Marvel’s new Black Panther series reveals a new T’Challa with new challenges

Black Panther #1 is a clean slate for among Marvel’s most popular characters. The titular hero is back from his experiences in area and discovers a world of obligations, both in Wakanda and with the Avengers, laid at his feet. Is it great? Is it fantastic? Is it a dissatisfaction or an action back?

Well … it’s made complex.

Who is making Black Panther #1?

Taking over from the enthusiastic yet irregular run of Ta-Nehisi Coates (a characterization Coates himself may not disagree with), author John Ridley (film writer to the skillful 12 Years a Servant; author of the enthusiastic The Other History of the DC Universe and the more banal I Am Batman) begins a brand-new period for both the comic and the character. Juann Cabal (Guardians of the Galaxy) has art responsibilities, while Federico Blee is managing the colors.

What’s Black Panther #1 about?

T’Challa leads the Avengers to success versus generic brainless baddies™️, yet Captain America calls him to job. The Avengers require management regularly, and T’Challa, as a king in the world and an emperor in the stars, isn’t constantly constant.

(Have any Avengers corresponded, ever? Is anybody asking the hammer-less Thor or the dead Dr. Strange this? Concerns that require responses.)

And the entire emperor/king thing? That’s not going too well either.

Throughout Coates’ run, Wakanda ended up being a democracy, with the Black Panther functioning as token and protector, however no longer an undisputed leader. Sidelined politically and irritated by the ordinary minutiae of legislation, T’Challa reasons himself from political procedures just to be faced and comforted by a soldier. This mercenary informs T’Challa that individuals desire the look of obligation, however will ultimately wish for a strong rescuer. T’Challa thanks him for “lyrically expressing what I’m feeling.”

The story ends with T’Challa confiding to Shuri that somebody has actually broken an old state trick of his, and its implications might trigger turmoil throughout the kingdom.

Why is this book taking place now?

Offered the notable success of Black Panther throughout media, Marvel might Ill pay for to let among its most popular characters rest on the sidelines (specifically with a film arranged — extremely tentatively — for next year.) As Coates has actually increased, up, and away to pursue other endeavors, Marvel required to guarantee its popular franchise would stay popular.

Exists any necessary reading?

“Democracies pretend to be free and fair when they are not. In the course of an election, they can transform from being allies to adversaries,” T’Challa tells Shuri in Black Panther #1 (2021).

Frustratingly, no. Sure, it would be handy to be familiar with the last 5 years of Black Panther stories, as T’Challa lost the faith of his individuals, restored it by producing a democracy, left for area to find some time-displaced Wakandan astronauts, and returned the owner of an intergalactic empire that he freed from the descendants of those lost area explorers. However there’s just a passing referral to the Empire, and the nature of democracy is described in one panel. This is a book that might actually be better received if you didn’t read what came before.

Which, honestly, is a problem.

Is Black Panther #1 good?

Black Panther is more than a comic; The Black Panther is a character. And while the comic is fine, I find myself severely disappointed in the character. Nothing here is bad — much is actually pretty good — but nothing is particularly memorable. Nothing sticks with you.

Coates’ T’Challa, far from a swaggering swashbuckler, was guilt-ridden, pensive, cerebral … scared. He deferred to those wiser than him, many of whom were female (Romonda, Shuri, Storm, even the manifestation of the goddess Bast).

So to see T’Challa so disrespectfully dismissive to a woman in power; to see him embrace a militarist ideology that flies in the face of the democracy he willingly created; to watch him act unilaterally, recklessly, when we’ve seen him accomplish so much more with others — it’s galling and frustrating. Yet for some, maybe for many, what I call frustration might be preferable.

T’Challa here is more inline with previous characterizations from Christopher Priest and Reginald Hudlin, a return to character for a man who annulled a marriage in the middle of a fight and who willingly joined a group called the Illuminati. Still, to see Coates’ characterization rolled back so unceremoniously gave me pause.

This is, of course, just one issue, and there is a lot of story left to tell. Black Panther #1 is an effective, efficient romp that’s well worth your time. You should read it. You may love it in places where I don’t like it. And that’s ok. Black Panther #1, like all great art, is made complex.

One panel that popped

“Am I ready...?” asks large block text, over images of Black Panther confronting Storm and the X-Men, Captain America, and the Dora Milaje themselves in Black Panther #1 (2021).

The last panel, with the foreshadowing of whatever to come, is both creatively well done and foreboding for all it suggests.

Jobber Wiki author Frank Long contributed to this report.