Written by Reginald Hudlin
Drawn by Scot Eaton, Manuel Garcia, Koi Turnball, Marcus To
Published by Marvel Comics
This particular story arc features the immediate aftermath of the epic wedding of Black Panther and Storm. They go off on their honeymoon, but plans get derailed as this right in the middle of Marvel’s company-wide CIVIL WAR crossover, and these two characters get caught up on it. I’m going to try to avoid major spoilers here, as best I can.
First Black Panther and Storm head to Latveria, at the invitation of Doctor Doom. Of course this diplomatic meeting doesn’t go smoothly, and Black Panther and Doctor Doom end up in a brutal fight inside Doom’s castle. Normally, facing Doom on his home turf would be a bad idea, but let’s just say that Black Panther is lucky that Storm was there with him. Doctor Doom is my favorite Marvel villain so it was a treat to see him square off with Black Panther. Then they head to the moon, for a meeting with the Inhumans. There they uncover a conspiracy within the Inhuman Royal Family. And after that it’s underwater to Atlantis, for a meeting with Namor, the Sub-Mariner, who tries to convince Black Panther that he needs to get involved in the American superhuman conflict before it threatens to engulf the world. Black Panther is reluctant at first, as a Head of State he has to consider how his involvement could affect Wakanda.
So first he and Storm take a trip to America, for a meeting with Tony Stark who is leading the pro-registration side of the Marvel Civil War. This meeting does not go well (Tony Stark was being written as a major a-hole around this time) and soon Black Panther and Storm are seeking out Captain America to join his renegade superheroes. The last couple of issues have Black Panther and Storm covertly aiding Captain America and his team and then getting involved in some major battles, including Storm going one on one with a clone of Thor.
I’ll admit to some bias here, as I hated the Civil War storyline, the entire idea was ludicrous in my opinion, and the execution in the main series was terrible. At the time I wasn’t reading many other Marvel series so most of the crossover was easy enough to avoid (I read the main miniseries via Mark Millar’s message board, which I was a paying subscriber to at the time, which gave us access to original pages and scripts). So I wasn’t too crazy with the idea of Reginald Hudlin being forced to incorporate that storyline into the title. But keeping an open mind, I think Hudlin did a decent enough job of involving Black Panther and Storm in this story. The first half of this arc, where they were traveling the world and meeting with those other Marvel royal characters was good enough. Then when the story shifted to their direct involvement in America I was less interested. That’s not the fault of Hudlin’s writing, like I said, I just didn’t care for the story in the first place. But in terms of things like characterization, he’s on point. With each issue he seems to get more and more comfortable writing Black Panther and Storm as a married couple, their dialog and banter always flows naturally.
I also would have preferred if there was one consistent art team on this arc. I didn’t notice it as much when originally reading the series one issue at a time every month, but now looking back and reading the collected story, it’s kind of jarring. Scot Eaton only draws the first issue, then Manuel Garcia takes over for 3 issues. Then Koi Turnball draws 2 issues, and Marcus To (who drew Alyssa Milano’s Hacktivist series) draws the final issue. Each artist does a great job, but I would have preferred if one of them had been able to draw all 7 issues, just to give the arc a consistence style.
A good effort by all the creators involved. Not my favorite BP arc, but it’s not due to a lack of trying.