Posted by:
Chris Bushley

Review: Black Panther: The Man Without Fear #513


BLACK PANTHER #513 PREVIEW WRITER:  David Liss ARTIST:  Francesco Francavilla LETTERS:  VC's Joe Caramagna COVER:  Simone Bianchi & Simone Peruzzi PUBLISHER:  Marvel RELEASE DATE:  December 15, 2010   Daredevil may be far from the streets of Hell's Kitchen - and the book that once held his name - but the denizens he left behind can still look to the rooftops for a hero, someone who will fight for justice, someone without fear! I will admit. that when Marvel announced Black Panther would become the character to replace my much beloved Daredevil, I was filled with trepidation. How would the king of Wakanda fit into an urban setting with no tech and no help from others? The answer is: PERFECTLY! David Liss wiped away all doubt regarding the direction of "The Man Without Fear" mythos and has completely made it his own. Liss' "Year One" style story strips T'Challa, the Black Panther, down to the core of his character, leaving a man who has lost so much at the hands of Dr. Doom to build himself back up brick by brick. Liss takes his time, weaving a rich back story that makes the transition from king to resident of Hell's Kitchen, believable and quite intriguing. Once a man of privilege, T'Challa must now only rely upon his skill, pride and determination to keep the streets of Hell's Kitchen from falling into the hands of the ever growing criminal element. An element that is being overshadowed by the evil of one man, Vlad "The Impaler", whose deadly secret could cut our hero's stay in Hell's Kitchen extremely short. David Liss constructs a multifaceted story that leaves you entranced by the shear simplicity of it. It is a basic tale of redemption and metamorphosis, a man's plight to better himself and in turn, those around him. But it is the depth of Liss' story, a depth of character that the Black Panther hasn't seen in decades, that makes this tale so amazing. In stripping  the character of T'Challa down to bare bones, Liss has not only reinvigorated the character, but has made him once again relevant in the "Heroic Age." Liss has created a determined yet flawed character, one that needs to not only relearn who he is at his core, but also relearn what it means to be a hero. A man who not only seeks redemption for those he protects, but also for himself. This book has everything a great book should -- intriguing character development, bombastic fight scenes and a richness of art that compliments the dark mood entwined within the story. I am pleased to say that Daredevil fans should have "no fear" about this book -- Liss and crew have created themselves a classic!