“Mr. Follow Follow” Book 3 of 6
Written by: Evan Narcisse (Consultant: Ta-Nehisi Coates)
Penciled by: Paul Renaud
Colored by: Stephane Paitreau
Lettered by: VC’s Joe Sabino
Covers and Title pages: Brian Stelfreeze
The journey continues in this mini-series following the early years of T’Challa, King and Protector of the fictional African country Wakanda. This month, T’Challa goes against the wishes of his council and opens the nation to the United Nations in an effort to bring peace to the world with their technology advancements and vibranium. There is a lot going on in this issue, and the plot is set up very nicely.
Previously on The Rise of Black Panther…
T’Challa takes over the mantle of Black Panther and King of Wakanda from his uncle S’yan. He quickly embarks on a journey to find missing Wakandans who have begun disappearing recently. He finds an unlikely and resistant ally in Namor, the brash and slightly-prejudiced King of Atlantis. This proves to be a very interesting team up.
In the previous issues, the pacing of the story was near perfect. You felt that you are carefully being ushered into this world of Wakanda and T’Challa finding his place as a new monarch. This issue has a lot going on. There is a lot of exposition, while necessary, it sped by too quickly. And this exposition is incredibly technical. For instance, before we can get time to understand the gravity of what T’Challa has decided for Wakanda. We do not even have time to grapple with the tribal elders to realize what is going on. They, as well as the audience, do not have time to react for the United Nations envoys are just outside. It felt really rushed. Another major departure in writing from the first few issues is the amount of dialogue, as there is A LOT. Even during the action scenes, there is a lot talking which sort of detracts from the action. What I can appreciate is some of the character development and use of Shuri as an Oracle-type, her revelations and confrontation with Uncle S’yan, and the set-up for what’s happening in the present of Black Panther. I also appreciate some of the guest stars but then there are others that are shoehorned in. These things needed to happen, but the speed with which it’s happening is a problem. The art is good, not spectacular and I am really interested in the next issue and the involvement of other Marvel villains.
The book keeps me interested because of a few left turns and things I know are seeds sown for later. The careful crafting in the previous two issues is faintly present, but it mostly feels rushed and cluttered. I know we only have so much more time before it comes to an end, but I hope that we get there without a downgrade in story quality. My assessment rounds to a 7.6 because I have seen Narcisse do much better.