Comics · Superhero · The Number Ones

Black Panther #1 (2016)


Black Panther has seen a resurgence in popularity thanks to Captain America: Civil War. Black Panther is always a powerful player in Marvel’s comic universe, who often at times, doesn’t receive the spotlight as he should. Panther hasn’t had that many solo series in the past. Matter of fact, there’s only been four. One of those four, Don McGregor’s work with Black Panther in Jungle Action, doesn’t usually receive mention with the other runs. The runs that do receive acknowledgement are the ones by Jack Kirby, Christopher Priest, and Reginald Hudlin. Far too few for a character so rich in detail. Marvel has decided to start a new series with Ta-Nehisi Coates, who is a newcomer to the world of comics.

Coates begins his plot in a slow pace with Wakanda in a state of unrest. T’Challa has been away from his country and while he was away, Wakanda was viciously attacked by the likes of Thanos and Doctor Doom. T’Challa’s sister was in charge of the Wakandan kingdom while he was away and died trying to keep it safe. Now the people of Wakanda are angry with T’Challa and some don’t trust him as king. Although T’Challa is the main character, other characters see a significant amount of spotlight. Coates does a great job here.

Coates sheds a light on the Dora Miljae in a new way. The Dora Miljae are female servants of T’Challa who aid him in any request that he may have. Two of the members happen to be lovers and they decide to leave the Wakandan kingdom to protect the country on their own. This is a good take as the women don’t want to be under the control of a man and they want to be leaders themselves. Coates give them a set of armor called “Midnight Angel” that helps the women fly and be ready for any sort of combat.

Coates introduces the villains and they’re not that scary yet. They are looking to overtake Wakanda and in its weakened state, it’s very possible. There’s not a lot of action in this book as Coates is perhaps saving it for down the road. The issue establishes the series and the characters that will play a significant role. A good start for what could be a great series.

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