Today sees the much-anticipated release of Black Panther #1 by Ta Nehisi Coates and Brian Stelfreeze. Giving us a Wakanda at war with itself, citizens being riled up against the rulers, and plenty of political players taking their positions. For those who enjoyed Priest’s Black Panther, you will find a lot to love here, despite the absence of an entry-level character like Everett Ross.
And with this new soul-hunting skill set, there’s more of the Jack Kirby sense of a fully functional world, and it’s reflected by Brian in the art, which maintain a “Kirby tech” feel throughout.
And this Wakanda is being realised as much as a Metropolis or a Gotham – and at the size of a country as well. I know I’m using DC analogues there, Marvel has always tried to pride itself on showing the real world, Wakanda was an exception and is more in keeping with DC Comics’ recreated world.
So Wakanda also gets its own superheroes who don’t happen to be members of the royal family or challengers to its throne. The Midnight Angel – two of them. And, oh yes…
…they appear to be lovers, committed to challenging the power wielded by the Panther on his country and defending the weak and innocent. They are the Batmen of Wakanda, both of her.
There are plenty of sides to pick in this comic, complex moral decisions fighting against each other, no “evil Klaw/racist South African” easy stereotypes, but a number of justifiable opinions dead set against the other. Forget Civil War II, you’ve got an actual Civil War going on here, and no one’s coming out of it well.
Black Panther #1 is published today.