Back To The Future In Infinity Wars: Ghost Panther #2
Infinity Wars: Ghost Panther #2 opens with a flashback explaining Erik Killraven’s backstory and powers. As foreshadowed, he comes from a future where Martians take over the world, experiment on humans, and force them to fight each other. Miraculously, Killraven manages to escape with his brother, M’Bakshulla. They travel back in time to exact revenge on Wakanda for not suffering alongside the rest of the world.
Meanwhile, in the present, T’Challa is dying because he refuses to be Zarathos’s Ghost Panther. However, it doesn’t take her long to convince him once she tells him that Killraven will go after Shuriri next. In order to save his sister and his country, T’Challa accepts her terms and goes after Killraven. Suddenly, a shadowy figure appears and begs to take T’Challa’s place, but Zarathos rejects the offer.
Back in Wakanda, Shuriri attempts to calm the delegates. All of a sudden, her speech comes to an end when Killraven shows up as Zarathos predicted. Luckily, T’Challa arrives immediately after to stop him. They fight but, as the shadowy figure points out, T’Challa doesn’t stand a chance against an experienced killer. The figure begs Zarathos to let him help the young prince in exchange for his own soul. Finally convinced, she accepts his terms and reveals that he is the ghost of King T’Chaka. He comes to T’Challa’s aid, transforming into a giant, flaming panther. Together, they easily defeat Killraven and restore peace and order to Wakanda.
The Best Of Both Worlds
Of all the Infinity Warps, Ghost Panther’s story seems to stand on its own the best. MacKay manages to seamlessly weave exposition into the narrative, making it easy to understand without any prior knowledge.
This fleshes out Killraven’s character, explaining his motivations and as well what makes him such a formidable antagonist. Not to be outdone, Zarathos shows off her silver tongue when she convinces T’Challa to become her Ghost Panther. While she does help him, she still clearly has an agenda and therefore remains an excellent opponent to T’Challa.
Furthermore, MacKay perfectly connects Ghost Rider and Black Panther’s stories by making Zarathos Bast’s half-sister. Consequently, this combination of Ghost Rider’s story and Black Panther’s mythology works incredibly well. The story is cohesive and engaging, keeping you on the edge of your seat. Although some Infinity Warps did not find the right balance, Ghost Panther definitely did.
Flame & Darkness
As in the first issue, the art of Infinity Wars: Ghost Panther #2 is absolutely stunning. Again, the use of shadow is very important, especially in the depiction of eyes. For example, Killraven’s eyes glow like the Martians when his hatred for Wakanda reveals itself. In contrast, his eyes go completely dark when he’s about to attack Shuriri, making him even more threatening. The fight scenes also make great use of shadows by depicting both Ghost Panther and Killraven as mainly dark silhouettes. They differ in that Ghost Panther’s flaming skull casts him in light while Killraven is left mostly in the dark.
The artistic highlights for me remain Zarathos, Ghost Panther, and now T’Chaka as a giant, flaming panther. Zarathos is as mesmerizing as ever, floating around the darkness in her billowy skirt. Ghost Panther, of course, shares her flaming skull head but on a mostly dark body, reminiscent of smoldering coal. T’Chaka may have also made a deal with Zarathos, but his panther form takes things to another visual level. Flames engulf his entire body and his eyes glow red with fire. Finally, seeing Ghost Panther riding on top of a flaming panther was such a sight to behold. It was certainly worth the wait!
Revenge Burns Bright In Infinity Wars: Ghost Panther #2
If you’re looking for a conflicted hero with fascinating antagonists and beautiful artwork, pick up Infinity Wars: Ghost Panther #2! The story stands on its own and brings the two characters together in a perfectly balanced way. Sadly, his solo comic is over, but I would love to read more about the adventures of Ghost Panther.
Just Say Yes!
In case you couldn't already tell, I really enjoyed this comic. If you're looking for cool characters, amazing art, and a killer story, then give this book a try! You will not be sorry.