Review: Black Panther &The Crew #3

Well, it seems that the positive effects of gentrification include expanding T’Challa’s musical tastes to include Frank Ocean and to try cognac old fashioned’s. The negative effects include rising prices driving old neighbors from their homes and murder.

Yeah, that last point seems to be a sticking point. Especially once T’Challa figures out who is behind the gentrification at the Harlem Renaissance.

Ta-Nehisi Coates has managed a neat trick with Black Panther and The Crew. He has started a new superhero team comic where three issues in, none of the team members know that they are on a team. Three of them barely know that they are investigating the same murder.

And somehow the book works. When I think about it, the pacing is weird. The clues are obvious. The threat is something readers have seen many times before. But when I read it, all that falls away and this book is an easy read that leaves you with headaches as you silently debate the issues that are casually worked into the story.

The only part that I don’t buy is the interaction between Ororo Munroe and T’Challa. They are still freshly divorced in this issue but have no problems going undercover together to investigate the clues left behind by the murdered victim. Not only do they work well together, but T’Challa realizes his divorcing Storm was a mistake made from a moment of weakness. Despite this, he makes no effort at explaining or reconciling any of this with Storm.

Butch Guice’s art continues to make this book better than it has any right to be and we aren’t getting any big action sequences in most of the issues. So many of the issues that this book is looking at are just quietly expressed through the street scenes as Black Panther and Storm begin their investigations.

So far this book has the pacing of an Agatha Christie mystery. After the initial murder, we’ve had two issues of heavy plotting to gradually lead everyone together and go after this menace from all sides and perspectives. With the explosive ending of this issue, we can hope that the series is finally kicking into a higher gear.

Writer: Ta-Nehisi Coates
Artists: Butch Guiche and Mack Chater
Inkers: Scott Hanna and Mack Chater
Colors: Dan Brown
Publisher: Marvel

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