Ta-Nehisi Coates (W), Brian Stelfreeze (A), Laura Martin (CA)
Cover By: Brian Stelfreeze and Laura Martin
Publisher: Marvel Comics
Objectively speaking (or as objective as anyone can be), Black Panther may be the most fascinating character in the Marvel Universe. He is a king and a scientist. He is a humanitarian, but he is also unforgiving. He holds a grudge, and, if he decides that someone is irredeemable (such as Namor the Sub-Mariner), their life is forfeit in his eyes. He is one of the most determined heroes of either universe. He is an optimist and a realist. He wants to make the world a better place, but he is very aware of what the world is like.
Needless to say, I was very intrigued when Marvel announced the new Black Panther title a few months ago.
Thankfully, the book itself is just as intriguing and engaging as T’Challa deserves. It’s all about his job as a king and the state of the nation of Wakanda.
The Panther’s country is in shambles. The people are dissatisfied with their king. The local chieftains are taking advantage of the people under their rule.
A powered woman named Zenzi is coaxing people into riots. The Black Panther goes into pacify the riot, but Zenzi escapes. Before she does, however, she sends the soldiers accompanying T’Challa into a similar rage that results in a blood bath.
Meanwhile, Aneka, the former captain of T’Challa’s personal guard, is tried by the T’Challa’s mother, Romanda, for killing a rapist chieftain. She sentences Aneka to death. However, before the execution can be carried out, Aneka’s lover, Ayo, comes to her rescue in a suit of armor called the Midnight Angel.
In this issue, the Black Panther continues his search for Zenzi. Elsewhere, the Midnight Angels, Aneka and Ayo, attack a bandit compound.
I will say there is a weird outlier in this issue. There is a scene where a college professor is visited by his activist son. They wax philosophy a bit before the son reveals that his group wants to overthrow the monarchy. The characters are named, but I didn’t recognize them. Perhaps they’ll become relevant later. They just seem out of place in this issue. The conversation was interesting, so it didn’t bother me too bad while reading.
These first two issues were an incredible start. Seeing the Black Panther wrestle with the state of his country is very enthralling. He is a man that loves his country but is forced to watch it being torn apart with very little that he can do to stop it currently. The action sequences are awesome, the pacing is very well done, and each issue leaves me wanting more. Give this book a try, especially if you enjoyed his movie debut in Captain America: Civil War.
Issue #1 Score: 10/10
Issue #2 Score: 9/10