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Black Panther #55

Posted: Wednesday, April 2, 2003
By: Jason Cornwell



Writer: Christopher Priest
Artists: Jim Calafiore (p), Mark McKenna (i)

Publisher: Marvel Comics

Plot:
As Kasper Cole continues his plan to expose the corrupt elements within the police department, we see he's slowly discovering that in the bigger picture his efforts are doing more harm than good, and a very dear price has been paid by one of his allies.

Comments:
This is a book where one is required to pay close attention, as there's roughly a half-a-dozen characters moving around in these pages, and they all have a clever plans that inevitably intersect. However, it is nice to see a book that leaves the reader with the sense of never being fully sure how it's all going to come together, and this issue also deserves credit for a truly surprising development as we learn one of the main players in this drama has been killed. It's also nice to see that out of all the characters that are moving through these pages, our lead character is probably the most out of the loop when it comes to his plotting & scheming, as one can almost see where it's going to fly off the rails even before he's finished with all the various aspects of his clever plans.

Now there is a real danger that Christopher Priest has made this book too complex, that it will scare off any potential new readers, but frankly I rather like the idea that this book just assumes the reader will be able to follow & enjoy material that is far more complex than the average comic. As for the art, Jim Calafiore steps in to provide the guest art, and his edgy style is nicely suited to the darker crime-fiction atmosphere this book has adopted. There's also some great looking work during the penthouse gunfight, as well as the 62 story tumble.

Final Word:
Some fairly big surprises to be found in this issue, as I must confess I was completely unprepared for the revelation that a particular character had been killed, and there's also a fairly major revelation introduced on the final page that changes everything. This issue also steps up T'Challa's involvement in the story, as there's a rather amusing exchange between Kasper & T'Challa during the middle of a rather heated conflict, that nicely contrasts the major difference between the two men, and their way of handling a situation. I also rather enjoy the idea that not every one of Kasper's ideas proves to be all that successful, as I rather enjoy the idea that our lead character can stumble & fall on his way toward the big finish. Some fairly involved maneuvering too in the background, as we see everything is not what it seems, with the last page offering up a major plot twist that I can't wait to see examined.



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