Black Panther (1998) #53 Review


The gangster snitch for Cole gets killed by the crooked cops who realize Tork had past dealings with the BP thus may know who this fake panther is. They take him out to a bar while others check his place. They find the rubber and gel bullets taken from the scene and they think they have found their man.

Cole remembers as a kid in his neighborhood after being beat up his dad beat up the local gang and protected him from any further beatings. In the present Cole ties to get answers from T’challa to no avail as his girlfriend nags on the phone. He gets news something has happened to his dad in prison. Cole tangles with Hunter briefly, he then breaks into the prison to save his dad. A flashback tells the tale of how his dad was framed by the same crooked cops he’s now trying to take down for drug possession. His dad’s life has been attempted on multiple times since being incarcerated. He also remembers his father telling him he’s now responsible for the family, he’s the man now!

In the prison he finds T’challa who gives him a choice rescue his dad and have him live on the run and in shame, or let him die as the true symbol of justice he is.

The Good

Story- There is something alluring and intoxicating about Christopher priest’s writing. His depiction of the Black Panther has often been classified as “Batman-esque”. In this issue he is the epitome of “Batman-esque. The mind games he plays with Cole are unnerving.

Little touches like Cole’s lust of other women while his girl is pregnant and being annoyed by her constant cravings where cut straight from reality, a brotha can def relate to lol

The tale of Cole’s father was heartwarming, sure he was a serious man but c’mon are any of our father’s anything but? His singe minded dedication to his family was touching……even brought back memories of my own dearly departed dad.

Characterization- the T’challa of Priest’s run is a detached, emotionally distant master strategist, a far cry from the more superhero-king portrayal of the Reggie Hudlin run. He’s a fascinating character, but like Batman not someone who you can relate to in anyway. I can definatly see the appeal of this portrayal despite the frigidity and inaccessibility it poses.

Cole’s past through flashbacks continues as he mentally works through his problems. The answers he does not get from T’challa and his life problems continue to mount and place him in a situation where he can save his father’s life by dishonoring him or let him die and remain the symbol of justice he always has been. It was a moment where emotions are high, it’s a tear jerker moment if I ever saw one 🙂  The flashbacks between father and son only bolster the emotional charge of the final revelation because the bond through mutual love and respect is so strong between father and son.

Cover- Bloody gorgeous kick ass cover with Cole holding two guns pointed straight at the audience while crouched in a snowy tree.

The Bad

Flashbacks- Ok we get it that Cole is tortured and all but c’mon there’s a flashback every other page! Enough is enough already!

Colors- still drab and lifeless.

Action- small touches but not enough to keep action junkies happy 🙁

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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