Aside from being an excellent series, collecting Civil War tie-ins and cross-overs is an entertaining and rewarding way of finding out about principal characters in the marvelverse (or at least World 616). This collection of Black Panther issues 19-25 is an ideal example. Set against the backdrop of the recent marriage of Storm to T'Challa and the growing Heroes Civil War, this TPB is divided into two arcs. Firstly a world tour and secondly becoming involved into the final stages of the Civil War confrontations.
The world tour is supposed to be a diplomatic one. Visiting Viktor Von Doom in Latveria? Of course that ends up in a fist fight, Storm being particularly spectacular. Next it's off to meet with the Inhumans on The Moon, since some of these an insufferably pompous it's another fight; two of my pet dislikeables Gorgon and Karnak getting deservedly kicked. Then once all is sorted out it's time to attend on Namor, actually no fighting here, an interesting back story of a younger Namor in World War II and a tie in with the Civil War Road to War.
The second story arc `War Crimes' sees the couple in the USA tangling with both sides and the US government. This covers the period in the aftermath of the death of Goliath and the final battle. Many of the heroes and their own issues are fitted skilfully into this arc, in particular the relationship problems Reed and Sue Richards are having.
The individual stories weave easily in and out of the issues raised in the Civil War and since T'Challa is spending too much time out of Wakanda there are the tensions with his council. This was a useful device as an introduction this country; until then I didn't realise its potential or power.
As you will gather there is a lot to read in this collection; more than a vehicle for a lot of punching and explosions, although there is quite a bit of this too and the Storm/ Sue Richards team taking on the Cyborg Thor confirms you do not want to take these ladies lightly.
The art work is well executed, although I preferred the World Tour illustrations, the War Crimes arc had its moments, and this is just a question of personal taste.
An important tie-in, but also very good stand-alone story.
on 27 July 2010
The follow-on to T'Challa and Ororo's wedding is a great read and one of the best Civil War volumes. Join the newlyweds as they discover what being married means and joint rulers of Wakanda and as they visit Marvel's monarchs on and off-earth. The art and story telling go very well together and sets the scene for events like Black Panther:Deadliest of the Species and Doomwar. I thoroughly recommend this it also has cameos by James Rhodes, Falcon and many more besides.