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REVIEW – Marvel Comics ‘Ultimate Black Panther’ #3

UltBP3Var min

With the main Black Panther comic series currently on hiatus following the completion of the latest arc in Black Panther #10, the Ultimate universe version of the character serves as the primary monthly book for fans of Wakanda. Thankfully, the Ultimate Black Panther series by Bryan Edward Hill and Stefano Caselli has been excellent from the first issue, and this third issue brings the much anticipated Ultimate versions of Storm and Killmonger into the main storyline.

Ultimate Black Panther #3 is available now at your local comic book store.

Ultimate Black Panther #3 Cover by Joshua Cassara
Ultimate Black Panther #3 Cover by Joshua Cassara

Bryan Edward Hill
Stefano Caselli
Joshua Cassara
ENTER…STORM AND KILLMONGER! Black Panther takes matters into his own hands and embarks on a covert solo mission to deal with Ra and Khonshu directly! Wakanda’s conflict with Moon Knight has escalated. Even with spies all across the continent feeding information, Wakanda is overwhelmed. Everything changes, though, when a pair of freedom fighters enter the fray: Ultimate Killmonger and Ultimate Storm!

REVIEW – New and Old Friends Return

Whenever there is a new interpretation of T’Challa, one can’t help but wonder what new iterations there might be of the robust supporting characters around him, including Shuri, Okoye, Killmonger and, of course, Storm. While technically both Killmonger and Storm appeared in the first issue of this series, it was little more than an exciting cameo that teased more to come. Issue #2 ended with an electrifying final scene where T’Challa was saved by Storm (some things remain the same in every universe).

All those moments led up to this issue as T’Challa meets Killmonger and Storm and goes on an unexpected journey with them. First and foremost, both Storm’s and Killmonger’s Ultimate character designs are fantastic. Storm looks a little more rugged than than her 616 comic counterpart; not quite yet the polished goddess that we see in the X-Men. I really like Killmonger’s design, which is more interesting than what we usually see in the 616 comic version, which is often just a guy without his shirt on and some accessories.

The part of the story with T’Challa and Killmonger is fairly uneventful from an action perspective; there are no big battles or even much verbal conflict between the two. Instead, the most compelling moment occurs as the two sit in front of a fire out in the wild. This is where Bryan Edward Hill shines. The two discuss Wakanda and the mantle of the Black Panther. In a scene reminiscent of the film, Killmonger tells T’Challa poignantly that “I got tired of sleeping in paradise while people who looked like me suffered in the world beyond it.”

Stefano Caselli’s art perfectly frames the exchange between the two, providing close-ups of both men as they struggle with the difficult, yet important, conversation.

Caselli is also able to handle action well, as reflected earlier in the book when we see Shuri and Okoye have their own meaningful conversation; this time with a bit more physicality involved. The Ultimate version of Okoye in particular, as queen of Wakanda and T’Challa’s wife, is intriguing. We haven’t yet seen enough of her to see where her story will go, but now that Storm is in the picture, the possibilities are exciting.

This is one of the best monthly books going right now, and the Ultimate books as a whole are providing exceptional story-telling that’s accessible for both new and old comic readers.

RATING – 4.5/5 Pocky

Pocky Rating 4.5

Ron is the founder and Editor-in-Chief of POC Culture.  He is a big believer in the power and impact of pop culture and the importance of representation in media.

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