Black Panther #1 Review
Cover Price: $4.99
Writer: Ta-Nehisi Coates
Artist: Brian Stelfreeze
Synopsis: A story about dramatic upheaval in Wakanda and the Black Panther’s struggle to do right by his people as their ruler.
A Nation Under Our Feet
The Black Panther has been one of the most important characters in the Marvel Comic Book Universe. He has not had his own book in a few years but coming an important role in the Secret Wars event, and the upcoming Captain America Civil War film, Marvel has decided to give him his own book again. The most intriguing part of this book is the selection of famed writer Ta-nehisi Coates. Coates is one of the best writers of this generation and specifically on topics of race. This is a bold statement by Marvel to give one of their most important characters to a writer who has never written comics and to someone who a significant part of the population finds “divisive”. Coates expressed a love for Black Panther growing up and its his favorite character, so you know the character will be handled with care. He also enjoyed the Christopher Priest run of Black Panther, but saw some aspects of that book that were problematic and promised to address them in this book and he did.
Creating a World
This first issue is essentially a world building issue. Some long time Black Panther fans will have to deal with a couple issues of explaining the world because Coates is bringing in so many new readers. Essentially T’Challa had been away from Wakanda and is know coming back to be the ruler again after the death of his sister in a fight against Thanos’s army. The twist is that he is not welcomed back with open arms from everyone and they have another group of people looking to attack Wakanda. Stelfreeze did a fantastic job of showing the pain that people were going though but also the internal struggle of hope and doubt that T’Challa has in being the King again. Coates made a point to address the sexiest and problematic portrayal of T’Challa royal guard the Dora Milaje. This is a great issue that give long time fans a reason to continue loving the character and intrigue and gives new fans to Black Panther and comics in general an informative issue that will hopefully lead to a commitment to the book. It will be interesting to see where this story goes but issue #1 is a fantastic start.