A great thing happened last Wednesday. I walked into a comic book shop and walked out empty handed. Okay- so it wasn't exactly great for me. (I would need some consoling later.) However, beyond my selfish wants, the cause had been great. The first issue in a new run of Black Panther had sold out in comic shops across the country. Many readers, new and old, would spend the week staring at a blank space on racks. "We sold out in two hours," said the woman running the counter as I filled out a hold form for the next print and resigned myself to wait another week.
Now with Black Panther in the spotlight, I am not going to spend time writing about the characters extensive history, or how this book adds to ongoing discussion of race . You can read about these things here, here and here
Honestly, I am relatively new to Black Panther as a character having only read select issues. So for me to even attempt either if those would be foolish. Instead I want to write briefly on the story being set-up in issue #1 and on the use of form in a follow up post.
Black Panther #1 gives a lot for readers to chew on. It's the first issue of a longer arc and Coates balances planting the seeds of multiple story lines with a healthy dose of super hero action. There are a lot of moving parts in the nation of Wakanda, the world's most technologically advanced society. T'Challa has returned to his homeland and has once again taken up the mantle as Black Panther, "the ancestral ceremonial title of the king of Wakanda". The African nation is on the brink of revolution from forces inside and out. It's clear that the story will revolve around T'Challa as he attempts to protect his kingdom as both a monarch and a hero. But the highlight of the story in this opening issue comes from the other players in the story.
That's it for now. I've got a packet of writing due Friday, and some taxes to file this weekend. Look for the second part of the review as I break down the good, the alright, and the fantastic use of the graphic form.
In the meantime you can read some more in depth articles on the first issue linked below. Or go pick it up yourself, if there are any left in stock.
Fusion: Queer, powerful women are the heart of the new 'Black Panther'
Vulture: Ta-Nehisi Coates annotates his Black Panther debut