Previously, in Black Panther and the Crew #1
We may not yet know the truth about Ezra Keith’s death, but in just two issues the “We are the Streets” arc has proven he was a man of great influence — even from beyond the grave.
In part two, “Afro-Blue” the focus is on how and why Ororo (Storm) was drawn to Harlem. Having fought and killed to protect her people — mutants — she felt the need to serve her other people: the black people of Harlem. Harlem was her father’s home and important to her because it meant the world to him. The city and its people welcomed her, and she learned from them. Just as Ezra’s voice pulled Misty in, he challenged “Blue” (his name for Storm; a reference to her blue-black skin) to put down real roots in Harlem.
The lead on Eddie Figures takes Storm and Misty to Brooklyn where Storm had to flex her powers and put the fear of the ancestors into some fools. In the end, They’re stunned to learn that Eddie is related none other than the Power Man himself, Luke Cage.
Most of Storm’s story about her path to Harlem comes during a conversation with Misty in which she tells the detective that the feeling of being targeted as they investigate Ezra’s death is the same fear that mutants face all the time. Misty counters that she understands because she’s black. Storm reminds her that she is both black and a mutant. It’s an interesting discussion since mutants storylines have always mirrored those of real-life treatment of marginalized groups. Storm addressing her intersectionality and feelings of inadequately being there for one group more than the other is relatable for many.
I need to point how refreshing the art is in this book. It’s still a big deal when women of color, particularly black women, are realistically drawn and colored. Representation is nothing without authenticity. The people of Harlem look like real black people I know. It’s lovely.
It’s been nice seeing the women featured heavily in these first two issues, but the crew just got bigger. The King of Wakanda has come to Harlem. Since we also learned this issue that Ezra’s introduction to forming his own crew in the ’50s began in Wakanda, I’m looking forward to seeing this come full circle.
Black Panther and the Crew #2
"We are the Streets, Part 2: Afro-Blue"
Writer: Ta-Nehisi Coates | Penciler: Butch Guice with Mark Chater| Inker: Scott Hanna with Chater | Colorist: Dan Brown | Cover by: John Cassady and Laura Martin | Letterer: VC’s Joe Sabino