• Baraka

Shuri #1 Review

Nnedi Okorafor (Author) • Leonardo Romero (Pencils)

Sam Spratt (Cover Artist) • Jordie Bellaire (Colorist)

• Publisher (Marvel Comics)

I often get asked why I don't review many Marvel comics. The main reason is that after reading a book from Marvel I usually feel mildly entertained, meh, or ripped off. Shuri #1 falls squarely in the Meh/Ripped off category.

It's not the worst comic I've read this year (Borderlands) but I feel that the series should have been released either as a graphic novel or given a double sized first issue to flesh out more of the story.

The basic premise of the comic is that Black Panther has gone on a mission in space and is missing. The unstated hook of the Shuri #1 is the question of whether this comic ties into the T'Challa in space storyline that is also going on right now.

We get a run down of Shuri's history. It touches on her death and return to the land of the living. The book establishes her intelligence and her relationship with her brother. When T'Challa goes missing for two weeks a council of powerful Wakandan women convenes and declare that Shuri should take on the mantle of Black Panther...again.

That's the entire issue.

I picked up the comic on the strength of the cover alone. Sam Spratt's art is amazing and even if you aren't a fan of comics or the character this piece would be a great addition to your art collection. Sam does a lot of work in the entertainment industry. He's done pieces for Donald Glover, Janelle Monae, and various other broadway productions. Snagging him for this series was a coup. The cover almost makes the comic worth the price alone, almost.

The Interior art/colors leaves much to be desired. I'm not a fan of the house Marvel art style and haven't been for awhile. I'm not going to say that Leonardo Romero's art is bad but its bland in this issue and isn't the most interesting to look at.

There are also some pretty weird decisions with panel layouts. We're told that Shuri should be the Black Panther because the presumption is that T'Challa is either dead or may never return. This is a pretty heavy situation to be put in but the tone isn't somber at all. Its pretty upbeat with the elders all grinning as if they are glad to finally be rid of him.

The cliffhanger that Shuri is potentially becoming Black Panther again is lazy, and also a bit concerning. We've seen her in this role and almost the exact same position before. This is not a new idea.

I don't usually advocate for higher cover prices but I believe that this comic would have benefited from being a 48-64 page first issue or as a Graphic Novel. If I had to pay a few dollars more and got a complete experience, I would have probably have been satisfied. Shuri #1 just doesn't cover enough ground or bring anything new to the table.

Comics are too expensive to feel mildly entertained, meh or ripped off. This is how I feel every time I pick up a Marvel comic lately. For that reason, I can't recommend this comic to anyone other than new readers or those that just want to see more of the character they fell in love with from the movie. The cover art is also breathtaking. You can't judge a mini series based on a single issue but in this case, I've seen enough.

Rating: C

#NnediOkorafor #LeonardoRomero #SamSpratt #JordieBellaire #MarvelComics #Superheroes #BlackPanther

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