Written by Jason Aaron
Art by Javier Garron
Colors by David Curiel
Letters by Cory Petit
The Rundown: The contest for who will wield the Phoenix Force continues as T’Challa fights to hold onto his mind.
The Black Panther has returned to Wakanda, but he cannot enter the city and sits on the outskirts contemplating the battle ahead of him. A battle for control of the Phoenix Force. A battle against the power of Man-Thing. With the Guardian being commanded by the Phoenix, T’Challa must embrace the powers of the Phoenix in order to win and, more importantly, survive.
In the aftermath, Panther returns to the void with the other contestants who are actively looking for a means of escape as they await the next challenge. As Namor rages for the power he seeks, Phoenix chooses the next competitors and a reluctant Luke Cage finds himself facing American Eagle in the outskirts of K’un-Lun. Unfortunately, that is not the only fight taking place as more heroes face each other in fights that test their physical as well as psychological prowess.
The Story: Jason Aaron is crafting a rich and engaging story with this arc. There is a great focus on character in this issue and the dialogue and narration do a great job of showcasing the leadership qualities and strategic mind of Black Panther. I like how the story takes so many different twists and turns as well as seeing the desperation of Namor to gain the power of the Phoenix. What I admire even more is the unpredictability of the story and how I can be surprised by its events.
The Art: Javier Garron delivers some impressive and beautifully detailed art throughout this issue. There are so many great visual moments to see in each page and even the starkness of the void has some great imagery.