BLacK Pan­tHer

Cat Peo­ple

SFX - - Reviews -

re­leased OUT NOW! Pub­lisher Mar­vel Comics Writer Ta-Ne­hisi Coates Artist Brian stel­freeze

Black Pan­ther is one of those Mar­vel stal­warts who’s strug­gled to com­mand his own reg­u­lar title. But af­ter Chad­wick Bose­man’s elec­tric per­for­mance as the Wakan­dan monarch-turnedAvenger in Civil War, the time is ripe for a re­launch. And Mar­vel pulled off a coup se­cur­ing Ta-Ne­hisi Coates, a renowned au­thor who’s writ­ten about so­cial is­sues, par­tic­u­larly from an African-Amer­i­can per­spec­tive, for pub­li­ca­tions such as The At­lantic.

The first four in­stal­ments (11 are planned) are per­haps best read as a whole, as Coates adopts a mea­sured pace, even in­ter­spers­ing the thank­fully not-too-in­fre­quent ac­tion scenes with a univer­sity de­bate about the the­o­ries of English philoso­pher John Locke.

If any­thing, open­ing arc “A Na­tion Un­der Our Feet” is too be­holden to past con­ti­nu­ity, with the first is­sue al­lud­ing to Black Pan­ther’s bat­tles with Namor in The Avengers. Sig­nif­i­cantly, the ma­jor­ity of the other pro­tag­o­nists are women, in­clud­ing T’Challa’s ap­par­ently not-quite-so-dead sis­ter Shuri and main ad­ver­saries the Mid­night An­gels. For­mer mem­bers of all-fe­male Royal Guard the Dora Mi­laje, they rebel af­ter Queen Ra­monda stub­bornly re­fuses to sanc­tion one of them tak­ing the law into their own hands, spark­ing a po­lit­i­cal cri­sis.

Veteran artist Brian Stel­freeze is the per­fect foil for the in­ex­pe­ri­enced Coates, bring­ing a manga-es­que edge to the dis­tinc­tive Wakan­dan tech­nol­ogy, so it’s a shame that Chris Sprouse re­places him from #5. But this re­mains a nu­anced, en­gag­ing take on a clas­sic char­ac­ter that this time should def­i­nitely last the dis­tance. Stephen Jewell

A nu­anced, en­gag­ing take on a clas­sic char­ac­ter

Com­pan­ion se­ries World Of Wakanda, starts in Novem­ber. Co-writ­ten by Rox­anne Gay, it cen­tres on the Mid­night An­gels.

A rum­ble. In a jun­gle.

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