It must be opposite day, because I was slightly impressed with the finale to Secret Empire, and I'm disappointed with the ending to Black Panther and the Crew. Well, dammit.
The final issue of the Ta-Nehisi Coates series brings us the sort-of finale to the investigation into the death of Ezra Keith conducted by Black Panther and his "Crew" consisting of Luke Cage, Storm, Misty Knight, and Manifold.
Who did it? I won't say here, but the ending of the last issue kind of told you anyway. This was one of those "more the journey than the destination" type of mysteries. The solution was always going to be fairly unimportant by comparison.
That being said, usually, a story like this at least has an ending. This one doesn't — not really.
Black Panther and the Crew just ends. There's no big finale, no real closure, and no real satisfaction. It just stops.
For those who were speculating that this series was always intended to be a mini, you are dead wrong. This feels like a prologue; an origin story. This was the setup for something far bigger that got killed in the cradle for reasons I still can't fathom, and no, it's not the damn sells. You can't project figures from two damn issues of a comic — please stop saying it was the sells.
It was still a compelling read in many parts, and it stayed relevant to serious real-world issues. Setting up Hydra to be responsible for Ezra's team and the alleged revolution of his nephew, which was revealed last issue, will have me thinking for weeks to come.
Butch Guice and Mack Chater make for a good artistic duo once again with a comic that looks great from beginning to end. Dan Brown lands on the money with the color work once more with a palette that evokes the wariness of the world it depicts.
It's just such a shame that it had to end this way. There's no closure given. There's no thoughtful note to end on. It just…ends.
At least Coates is still doing a fantastic job on Black Panther. Hopefully the Crew will cross over into that comic in the future.
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