Ta-Nehisi Coates is apparently a “good writer” within the eyes of many. I read his Black Panther #1 and it didn’t impress me (don’t hate me) so when I heard about Black Panther & the Crew I didn’t know what to say. It seemed like Coates was trying to popularize an unfamiliar name and it turns out he failed…..kind of. I was very uninterested with the idea of the new Crew until one user on here brought it to my attention, Kol Skywalker. Maybe it was because I expected it to be another preachy comic by Marvel like Sam Wilson’s solo title, but Kol told me this book is trying to be as objective as possible. Next, I found out the new Crew will be ending shortly at issue 6 because of poor sales so, from that moment on I knew I had to read it as soon as possible. And so I did.
And it sucked….
-out any hesitations I had with the book!!!! Let’s get a couple things straight: unlike the original, the new Crew comic is starring team members who aren’t really all that street level like Black Panther, Storm, and Manifold. In pitch this sure feels like a cash grab, but in the comic it somehow never does. Yes the name sounds silly with the amount of heavy hitters, but Coates realizes not all of the heroes are street-level so, he tries to tie them with Harlem by reffering to each character’s history and wisely adding things to it, which I gotta admit, works (Storm’s connection to the Crew is very well done).
So yes, the comic does deal with race relations of the black community and the cop community. I know….can’t wait for the cringe, but then out of nowhere Ta-Nehisi Coates happens to throw a curve-ball at me. A miracle happens in Marvel! It’s not pandering-SJW-bullcrap like in so many of their titles and much of that must be thanks to Misty Knight. If I had to assume which superhero could deal best with racial tensions in America, the first answer to come in to mind would be Captain America, and I feel really stupid for never thinking it was Misty Knight.
For those unfamilair, Misty Knight used to be an African-American policewoman who really understands both sides of the spectrum. Ta-Nehisi Coates brilliantly uses a character’s past to further the current story yet again it’s unlike Captain America: Sam Wilson which, skims over the fact that Sam used to be part of a gang which could’ve been used to really make the character pay-off in history. Instead in that comic it makes up stuff and characteristics for the hero that don’t make sense. The writer Ta-Nehisi Coates is writing an objective story, one where he is not biased to the point of plot failure.
One of my problems with Captain America: Sam Wilson is that it portrays cops as fear mongering figures who keep on doing one thing, racial profiling. An ASTOUDNING example is the evil “peace keeping” police force, Americops who are a real collective of people under the badges attacking innocents for who they are, violently with no purpose. But in Black Panther & the Crew they are not human, but machines!
In Coates’ version he chose to portray the evil cops as robots. There is a reason he went with robots and not people under a mask. He knows most cops aren’t evil, he knows that pointing fingers at the entire crowd is very much disencouranging people from really joining his side. Nick Spencer on the other hand paints everything with red and blue. Red being evil, blue being good. That writer always leaves out shades to each color while Coates is much suitable in writng a logical, realistic and objective world.
I encourage you to read my post criticising Sam Wilson’s standalone comic called, The Sam Wilson Dilemma. Why? Because it’s ridiculous how these 2 comics seem to be fighting for the same cause, yet one differs from the other in execution. The Crew is a stellar opposite of what Captain America: Sam Wilson is and I find that to be very important to point out. Even things like the Americops are shown vastly different in details that make the 2 titles vastly stand out from each other. But the differences don’t end there.
Ta-Nehisi Coates cannot only write a comic fueled by logic, common sense, and objectivity, but also write a damn good one. I don’t wanna spoil anything, but with the 2 issues out now, not all of the team roster characters show up! Correction, not most of them do and that is amazing!!!!! We live in a day and age where mainstream comic books are shorter in length so, majority of writers end up providing us with over 5 different rushed scenes crammed within 20 pages. Did BP & the Crew have over 5 scenes within an issue? I don’t know. I didn’t count nor bother since I was more invested in reading the comic itself.
Coates is writing a story that feels cinematic. This is what makes me go, “Comic books are an underrated media platform and can be as good as movies or video games.” In contrast Sam Wilson’s comic rushes through multiple scenes to a point of no return. It buggles my mind how a comic can get away with the crap that Nick Spencer puts out just because he chooses to tackle “Racial tensions in America” yet a comic that actually tackles it properly is getting cancelled after 6 ISSUES!!!! UGH!!!!!
Black Panther & the Crew is a comic I have been waiting for since All-New All-SJW Marvel started back in 2015. 2 YEARS! Please, go pick up the 2 issues out now and support great storytelling. I don’t want this series to end on such short notice, shorter than the run in 2003 (which was also enjoyable)! Crap like this makes me angry at the comic industry because both spectrums are presented fairly unlike, in the ones that do make more money. I will also give Ta-Nehisi Coates’ Black Panther solo series another run for its money. Hopefully I will like it the second time I read it. So please buy Black Panther & the Crew! Please! Now don’t mind me as I contact Marvel and Ta-Nehisi Coates on Twitter (the least I can do is hashtag #KeepTheCrew).