The Wakandan super hero is back with Hollywood heavyweight Hudlin (HOUSE PARTY, BOOMERANG) and fan favorite Romita Jr. (WOLVERINE, AMAZING SPIDER-MAN), teaming up to deliver a new ongoing series that’s sure to excite true believers and the hip hop faithful. The Black Panther’s origin is retold in a cinematic scope with social satire and all-out action. Marvel has big plans for the Panther. He’s destined to become a key player in the Marvel Universe this year, so reader, get on board now!
Black Panther’s wakandan history gets told to a man in prison and the united states politicians in charge of security, even Candoliza Rice. No one can believe that wakanda has never been conquered throughout its history and the fact that they are beyond the rest of the world in technology. Klaw makes plans to deal with T’Challa after having killed his father years before.
Art– John Romita Jr.’s style does not go with every story but here it gives the story a good retro-nostalgic feel circa his early work on Uncanny, I love it
Wakanda– The opening scene that took place in the past was undiluted epic in every single frame. As the army closes in on Wakanda and discuss the myths surrounding it they quickly become a part of the myths as they are dispatched first by traps then by a veritable hailstorm of spears which cuts through them like so much butter. Talk about opening with a bang. This scene sets the tone for the what follows in a major way.
The Black Panther– Hudlin moves on to the introduction of the 19th century Black Panther and it is as impressive. As the European army closes in on its borders the Panther stands alone spear in hand. The myths from earlier has frozen the natives and when the White men try to shoot they find their weapons backfiring and killing them. As their leader presses on he is obliterated. All this time the 19th Century Black Panther watches silently and his cape blowing in the wind. It is freaking awesome!
Humor– True to form Hudlin uses his multimillionaire humor made famous in Boomerang and house party to pepper the otherwise serious introductory tale with moments of chuckle heavy, knee slapping humor. When the remaining army pleads with the 19th century panther not to slaughter them I laughed out load. Equally as hilarious were the Europeans killing their African slaves because they were fleeing instead of facing the Wakandans and said Europeans being forced to carry all their equipment themselves and struggling with it.
Poking fun at history– Hudlin also points out the inherent ridiculousness of the travelers carrying around “fine china” and refusing to leave them because they refused to “lose their grip on civilization”.
Continuity– This issue has Everette Ross detailing the nation to the security officials of the white house. They can’t believe what is being said but Ross never bats an eye. This also confirms that all the events of the Black Panther (1998) series still took place and this is not a hard reboot the way most think it is.
Say What- Another ballsy move on Hudlin’s part is having the WWII Black Panther flat-out defeat Steve Rogers/Captain America, the embodiment of white fan boy sentiment in the marvel U.
Bias– People look back at Hudlin’s run on Black Panther with disdain because they had a thing for “Priest’s run” so he came into a title with the established panther fans already angry about the handing over of the reigns.
Where is he?- While I was very impressed with everything this opening issue managed to o the one thing it doesn’t touch is who is T’challa….he doesn’t even make an appearance. I expect a great many will be pissed about that.
Overall the story presents wakanda and its king ,the Black Panther as powerful, majestic and absolutely awe-inspiring. The story also makes a strong presentation piece since it runs almost like a movie converted to the comic book medium. It’s also a great jumping on point for readers because of the recap of the overall Mythology of the panther and the titular character T’challa. Reggie Hudlin treats this opening issue with great care; as a chess master lining up all his pieces before the finale reveal, and it works well especially when taken as a part of an overarching story line that will move the panther away from isolation in wakanda and mold him into a dominant power player of the marvel universe for years to come.This is a must read #1 collectors item and a great read if you open your mind to it WOBH gives it our highest recommendation and a sturdy 5/5!