Since I’ve been writing other comics related stuff the last couple of weeks, I thought I would spend today writing about some books you may have missed.
Black Panther #1, written by Ta-Nehisi Coates with art by Brian Stelfreeze. Released April 6, 2016
This is not Black Panther or the country that he rules, Wakanda, at their peak. Both have faced turmoil: Wakanda, mass death and destruction from an attack from Atlantis; T’challa, the loss of his sister and the devastation of his homeland.
Coates sets up an intriguing premise. Can this superhero, the king, rebuild both his country and himself. Plenty of complications and challenges lie between them and success.
Coats and Stelfreeze had crafted an intriguing and modern look at an old and oft forgotten character and his world. I’m adding this comic to my regular pull list.
Mockingbird #2, written by Chelsea Cain with art by Kate Niemczyk. Released April 13, 2016
I found the first issue of Mockingbird and intriguing slice of life story about a recently empowered superhero. While I’m not familiar with her work, Cain clever knows how to mix humor in with the narrative. Niemczyk provides high quality, if undistinguished, illustrations. Disjointed in parts, the book planted enough story hooks and questions to interest me at least through the first story arc..
Wonder Woman Earth One OGN, written by Grant Morrison with art by Yanick Paquette. Released April 11, 2016
Morrison and Paquette offer up a modern retelling of Wonder Woman’s origin while maintaining respect for the original work from the 40’s by creator, William Moulton Marston. The Earth One version of Paradise Island is a technological wonderment. Beautifully rendered sky cycles fly above advancements as the incredibly powerful Purple Ray. This is an unabashedly anti-male version of the Amazons. Contempt for men oozes from their words as much as sensuality and good health emanates from their depictions.
This Wonder Woman very closely matches the ideals Marston related in this interview from The American Scholar in 1943.
Not even girls want to be girls so long as our feminine archetype lacks force, strength, and power. Not wanting to be girls, they don’t want to be tender, submissive, peace-loving as good women are. Women’s strong qualities have become despised because of their weakness. The obvious remedy is to create a feminine character with all the strength of Superman plus all the allure of a good and beautiful woman.
Of course this ideal brings the Amazons into conflict with the outside world, once pilot Steve Trevor crash lands on the island. The struggle between the two societies offers the reader an interesting point of view on both American and Amazonian culture. Morrison presents them both as equally flawed with various strengths.
I found the book beautiful to look at, entertaining to read, and thought provoking. I know It will be far too long before the next volume is released.