVR A CIFUENTES
BARBARELLA #3 CVR B FORNES
BARBARELLA #3 CVR C WIJINGAARD
BARBARELLA #3 CVR D FEISTER
BARBARELLA #3 CVR F 10 COPY CIFUENTES INCV 
BARBARELLA #3 CVR G 20 COPY FORNES INCV 
BARBARELLA #3 CVR H 30 COPY WIJNGAARD INCV 
BATGIRL AND THE BIRDS OF PREY #19
BATGIRL AND THE BIRDS OF PREY #19 VAR ED
BEN REILLY SCARLET SPIDER #14 LEG
BLACK MONDAY MURDERS #8
BLACK SABLE #4 (OF 6) CVR C REYES
BLOODSHOT SALVATION #6 CVR A ROCAFORT (NEW ARC)
BLOODSHOT SALVATION #6 CVR B GUEDES (NEW ARC)
BLOODSHOT SALVATION #6 CVR C BIVENS (NEW ARC)
CABLE #154 LEG
CAPTAIN AMERICA #698 EVELY HULK VAR LEG
CAPTAIN AMERICA #698 LEG
CATALYST PRIME ACCELL VOL 2 #4
CHARISMAGIC PRIMER (ONE SHOT)
COLD WAR #1 CVR A SHERMAN
COLD WAR #1 CVR B JUAN DOE
COMIC BOOK CREATOR #16 (C: 0-1-1)
CURSE WORDS #11 CVR A BROWNE
CURSE WORDS #11 CVR B LOTAY
DARK FANG #4
DARK KNIGHTS RISING THE WILD HUNT #1
DEADMAN #4 (OF 6)
DEATH OF LOVE #1 (OF 5)
DESPICABLE DEADPOOL #294 LEG
DETECTIVE COMICS #974
DETECTIVE COMICS #974 VAR ED
DOCTOR STRANGE #385 DEODATO JR HULK VAR LEG
DOCTOR STRANGE #385 LEG
DOCTOR WHO 12TH YEAR THREE #12 CVR A LACLAUSTRA
DOCTOR WHO MAGAZINE #521
FALCON #5 LEG
FLASH #40
FLASH #40 VAR ED
FULL BLEED COMICS & CULTURE QUARTERLY HC VOL 01
GHOST MONEY #7 (OF 10)
GI JOE A REAL AMERICAN HERO #248 CVR A DIAZ
GOOSEBUMPS MONSTERS AT MIDNIGHT #3 (OF 3) CVR A FENOGLIO
GOOSEBUMPS MONSTERS AT MIDNIGHT #3 (OF 3) CVR B ARTIST ED RA
GOTHAM CITY GARAGE #9
GRASS KINGS #12 MAIN & MIX
HACK SLASH VS VAMPIRELLA #5 (OF 5) CVR C 10 COPY VIRGIN INCV
HACK SLASH VS VAMPIRELLA #5 (OF 5) CVR D 20 COPY B&W INCV (N
HAL JORDAN AND THE GREEN LANTERN CORPS #38
HAL JORDAN AND THE GREEN LANTERN CORPS #38 VAR ED
ICE CREAM MAN #1 2ND PTG
ICE CREAM MAN #1 2ND PTG
INVADER ZIM #28
INVADER ZIM #28 INCV VAR SYGH
INVINCIBLE #144 CVR A OTTLEY & FAIRBAIRN
INVINCIBLE #144 CVR B WALKER & FAIRBAIRN
JACK KIRBY COLLECTOR #73 (C: 0-1-1)
JENNY FINN #4 (OF 4)
JIM HENSON POWER OF DARK CRYSTAL #11 (OF 12)
JIM HENSON POWER OF DARK CRYSTAL #11 (OF 12) SUBSCRIPTION TA
JUDAS #3 (OF 4)
JUDAS #3 (OF 4) FOC INCV BASTIAN VAR
JUDGE DREDD MEGAZINE #392
JUSTICE LEAGUE OF AMERICA #24
JUSTICE LEAGUE OF AMERICA #24 VAR ED
KICK-ASS #1 CVR A ROMITA JR
KICK-ASS #1 CVR B B&W ROMITA JR
KICK-ASS #1 CVR C 25 COPY INCV ROMITA JR
KICK-ASS #1 CVR D QUITELY
KICK-ASS #1 CVR E COIPEL
KILL OR BE KILLED #16
KILLER INSTINCT #5 CVR A CINAR
LAZARUS X PLUS 66 #6 (OF 6)
MAGE HERO DENIED #6 (OF 15)
MARVEL COMICS DIGEST #5 AVENGERS W BLACK PANTHER
MARVEL TWO-IN-ONE #3 DEL MUNDO YOUNG GUNS VAR
MARVEL TWO-IN-ONE #3 HAWTHORNE HULK VAR LEG WW
MARVEL TWO-IN-ONE #3 LEG WW
MIGHTY CRUSADERS #3 CVR A SHANNON
MIGHTY CRUSADERS #3 CVR B JIMENEZ
MINKY WOODCOCK GIRL WHO HANDCUFFED HOUDINI #3 CVR A VON BUHL
MINKY WOODCOCK GIRL WHO HANDCUFFED HOUDINI #3 CVR B HARPER
MISTER MIRACLE #4 (OF 12) 2ND PTG
MS MARVEL #27 LEG
NEW SUPER MAN & THE JUSTICE LEAGUE OF CHINA #20
NEW SUPER MAN & THE JUSTICE LEAGUE OF CHINA #20 VAR ED
NINJA-K #4 CVR A CAFU
NINJA-K #4 CVR B POLLINA
NO GODS NO DUNGEON MASTERS ONE SHOT
OLD MAN HAWKEYE #2 (OF 12) LEG
OLD MAN LOGAN #35 LEG
OLD MAN LOGAN #35 MCNIVEN HULK VAR LEG
PARADISO #3 CVR A PRAMANIK & KELLY
PARADISO #3 CVR B PEARSON
PLANET OF THE APES URSUS #2 MAIN & MIX
PLANET OF THE APES URSUS #2 SUBSCRIPTION CAREY VAR
PORT OF EARTH #4
PUNISHER #221 LEG
QUANTUM & WOODY (2017) #2 CVR A TEDESCO
RAGMAN #5 (OF 6)
RED HOOD AND THE OUTLAWS #19
RED HOOD AND THE OUTLAWS #19 VAR ED
REGULAR SHOW 2018 SPECIAL #1
ROBOTECH #7 CVR A SIMMONDS
ROBOTECH #7 CVR B ACTION FIGURE VAR
ROBOTECH #7 CVR C TURINI
ROBYN HOOD THE CURSE #2 (OF 6) CVR A GOH
ROBYN HOOD THE CURSE #2 (OF 6) CVR C GARVEY
ROCKOS MODERN LIFE #3
ROCKOS MODERN LIFE #3 SUBSCRIPTION MERCADO VAR
RUMBLE #3 CVR A RUBIN
RUMBLE #3 CVR B FEJZULA & GARATEA
SCOOBY APOCALYPSE #22
SCOOBY APOCALYPSE #22 VAR ED
SCOOBY DOO WHERE ARE YOU #90
SHADE THE CHANGING GIRL WONDER WOMAN SPECIAL #1
SHEENA #6 CVR E 10 COPY SANAPO B&W INCV
SHEENA #6 CVR F 20 COPY SANTUCCI B&W INCV
SHEENA #6 CVR G 25 COPY PARENT VIRGIN INCV
SIDEWAYS #1
SKYBOURNE #5
SKYBOURNE #5
SLEEPLESS #3 CVR A DEL DUCA & SALLAH
SLEEPLESS #3 CVR B LENOX
SLOTS #5
SPONGEBOB COMICS #77
STAR WARS DARTH VADER #11
STAR WARS LAST JEDI DJ #1
STAR WARS LAST JEDI DJ #1 JOHNSON VAR
STAR WARS LAST JEDI DJ #1 MOVIE VAR
STAR WARS LAST JEDI DJ #1 REIS VAR
STAR WARS POE DAMERON #24
STAR WARS THRAWN #1 (OF 6)
STAR WARS THRAWN #1 (OF 6) ANIMATION VAR
STAR WARS THRAWN #1 (OF 6) CHRISTOPHER ACTION FIGURE VAR
STARGATE ATLANTIS UNIVERSE ANTHOLOGY 2018 MAIN CVR
STRAY BULLETS SUNSHINE & ROSES #32
SUICIDE SQUAD #35
SUICIDE SQUAD #35 VAR ED
SUPERGIRL #18
SUPERGIRL #18 VAR ED
TITANS #20
TITANS #20 VAR ED
TWISTED ROMANCE #2 (OF 4)
UNBEATABLE SQUIRREL GIRL #29 LEG
WAR STORIES #26
WAR STORIES #26 GOOD GIRL NOSE ART CVR
WARHAMMER 40000 FALLEN #4 (OF 4) CVR A BETTIN
WARHAMMER 40000 FALLEN #4 (OF 4) CVR B WILLIAMSON
WEAPON X #14 LEG
WILDSTORM MICHAEL CRAY #5
WILDSTORM MICHAEL CRAY #5 VAR ED
WONDER WOMAN #40
WONDER WOMAN #40 VAR ED
XENA #1 (OF 5) CVR A FINCH
XENA #1 (OF 5) CVR B CIFUENTES
X-MEN BLUE #21 CHRISTOPHER TRADING CARD LEG
X-MEN BLUE #21 LEG
YOUNGBLOOD #9 CVR A TOWE
YOUNGBLOOD #9 CVR B LIEFELD

NEW TRADES / BOOKS / HCs / NOVELS and such
BATMAN LEGACY TP VOL 02
BINGO LOVE OGN
DAREDEVIL EPIC COLLECTION TP MIKE MURDOCK MUST DIE
DC MEETS LOONEY TUNES TP
DC UNIVERSE BY ALAN MOORE TP
DOCTOR WHO LOST DIMENSION HC VOL 01
GOOD MORNING SUPERMAN BOARD BOOK
KIM REAPER TP VOL 01 GRIM BEGINNINGS
LEGENDS OF TOMORROW THE ATOM TP
LOVECRAFT MYTH OF CTHULHU HC
LUMBERJANES TP VOL 08
MARVEL EXPANDING UNIVERSE WALL CHART
MY LITTLE PONY OMNIBUS TP VOL 04
NEW MUTANTS BY ZEB WELLS TP COMPLETE COLLECTION
NIGHTWING TP VOL 07 SHRIKE
PESTILENCE TP VOL 01
PLANTS VS ZOMBIES GREATEST SHOW UNEARTHED HC
POKEMON SEEK & FIND HC KANTO
QUANTUM TEENS ARE GO TP VOL 01
SECRET LOVES OF GEEKS TP
STAR WARS ADVENTURES TP VOL 02
SUPERMAN ACTION COMICS REBIRTH DLX COLL HC BOOK 02
TITANS TP VOL 03 A JUDAS AMONG US REBIRTH
TMNT UNIVERSE TP VOL 03 KARAIS PATH
TOTAL JAZZ HC 
TROLLHUNTERS SECRET HISTORY OF TROLLKIND TP
YOU HAVE KILLED ME GN

NEW TOYS / TRINKETS / BAUBLES & FUN
DARK NIGHTS METAL TOUR BASEBALL SHIRT MED
DC COMICS BATMAN 5 PK SHORT COMIC STORAGE BOX (MAY178252) (C
GAME OF THRONES WINTER IS HERE TITANS MINI FIG 18PC BMB DS (
GUNDAM 00 GUNDAM EXIA PERFECT GRADE MDL KIT 
HARLEY QUINN RED WHITE & BLACK BY STANLEY LAU STATUE
INVADER ZIM LAUGHING ZIM LAPEL PIN
LEGEND OF ZELDA MASTER SWORD UMBRELLA
LEGEND OF ZELDA MASTER SWORD UMBRELLA
MARVEL GALLERY NETFLIX JESSICA JONES PVC FIG
MARVEL UNIVERSE COOKING DEADPOOL ARTFX+ STATUE
MYSTERY MINIS RICK AND MORTY SER 1 12PC BMB DISP (C: 1-1-1)
POCKET POP STRANGER THINGS DEMOGORGON KEYCHAIN
POP BUFFY THE VAMPIRE SLAYER 25TH DARK WILLOW VINYL FIGURE (
POP HELLBOY HELLBOY VINYL FIGURE
POP IT MOVIE PENNYWISE W/BOAT VINYL FIG
POP MAD MAX FURY ROAD COMA DOOF VINYL FIGURE
POP RICK AND MORTY PICKLE RICK VIN FIG
POP ROCKS KURT COBAIN VINYL FIGURE
POP TEEN TITANS GO ROBIN AS NIGHTWING VINYL FIGURE (C: 1-1-1
RICK AND MORTY BUFF ARM MORTY LAPEL PIN
WWE CLASSIC SUPERSTAR DLX MACHO MAN ROBE  (JUN178752) (

WHAT CAME IN LATE IN THE WEEK
ALL NEW WOLVERINE #25 LEG
ALL NEW WOLVERINE #29 LEG
ALL NEW WOLVERINE TP VOL 02 CIVIL WAR II
ALL NEW WOLVERINE TP VOL 03 ENEMY OF STATE II
ATTACK ON TITAN GN VOL 01
BABYTEETH #6
BATMAN EARTH ONE TP VOL 01
BATMAN EARTH ONE TP VOL 02
BATMAN UNDER THE RED HOOD TP
BLOODSHOT SALVATION #3 CVR B VILLAINS PALOSZ
BOMBSHELLS UNITED #1
BOMBSHELLS UNITED #10
BOMBSHELLS UNITED #3
BOMBSHELLS UNITED #7
BOMBSHELLS UNITED #8
COMIC BOOK HISTORY OF COMICS COMICS FOR ALL #1 CVR A
DISNEY PRINCESS #14
DREAD GODS #1 CVR B SEARS
ETERNAL THIRST OF DRACULA #1 MAIN CVR
FLASH TP VOL 01 LIGHTNING STRIKES TWICE (REBIRTH)
GHOSTBUSTERS 101 TP EVERYONE ANSWERS THE CALL
HAUNTED HORROR #29
HAUNTED HORROR #30
INJUSTICE 2 #18
INVINCIBLE TP VOL 10 WHOS THE BOSS
INVINCIBLE TP VOL 11 HAPPY DAYS
INVINCIBLE TP VOL 23
JAMES BOND THE BODY #1 CVR A CASALANGUIDA
JIMMYS BASTARDS #5 
KAMANDI CHALLENGE #11 (OF 12)
LUMBERJANES TP VOL 01
MAGE HERO DENIED #2 (OF 15)
MIGHTY MORPHIN POWER RANGERS #23
MOON GIRL AND DEVIL DINOSAUR #27 LEG
NAILBITER TP VOL 03 BLOOD IN THE WATER
ONE PUNCH MAN GN VOL 01
OUTCAST BY KIRKMAN & AZACETA TP VOL 01
POP HEROES BOOSTER GOLD & BLUE BEETLE PX VIN FIG METALLIC 2P
QUANTUM & WOODY (2017) #2 CVR A TEDESCO
QUANTUM & WOODY (2017) #2 CVR B ULTRA FOIL SHAW
RADIOACTIVE MAN HC VOL 01 RADIOACTIVE REPOSITORY
ROCK CANDY MOUNTAIN #7
RUMBLE #2 CVR A RUBIN
SHEENA #5 CVR A THIBERT
SHINOBI NINJA PRINCESS LIGHTNING ONI #3
SLAM NEXT JAM #2
SLAM NEXT JAM #3
SUICIDE SQUAD TP VOL 01 THE BLACK VAULT (REBIRTH)
SUPERMAN TP VOL 01 SON OF SUPERMAN (REBIRTH)
TOKYO GHOUL GN VOL 01
TOKYO GHOUL RE GN VOL 01
VAN HELSING VS ROBYN HOOD #1 (OF 4) C CVR TUCCI
VISION HC
WONDER WOMAN CONAN #5 (OF 6)
X-MEN BLUE TP VOL 01 STRANGEST

Jon's Righteous Comic Reviews (or you name this column chum)

Comic Review: Sideways #1

 

indexSideways #1 (DC Comics)

DC's “Age of Heroes” has had a pretty rough start. After being delayed due to its ties to Metal, the first two titles in the line, Damage and The Silencer, weren't exactly the best examples of creating new and exciting characters that the publisher was promising. Thankfully though, it looks like the third time is the charm for this new launch with Sideways, the new character (and ongoing series) from Kenneth Rocafort, Dan Didio, and Justin Jordan. With an intriguing set of powers and a somewhat similar back story to a certain wall-crawler from the competition, I'm hopeful that this is the book to really show off DC's intentions for their Age of Heroes.

Derek James is your average teenager. He's got classwork, a great girlfriend, and a pretty good home life. The only difference between him and his other classmates is that he has the ability to open rifts in time and space and teleport anywhere he wants to go in the world. Thanks to being in the right place at the right time (or maybe the wrong place at the wrong time) in Gotham during the events of Metal, Derek now has superpowers, and he's going to use them to become famous on the internet. Everything seems to be going according to plan, until he's visited by a guardian of space-time who claims that he's in violation of their rules.

I'll be honest, seeing Dan Didio's name on a book doesn't usually fill me with a lot of confidence. While Didio has been a pretty okay co-publisher for DC, whenever he tries his hand at writing a comic for the publisher the results are typically...not great. But here he's teamed up with Justin Jordan for dialogue help, and it really makes a difference. Jordan and Didio do the impossible here, making Derek James sound pretty close to how modern day teens sound. The characterization of Sideways and his fellow classmates is definitely the strongest aspect of the issue, as the origin of the character is handled in a pretty quick and off hand manner that could've been fleshed out a little more.

Another strength of Sideways #1 is the art, which is handled by the awesome Kenneth Rocafort. Rocafort made a big splash with Red Hood and the Outlaws in the New 52 launch, and while he's remained pretty quiet since then, Sideways shows that he hasn't lost any of his style. As great as the art is in this issue, I do wonder how long Rocafort will stay on the book, as he's not well known for keeping up with a monthly series.

It definitely seems like DC is priming Sideways to be their version of Spider-Man. One look at his costume and poses is all you need to see that. But there's enough in here that differentiates him from the wall-crawler, and perhaps that initial similarity will be enough to get people to try out this book. If they do they'll probably find themselves wanting to check out the next issue like I do.

Comic Review: Invinicible #144

 

Invincible #144 (Image Comics) Invincible_144-1

At long last, it’s time for the end of Invincible. Robert Kirkman’s OTHER Image series has been running for just as long as The Walking Dead, but the mainstream appeal that the Walking Dead juggernaut has appreciated has always eluded Invincible, which is a shame, since it’s been one of the best and most original comics on the stands since it began. But all good things need to come to end, and it’s time for Kirkman and Ryan Ottley to put ol’ Mark Grayson out to pasture with Invincible #144.

That’s not to say that Invincible dies in this issue. This is a spoiler free review, but the only one I’ll give you is that Mark Grayson lives a long, happy life. Of course, a horrible death was probably what a lot of people were expecting (Invincible is known for it’s pretty high body count, after all), but that’s not what this final issue is about at all. Instead, it bounces around to show Mark's life as the head of the Viltrumite Empire, and along the way we watch his daughter Terra grow up, as well as the son he leaves behind on Earth. But Mark’s greatest accomplishment barely has anything to do with Earth or his family, it's that he's able to completely change the barbaric ways of his people. In a lot of ways, this final issue serves as a great example of the impact Mark Grayson has had on the people in his life, good and bad.

If there’s one thing to knock this issue for, it’s that it’s certainly brimming with ideas that could have been fleshed out more. At 56 pages, there’s certainly a lot of room for this finale to breathe, but even still, there’s a lot of cool story ideas that are glossed over that could’ve extended the series another few issues had Kirkman decided to keep going. That being said though, Kirkman’s script gives plenty of heartfelt moments to Mark Grayson and his cast of characters. Hell, he even subverts the entire idea of the series with the final moments of the issue. Invincible was always pitched as a “teenager discovers superpowers” kind of book, but now that we’ve reached the end and seen Mark's accomplishments beyond being a superhero, it’s hard to see it that way.

Of course, I’d be making a huge mistake if I didn’t mention Ryan Ottley’s pencils, which have always been some of the best in the industry. Gifted with crafting incredible action and dramatic moments, he’s arguably the best choice for an artist for this series (sorry original artist Cory Walker), and this issue is him pulling out all the stops. Invincible #144 is full of gorgeous fight sequences and heartbreaking (and hilarious) moments. There are quite a few “dream teams” in comics, and Robert Kirkman and Ryan Ottley stand tall among the top of that list.


I’m really going to miss Invincible. While it wasn’t a series that I actively collected, I made sure to keep up with it and always enjoyed the world and characters that Robert Kirkman, Ryan Ottley,and Cory Walker created. Of course, like all things that come to an end, I didn’t fully appreciate the series until this final issue was announced. But if you’ve been holding off to read this, know that it’s a fantastic finale to an even better series, and if you’re going to start it up, know that you’re in for a pretty wild ride.

THE WAUGH BAG REPORT

Waugh's Bag, Volume Seven, Issue Six!

 

Waugh's Bag

 

Volume Seven, Issue Six!

 

Movie Review: Black Panther

 

MINOR SPOILERS

 

 

Ryan Coogler's Black Panther has a lot to live up to. As not only the first Marvel Studios movie to feature an African-American lead, but also the director's first major tent pole movie, there's a lot to expect from the film. But amazingly, Black Panther lives up to the hype, presenting a movie that's not only worthy of the character, but also one that could (and should) start a movement similar to the one Wonder Woman started last Summer.

 

 

Picking up after the events of Captain America: Civil War, the latest entry in the Marvel Cinematic Universe finds T'Challa (Chadwick Boseman) returning to his native Wakanda to engage in the ritual to become king after his father's death. However, heavy is the head that wears the crown, and many want to rule the nation of Wakanda for their own ends, including Erik Killmonger (Michael B Jordan), who believes that he has a rightful claim to the throne.

 

 

What follows is a a pretty basic and refreshingly smaller focused film than other Marvel movies, as a good chunk of the run time of Black Panther takes place in Wakanda. What Doctor Strange did for magic and Guardians of the Galaxy did for space, Black Panther does for the technological and spiritual side of the Marvel Cinematic Universe. It's truly a sight to see Wakanda presented in such a creative way, and I really don't think Marvel could have pulled this off at any other point in their movie history. A nation that is both steeped in culture but also several years ahead of the world technologically, the dichotomy between the huge, futuristic skyscrapers and the beautiful African countryside is amazing. Wakanda is as much a character in Panther as the main character himself. It's one of the most fully realized fictional locations in comic book films. In fact, I don't think a fictional location has been recreated for the screen this well since Tim Burton's Batman.

 

 

Of course, as good as a fictional world is, it's nothing without some characters to fill it in. Luckily Black Panther is stacked to the brim with fantastic actors, with Chadwick Boseman leading the pack as T'Challa. If you were worried about Boseman's ability to carry a film on his own, you shouldn't be, as he more than delivers on the promise from his debut in Captain America: Civil War. Boseman gives T'Challa the exact right balance he needs to be effective: noble, charismatic, fair, and also playful. He's got extremely great chemistry with everyone in the film, but the notable standouts are his scenes with his younger sister Shuri, played by Letitia Wright, who's sure to become a new favorite for fans of the MCU.

Also standing out is Danai Gurira's Okoye, who is arguably the biggest bad ass in the whole movie. As the head of the Panther's royal guard the Dora Milaje, she not only casts a commanding presence, but also kicks some serious ass multiple times in the movie. Of course, Gurira has some ass-kicking experience from playing Michonne on The Walking Dead, but Okoye should push her into an entire other stratosphere, and it's awesome getting to see her on the big screen whipping her spear around and beating people to a pulp.

 

 

But of all the performances in Black Panther, the one that stands out the most is Michael B Jordan's Erik Killmonger. The MCU's villain problem has been covered time and time again, but it seems like they've finally found some answers to it, and Killmonger stands as one of their best. Jordan is one of Hollywood's best young actors, and Black Panther is a brilliant showcase for him. In fact, he's so good that at times you forget he's the villain of the movie, as his charm works so well that you end up kind of rooting for him, even though you know that he's technically in the wrong.

 

 

As director Ryan Coogler's third film, the fact that Black Panther is so ably and confidently made is pretty staggering. Coogler made a big splash with his debut Fruitvale Station, and an even bigger one with Creed (which also starred Jordan), so it's not too surprising to imagine that he'd do a good job with Black Panther. But the fact that this film is such a slam dunk is what makes it so special. Coogler handles every aspect of this film, from the opening exposition, to the emotional beats, to the giant battle sequences, like a seasoned pro, and it just shows you how much promise he has a filmmaker and how fantastic a choice he was for this film. Marvel Studios have shown with Phase Three that they're not afraid to let directors make their own marks on their films (within reason), and like Thor: Ragnarok before it, it's lead to a film that's fresh and unique in their now 18 film deep catalog.

 

 

At the surface, Black Panther seems to be just another Marvel Studios origin movie. But when you dig deeper, it's a movie about race, culture, globalization, and how sons live in the shadows of their fathers. Both T'Challa and Killmonger have differing views of their homeland due to the stories their fathers told and their different life experiences, but at their core, they both want to see Wakanda flourish. It's that struggle that makes their battles so compelling, and what makes the finale of the film so interesting. The world may not be at stake, but a nation and a family is, and with that comes a film that not only stands as one of the best Marvel Studios films, but also one of the most important comic book movies as well.

 

 

Long live the king, indeed.

 

 

Verdict: A

 

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