Re: EVERYTHING Black Panther - Part 2
How many events in comics are there that can't be considered contrived or stunts? I don't see why the Storm-BP marriage gets undying hate from some quarters for allegedly being rushed or contrived when there was some precedent for it from Priest and even earlier. I grant you that they could have spent more time developing the relationship over a period of years, but Hudlin/Marvel wanted the event and they wanted it when they wanted it. But Marvel did attempt to build on the marriage with the Storm miniseries written by Eric J. Dickey, as you've acknowledged. As for Storm/Forge, I know they had some history in the comics and if the writers had went the marriage route with them, okay, but do you really think it would've led to a bigger role for either character? And with Wolverine, there's no way that relationship would've lasted and Storm would've just become another of Logan's many conquests. But with the T'Challa-Ororo pairing there is a potential-largely underused by Marvel-to up the profile of both characters and to exploit both the Avengers/X-Men franchises that have become pretty much Marvel's biggest focus. And it has been about six years since the marriage, why are people still harping on how they came together? Multiple people, not just Hudlin, have written about the marriage at this point, so why continue to demonize him over it?
With what I know of the Skrulls, being shape shifters who can take on the personalities of the people they imitate, why would Skrull Malcolm or Skrull King not act like the people they were imitating? As for using the real people, I'm not sure why Hudlin didn't. Maybe he felt it would be trivializing them, or maybe he wanted to show an alien culture that had respect for black culture or historical figures after we've seen countless depictions in comics and other media of alien cultures that mimic white cultures or peoples on Earth. Or it could've been that he was just trying to take advantage of the popularity of the Skrulls. Though to be fair with you, I hated that Skrull storyline though I did like the covers.
I do think you have a good point about the quality of writing and how mentioning race should not obscure bad writing. Though for some I have to wonder if the mention of race would factor into if they felt a story was poorly written. With you, I don't think that is the case. But for some I have to wonder if the very mention of race colors their perception of the story.
As for the Katrina story, I don't recall Blade using that epithet though I do remember him saying that he didn't see race or something to that effect. I think that is a good contradiction that you've pointed out. Though I did like that story overall because I had never seen a team up like that before and the idea of black superheroes helping in a tragedy that had a lot of black victims made sense to me. If the Marvel world was the real world and Katrina had happened, I would think there would be calls and questions in the community about why the heroes-especially the black ones-sat on the sidelines. And I give Hudlin credit for writing about Katrina. I can't think of any other mainstream comic at that time writing about that disaster.
In Spike and P. Diddy, I don't think Hudlin picked the best role models perhaps to model his T'Challa after, but at the same time both Spike Lee and P. Diddy are successful, intelligent, innovative people, that have had a big impact on black, national, and global culture whether you agree with some of Spike's outspoken comments or Diddy's excesses, so I don't think they are completely beyond the pale. To me Hudlin was trying to make Panther relevant and appeal to a new group of readers, and perhaps those name drops were an attempt to do that, to give the uninitiated potential fans he wanted to reach two popular figures.
I don't see Hudlin's Panther as being anymore arrogant than Priest's Panther. (I wouldn't even call it arrogance, I would call it confidence). And I found him a lot more appealing than Maberry's sidelined Panther (and I'm not counting when he was injured, but his disappointing sitting out DoomWar in a lab or wherever with Reed Richards and then letting Doom off with a warning after the man wrecked his country, killed his uncle, hurt his family, and nearly choked him out). I think Liss's Panther was marginally better, but displayed a stubborn go-it-alone attitude.
All that being said, I wasn't too keen on many of Hudlin's stories either, even though it might seem like I did. I liked the ideas more than the execution. I thought he had a good grasp on the Panther though, however he didn't do a great job building up real challenges for T'Challa and he was especially lacking in the creation of new villains. The challenges were over too quickly, T'Challa always had a handy rabbit to pull out of his hat or habit, far too much for my taste. I also didn't think that everyone needed to say how great T'Challa was all the time. That bothered me but I got the feeling that Hudlin was trying to overcompensate for the lack of respect he felt (I'm assuming) that Panther had received over the years. In his inelegant way he was trying to balance that. However he should have been doing more showing than telling.
Just when I think Hudlin was learning from his mistakes, with the Dark Reign storyline, he left the book. (Also I liked the way he wrote T'Challa and Storm scenes. There was a playful sexiness in some of their interactions and it was great to see two black characters flirt and be sexy. You rarely see that in comics, or the rest of the media IMO).
As for Maberry I dug his "Power" arc, but came to detest "DoomWar". It started off good but petered out very quickly. And I'm iffy on Liss. I thought the premise was jacked from the get go, but I thought that after "Storm/Hunter" and by the time the book became "The Most Dangerous Man Alive" that it was getting Panther back on track.
Last edited by DarKush; 07-14-2012 at 08:19 PM.