Black Panther vs. Deadpool #1 // Review
Continuing in their attempts to feature Deadpool as much as possible, Marvel has released their latest book in their “Deadpool versus another Marvel character” series. This time, it’s Black Panther who takes on the role as antagonist/reluctant ally to the Merc with a Mouth in Black Panther vs. Deadpool #1, written by Daniel Kibblesmith, with art by Ricardo Lopez Ortiz, and lettering by VC’s Joe Sabino.
This latest story finds Deadpool needing a piece of vibranium in order to save the life of Marvel mailman Willie Lumpkin. Willie is in critical condition with a piece of shrapnel inching closer and closer to to his heart, due to an accident caused by Deadpool, who was trying to stop the Wrecker at the time. Knowing that vibranium is plentiful in Wakanda, and hoping to leverage their relationship as Avengers, Deadpool goes to find help from the Black Panther.
The Black Panther, meanwhile, has been developing “star cells,” a new form of treatment that can heal virtually any injury. Finding out that Deadpool has smuggled himself into his kingdom—in a plot that involves a cargo ship, and an elephant costume—does not make the Black Panther happy. Even worse, not knowing what the true reason is, Deadpool comes to request the same amount of vibranium needed to make a bullet. With all of these elements in place, it doesn’t take long for the initial misunderstanding to take place between these two characters.
While this could easily be another by-the-numbers Deadpool versus story, Kibblesmith does a good job of injecting some much needed humor into the book, including a pretty funny summation by Deadpool about how these stories go. Deadpool plays well as the untrustworthy hero trying to do the right thing. Black Panther also plays well as the long suffering king who will likely be playing straight man to Deadpool’s antics as the story goes along. But time will tell if Kibblesmith will be able to keep the humor going. If not, this story will probably go downhill quickly.
The art by Lopez Ortiz is good for the most part. The action scenes flow well, and the background is drawn nicely. The characters in costume look good, and they show a nice sense of motion in the action scenes. But the characters faces, especially when drawn out of costume, are a little too cartoonish. Having a smile on Deadpool’s face in almost every panel in the last third of the book is distracting at best. And the little face drawn above to emphasize Deadpool’s emotions seems unnecessary since the reader can easily understand what Deadpool is feeling based on what he is saying, and the context of the scene.
This first issue in the Black Panther vs. Deadpool storyline is a good start. While the Deadpool versus storylines have started to seem a little played out, Kibblesmith has a chance to create one that could allow the characters really play off of one another. Using Deadpool’s ability to break the fourth wall is well done here, and gives a wink to the longtime reader. All of this makes for a good start, and hopefully it will continue as the story progresses.