Black Panther Vs. Deadpool #1 Review

by Charles Martin on October 24, 2018

Black Panther Vs. Deadpool #1 Review
Writer: Daniel Kibblesmith
Artist: Ricardo López Ortiz
Colourist: Felipe Sobreiro
Letterer: Joe Sabino
Publisher: Marvel Comics

Welcome to another Deadpool Versus mini! We've got everything you're expecting: Black Panther, Deadpool, meta-textual irony, Willie Lumpkin, elephant sex jokes! And more!

Wait! Don't run away, faithful veteran of one too many Deadpool miniserieses! Sure, Marvel may have created this one with a clear desire to rake in MCU fan dollars, but they'll take your dollars too! 

The most remarkable thing this book's creators have done is strike an effective balance between those two audiences. Whether you're someone who's sick unto death of Deadpool team-ups or a "don't read comics" person tempted in by the combination of two of your favourite superhero movies, this issue has a good shot at satisfying you.

This goal is accomplished by refusing to take itself seriously - in exactly the right way. All of the sarcastic awareness of premise's flimsiness is rooted firmly where it should be, inside Deadpool's head. He even gives a complete rundown of the standard "Deadpool Versus" plot when he meets T'Challa. After all, as he says, "This is like my fifteenth rodeo."

T'Challa plays the deadly serious straight man throughout. He gets to launch the book with some safe but intriguing woolgathering about the changing meaning of kingship as he leads his kingdom into communication with the wider world. It's also set during a fascinating Day of the Dead-meets-Halloween celebration on the streets of Birnin Zana.

Both the script and the art show off a confidence-building commitment to this potentially-ridiculous story. The visuals have a sketchy, tremendously exaggerated style that doesn't agree with my usual taste. But the sheer amount of detail loaded into the panels and the immense skill used to portray both actions and emotions in a "bigger-than-life" way have won me over. The visuals are messy, yes - and the colours just barely keep up with the action. But the art team is undeniably engaged with the material, and a heavy dose of artistic passion is exactly what this title needs.

This issue's script shows off a keen understanding of balance that should play well over the rest of the series. That initial T'Challa scene, almost overwhelming in its near-pompous seriousness, is relieved by kicking off an extra-wacky (but plot-relevant!) Deadpool antic immediately afterward. The jokes throughout are outstanding, from Deadpool gloating over the legality of using a Disney catchphrase to T'Challa deploying a cheesy yet brutal pun in the final scene.

Black Panther Vs. Deadpool #1 kicks off with a tremendous burst of creative energy. A perfect balance between serious and silly suits the book's co-stars and should do a fine job of satisfying both veteran readers and movie fans. The creators understand that this title is the essence of non-essential reading, but they do not use that as an excuse to employ less than top-notch storytelling skills.

Our Score:


A Look Inside


Charles Martin's picture
This book had me at "Deadpool Lumpkin."