Review by: JamesSeals

Size: 32 pages
Price: 3.99

Through no fault of his own, I have never much cared for Reginald Hudlin as a writer.

Back in 2005, when Marvel relaunched the BLACK PANTHER series there was a piece of copy that the company was using to solicit the series that rubbed me the wrong way. It was a divisive statement that tore down several of Marvel’s biggest names in an attempt, callous although it may have been, to make the Black Panther “hip.” The comment did not sit well, since was unnecessary, and more than a tad over the top. That and I cherished the previous volume of the character: The critically acclaimed Christopher Priest Marvel Knights series.

To add insult to injury it sounded like Hudlin was retconning the character out of the Marvel Universe, in an attempt to “introduce” him once again. (Whether this happened or not, I do not know. This was the impression that I had.) Then came the Storm wedding stunt, and the least said about that the better. Ultimately, however, I wrote Hudlin off as a writer. He might have been good, I wouldn’t know. I found the entire affair off putting.

If CAPTAIN AMERICA/BLACK PANTHER: FLAGS OF OUR FATHERS is any indication of the man’s craft then I was surely mistaken.

This entire mini-series has been a fantastic read. Set in World War II, FLAGS OF OUR FATHERS sees a young, boyish Captain America’s first encounter with the Black Panther as the two unlikely allies must join forces to protect the fertile Wakanda from a Red Skull led German invasion force.

This series has been packed with action and intrigue in equal measure. It’s a real testament to Hudlin’s skill as a craftsman that he is capable to juggle an ensemble cast of characters that include the likes of Marvel’s more outlandish back catalog of super villains, while at the same time tell a very personal story of the ofttimes overlooked Howler, Gabriel Jones.

His dialog is crisp, sprinkled w/ enough humor to keep the affair a lively jaunt. For instance, I laughed out loud when Steve remarks that he’s trying out for the Yankees when he gets home. (Although, I’m glad to see that at least the captain knows better than to create a temporal paradox and didn’t say Mets. [ahem] Willingham! [ahem] Sorry, folks; inside baseball talk.)

In addition, the series has treated us to the artwork of industry veteran Denys Cowan of Denny O’Neil’s THE QUESTION fame. Cowan brings a vital sense of dynamism to the proceedings; his characters exude power and force, appropriately evocative of the work of John Romita, Jr.

I shall close out this review with the last few lines of the book. Upon hearing that Captain America has a friend in Africa, a GI is amazed and claims that he has friends everywhere. To which, Captain America replies, “That’s where we need them.”

It speaks volumes that can be applied to the America’s position as the last remaining super power in the real world, and the responsibilities therein, as well as Captain America’s position as a true hero within his fictional one. And it is enough to make me want to go back and rediscover what I have been missing out on. With such a simple line, Hudlin is able to build bridges across hardened hearts and “that’s where we need them.”

Story: 5 - Excellent
Art: 5 - Excellent


  1. I can never figure out how to do paragraph breaks w/ these reviews sometimes. Oh, well… Please forgive my ignorance.


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