20th Century Fox
After the successful box office runs of this year's Marvel's Black Panther and Deadpool 2, we know that the clash between the two unlikely heroes is inevitable. We've already seen them fight in the first issue (review of #1 here) and the second issue brings us Round 2 of the clash.
Writer Daniel Kibblesmith continues to balance the fourth-wall-breaking humor of Deadpool with the seriousness of Black Panther well enough to give each character their moments to shine. The crossover gives plenty of Deadpool humor in the early half as he deals with the twin poachers in Africa but this part of the story didn't do much to set up the bigger problem at the end of this issue. The dialogues with Deadpool are clever and the way Kibblesmith plays with the comic medium work perfectly with the Merc's fourth-wall breaking persona. Kibblesmith even managed to slip a nice commentary with the sympathetic guides who were hired to show the poachers around on their hunting safari.
It gets more serious when we get to Black Panther's side of the story as he makes a surprising discovery that could change the world. There's more narration compared to Deadpool's scenes. The use of the holographic hero simulator was clever.
Despite Black Panther vs. Deadpool #2's strong writing and character work, the artwork by Ricardo López Ortiz makes the whole crossover look unpolished. The character designs often look warped. There's a scene where Deadpool drives off singing "Dramatic music" as the panel zooms in to his face, but the closest shot has so many creases and scratches that made that made that scene messy.
The art is not all that bad though. There are some fine expressions despite the masked faces of Black Panther and Deadpool. The cartoony character designs of side characters work with the humor, especially the look of the poachers when they get punished by Deadpool. The action scenes during the fight look intense even though there are still some messy parts. There are nice references like a warthog and meerkat in the background or the fighting poses of Black Panther and the holographic Captain America mirroring Goku and Vegeta's iconic poses in Dragon Ball Super.
While the humor doesn't feel as forced as the first issue, the part about Deadpool reminding us that there's always a misunderstanding and a fight before the two heroes team up is repetitive. Most of the story is well-written but the final page of the issue feels out of the blue. It made me wonder why the crossover is stretched to a five-issue story.
Final Verdict: Black Panther vs. Deadpool #2 may offer some clever fourth-wall breaking humor only possible with Deadpool's presence but Ortiz's messy artwork and the way the story stumbles at the end of this chapter ruin the reading experience of what could have been an epic team up. The two heroes may have successful blockbusters this year but if you think we'll eventually get a crossover movie with the pair in the future, they would need to come up with something better.
Published by Marvel Comics
Written by Daniel Kibblesmith
Art by Ricardo Lopez Ortiz
Cover by Ryan Benjamin