Black Panther (2009) #5 Review

Black Panther #5 – The Deadliest Of The Species Part Five

Wakanda stands at the brink. Morlun — Devourer of Totems — is cutting through the Wakanda army life a hot knife through butter as he descends on the palace to feast on T’Challa’s body. Absolutely nothing can stop him. Wakanda’s only hope is the new Black Panther…if she’s worthy to inherit the mantle.


Morlun devourer of totems stands at the border of wakanda ready to feast on the dieing T’challa. Their best efforts can do nothing to stop him as he slowly advances.

In Limbo- between life and death Storm pummels death in hopes of saving her husband. Shuri returns from judgment by the Panther God and informs them that she has failed. They prepare to continue battle with Morlun even without a panther.

In Limbo- Storm confesses to T’challa the payment for saving him from death. She must die for him to live. He refuses to accept this as S’yan and Ramonda argue about what to do now that Shuri has failed and Storm may never come back. Zawaviri’s words spark something in Shuri who realizes that by not killing her, the Panther God is allowing her to prove herself. She prepares to do battle.

Morlun breaches the palace and prepares to devour T’challa. Two warriors try to stop him but both are slain as he approaches T’challa  Shuri in her Black Panther Garb Pierces him with a spear. She is ready for battle!

The Good

Accessibility-The recap page does a very good job of bringing those who missed the first few issues up to speed.

Villain-Morlun as a villain was down right terrifying. The build up for him attacking Wakanda and its execution was great writing. In just a few short issues and with no back story whatsoever I was just freaked out by his slow plod towards the injured King. The same feeling you get watching Friday the 13th when you realize nothing can stop Jason.  This was handled exceptionally well.

RealityZawaviri is an interesting take on wakanda in that he is the antithesis of their society. He is magic and all its trappings while them as a society have evolved away from folklore and “things that can’t be explained” but here both are brought together. It is a perfect analogy for life as a whole. We may always wish to use science to explain away our lives and quantify our existence but when science fails it’s always a return to the unexplainable “powers that be” whether it is religion or magic.

Love-Storm’s love for her husband also shines through this issue as she literally was willing to give up her life so he and his country could survive. She understands more than any other the symbol of leadership and how a leader can rally his/her people. This is a great character piece for Storm the selfless earth mother that she is.

Cover-Honestly this looks like the cover or a fusion of James Bond meets Black Panther. I frickin love it!

Characterization-Shuri also get good panel time as we see her bravado and selfishness melt away to give rise to the black panther we know she always could be. Her Panther costume debut is easily one of the highlights of this issue.

Ramunda and S’yan also get shown as equally caring for their people and trying to do what each of them thinks is right despite what the other thinks.

Visuals-The art itself by Ken Lashley was good but the colors by Paul Mounts pushed the visuals into noteworthy territory. The use of colors and light and dark really highlighted the panels and made the issue come alive. These visuals are reason enough to pick up the issue.

The story had depth and an emotional resonance with the nation dieing, T’challa and Storm in Limbo, Shuri doing battle and the unbeatable Morlun, a very, very fun read.


The Bad

The cover was just plain terrible especially when you consider the gorgeous interiors. This issue was very fast paced and those who missed the first few issues will be left upstream without a paddle.

If you missed out on Hudlin’s run of black panther ….called Black Panther vol.3 for you collectors 😛 then your only going to be able to enjoy half of what’s going on. Namely the unbeatable wakanda getting pretty darn beat up!


The Ugly



I'm a Caribbean born Lecturer, Multidisciplinary specialist/Androgogue/Philosophical Pedagogue; with backgrounds in Philosophy, Social Studies and Geography; founder/CEO of World of Black Heroes, freelance writer and all around comic book geek. I enjoy a good book, video games, movies and most of all fatherhood. Written credits include work for where my writing inspired the music compiliation "Kindah" available in multiple languages on Itunes, The Caribbean Journal of Education, The University of the west indies, Comicvine, Independent comics etc.

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