Summer Reading List #002 Review: Black Panther

IMG_4342Heavy is the head that wears the crown. To quote, mayhap incorrectly, the Bard.

The African nation is in turmoil. T’Challa, King, Damisa-sarki – the Panther, returns to find his home beset by terrorism, intrigue, corruption, and the lost faith of his people. Wakanda is in upheaval. Black Panther has saved the world and protected his people, but mayhap in doing so, T’Challa has failed in his duties as King. Leaving rise to corrupt chieftains, bandits preying on the women, rebels, and revolution. And not all problems can be solved with the claw. Heavy is the head, indeed.

Ta-Nehisi Coates could not have chosen a more perfect launch as a comic book writer. I fell into this rendition of this generation’s Black Panther quickly and emerged all too soon, craving more. For me, being able to fully fall into … immerse oneself into the world of a story … to be able to come to understand the workings of that world, is an important aspect of interacting and enjoying the author’s story. Be it read, watched, or played.

Even without having read the previous comics and knowing little of the history leading to the events of Coates book, it was easy to follow. The flow of the writing and especially the illustration, by Brian Stelfreeze, helped. There was enough glimpse of past events, although small, for me to get the gist of what lead to T’Challa being branded Haramu-fal – Orphan King.

Would it have been better to know the history from previous stories? Yes. Certain nuances escaped me, but I seriously enjoyed reading this comic.

I got my copy from Midtown Comics when I attended this year’s Five Point Festival. You can grab a copy from them or your favorite store.


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