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Black Panther #61

Posted: Thursday, July 3, 2003
By: Jason Cornwell



Writer: Christopher Priest
Artists: Jim Calafiore (p), Norm Rapmund (i)

Publisher: Marvel Comics

Plot:
As he continues on his highly dangerous path through the Wakandan rite of Ascension, Kasper Cole finds T'Challa has come to offer up yet another warning, as the voyage has now reached a point where he'll be unable to protect him. However, Kasper Cole pays no heed the T'Challa's warning, and he finds himself up against the seemingly unstoppable Eric Killmonger.

Comments:
Given I made such a stink about last week's issue of the "Crew" served to spoil the surprises that are playing out in this book, I have to say that Christopher Priest once again proves to me why he's a professional writer, as even when he looks to "accidentally" tip his hands to the readers, he's still able to pull off a pretty surprising show for those of us who were gullible enough to believe that those seeming spoilers weren't planned well in advance. Yes as I made my way through yet another highly entertaining issue I felt a bit like I was making may way through a second showing of the "Sixth Sense", where you get to take notice of all the little clues that litter that film. In fact even though we know where Kapser will be at the end of this arc before this issue even begins, the book is still able to offer up a couple pretty impressive surprises as we learn how he made his climb up the ladder, and the issue also manages to deliver a fairly major surprise just in time for the cliffhanger. All in all, a very enjoyable read that's actually a fair sight better as a result of my knowing where Kasper's path will take him.

As for the art, while it's a bit disappointing that Patrick Zircher wasn't able to finish out the arc, I've been a fan of Jim Calafiore since his time on the previous "Aquaman" monthly, so his name is a welcome sight in the credit box. He certainly handles the odd little moments quite nicely, such as the panel where Killmonger agrees to stop the fight.

Final Word:
A pretty entertaining issue, as Christopher Priest manages to take what I saw as a lemon, and turn it into a full course meal with all the trimmings. Yes, having the story seemingly spoiled over in the pages of the "Crew" is probably the best thing that could've happened to this book, as I entered this issue secure in the knowledge that I knew where the story was going to end up, so I was able to be continually surprised by the twists & turns that are introduced on the path toward this final objective. After reading this issue I have to say that I was completely off base in how I imagined Kasper managed to pull off his little victory, as this issue introduces a side path that Kasper takes, that in effect makes him an enemy of T'Challa. The final page statement by Kasper is also an eye-opener, as one is left to wonder how this little problem will be overcome.



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