FINALLY! Marvel has given Shuri her own Series. Again? Kinda. I mean she's been black panther before, but never quite like this. However, the problem here is that no matter how excited I want to get for series, this issue doesn't quite stick the landing. Hell, it barely gets off the ground. And considering how much flying is happening in this issue. That's quite disappointing.
Here's my issue, this book is like exposition city and it's moving at a snails pace because of it. And to be clear, I don't have a problem with exposition as a whole, however, when it's used to paint the entire picture of the character. It's a bit of a problem Like there is so much exposition here, that it makes the issue a bit unbearable. If its not random dialogue, it's Shuri narration. Example, writer Nnedi Okorafor has opted to give us her take on Shuri's past. Which is fine, especially as I love what Cates has done with Venom. Except, it's not done with style or subtlety, and on top of that it only gets in the way of the art.
I will say this though. I enjoy the over youthful direction that Okorafor has opted to go with this one. Because it's done in a way that makes the character hold to a potential of fun, while still carrying the weight of something deeper. . .a feeling insignificance. And it's also been intriguing to see some new abilities showcased by Shuri. As well as the voices and apparitions she appears to be hearing. It definitely looks like Okorafor will be tapping into African lore and myth and that possibility excites me for the same reason Boarder Town does.
As for the art in this issue, it never truly captivates. Leonardo Romero's style comes across as sloppy and boring which Shuri as a character is not. Also the style doesn't fit the tone which is something that I always stress in my reviews. It's like there are two different things happening here and it causes a lack of focus. Which is ashamed because Jordie Bellaire provides some stellar colors. I can only hope that as this series moves forward Okorafor gets a different artist. One that compliments her vision...as exposition-filled as it may be.
"GREAT INTRO POINT FOR NEW FANS" However, it's that very exposition that makes Shuri #1 a great intro point for new fans. It reads as a natural extension of the core Black Panther comic, and could infact be tied to the Black Panther run where he's lost in space as this comic has express that T'Challa is in fact, lost in space. So, time will tell. Can I recommend it? Well, that depends. If you're new to the character or are wanting to start fresh. Then yes. However, if you're not, and you already know the basics. I might wait till issue 2 to see what happens because this one doesn't quite nail it.
So, do you plan on getting Shuri #1? Have you gotten it already? Let us know your thoughts in the comment section below. And as always be sure to subscribe to the newsletter to stay up to date on the latest, news, reviews, and more.
Jonathan Quamina is founder/writer/editor for Geek Unhinged. Follow him on Twitter