Infinity Wars: Ghost Panther #1 Review

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Thanks to Gamora’s actions with the Infinity Stones, the universe has changed. Now, T’Challa is an exiled son of Wakanda and takes a different path, one that leads to blood and death, vengeance and hellfire. INFINITY WARS: GHOST PANTHER #1 from Marvel Comics.

Infinity Wars: Ghost Panther #11INFINITY WARS: GHOST PANTHER #1

Writer: Jed MacKay
Artist: Jefte Palo
Cover: Humberto Ramos
Publisher:  Marvel Comics
Release Date: November 21, 2018
Cover Price: $3.99

Previously in INFINITY WARS: Gamora has successfully gathered all of the Infinity Stones and in an effort to keep them, has folded the universe in half, creating a new universe with new, warped origins for familiar heroes. One such hero who has changed is T’Challa, the Black Panther. His life took a decidedly different road than the one we have seen in the past.

AN EXILED PRINCE RIDES THE ROAD TO VENGENCE

The tale of T’Challa begins anew. Here, T’Challa is a prince of Wakanda who openly quarrels with his father and as a result of his arrogance is exiled from the land, cast out to learn humility. Early on he makes his way to America, where he saves a man from a brutal beating. In gratitude, the man takes him in and gives him a new home and purpose. The man, Jericho Simpson, is known as Brother Crash, and is the proprietor of the Brother Crash stunt show. The young Prince T’Challa takes on the stage name of Johnny Blaze, stuntman extraordinaire. What you thought you knew does not apply. During a particularly dangerous stunt, the young prince sees a vision of his father calling his name and the stun goes horribly wrong. T’Challa is killed, but finds himself before the half-sister of the goddess Bast. She appears as a dark woman who with a flaming panther skull in place of her head. She is Zarathos, the Panther Queen of Vengeance. She proposes a bargain to T’Challa: she will give him a power greater than that of the Black Panther and in exchange, he will become her hunter of souls. Johnny/T’Challa refuses and the dark woman departs, leaving her condolences on the death of his father. Johnny awakens to find himself in a mystic circle, his adopted father Brother Crash has brought him back to life. He was only a little dead, but Crash did have to call in a favor to achieve bring him back. He is grateful to his adopted father but tells him he must return to Wakanda to pay his respects. He says his sister will be crowned the Black Panther and be made Queen. As he leaves, the Panther Queen of Vengeance watches.

Upon his arrival, he meets with his sister Suri who shows him surveillance video of their father’s death at the hands of two assailants, two augmented assailants. He died because he was distracted, distracted by the explosion which destroyed location of the heart-shaped herb that gives the Black Panther his powers. T’Challa decides to hunt down the assailants and calls for a motorcycle. As he prepares to ride out across the Wakandan plains, the Panther Queen offers him assistance, free of charge. He agrees and sets out to confront his father’s murderers.

A NEW TWIST TO A FAMILIAR ORIGIN

While the Infinity War/Warp spin-offs are just meant as divergent tales of the new universe which Gamora has created, this was an enjoyable story that really called back to the classic What If…? titles of the past or, to a lesser extent, the House of M and Age of Apocalypse style storylines. You are given a known character and presented with an alternate version of how their origin may have unfolded and finally are presented with a new character to enjoy. In this case, we get a gestalt of two characters who have little or nothing to do with each other, and the resulting product is a fresh new vision which, in some ways, surpasses the originals. Jed MacKay (Vault of Spiders, Edge of Spider-Geddon) weaves a new tale, meshing together the origins and mythologies of both the Black Panther and Ghost Rider into a new and fresh tale. This new T’Challa, aka Johnny Blaze aka Ghost Panther, feels as fresh as a newly conceived character. By taking someone who has no real or initial connection to either of them, Brother Voodoo aka Jericho Drumm, and merging him with Crash Simpson to form Brother Crash, it allows the foundation to be laid to give the character a new feel. Leaving other elements such as Suri and Wakanda almost the same grounds the character in the minds of the modern reader, while allowing for the appearance of old/new foes and deleting the feeling of baggage.

On the art front, the illustrations by Jefte Palo (Moon Knight, Doctor Voodoo: Avenger of the Supernatural) are great. It is a very different look from the standard “house style” of any comic out there and calls back to the works of Larry Stroman while still feeling fresh. His interpretation of Zarathos is great, and the overall look of the book, while a little off in a few places, immerses you into this new world which has been created.

BOTTOM LINE: A DARK COMIC THAT TURNS WHAT YOU KNOW ON ITS HEAD, AND MAKES YOU ASK FOR MORE

I’m not normally a fan of major event spin-offs meant only to explore parts of a world that will not be around past the current publication schedule, but regardless, I enjoyed the Ghost Panther. It owes more to the What If…? tales of my youth than it does any event, and begins a perfectly told tale which could stand on its own with little effort. While there are a few hiccups in dialogue and illustration, the overall package is pure entertainment.

INFINITY WARS: GHOST Panther #1 is a great mix of two popular characters and their origins to create a whole new character that is just as interesting, if not more so, than the originals.

Infinity Wars: Ghost Panther #1

83%
83%
A Dark Comic

INFINITY WARS: GHOST Panther #1 is a great mix of two popular characters and their origins to create a whole new character that is just as interesting, if not more so, than the originals.

  • Writing
    8
  • Art
    8
  • Coloring
    9
  • User Ratings (1 Votes)
    3
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About Author

Back in February of 2008, Stacy Baugher wrote his first article for Major Spoilers and started a solid run of work that would last for over two years. He wrote the first series of Comic Casting Couch articles as well as multiple Golden Age Hero Histories, reviews and commentaries. After taking a hiatus from all things fandom he has returned to the Major Spoilers fold. He can currently be found on his blog, www.stacybaugher.com , were he post progress on his fiction work as well as his photography and life in general, and on Twitter under the handle @stacybaugher . If you're of a mind, he also takes on all comers with the under the Xbox Live Gamertag, Lost Hours. He currently lives in Clinton, Mississippi with his understanding wife, and two kids.

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