Title: Black Panther: A Nation Under Our Feet Book 1

Author: Ta-Nehisi Coates

Artists: Brian Stelfreeze

Publisher: Marvel Comics

Format: Paperback/Hardcover

No. of Pages: 144

Black Panther

Synopsis: (official)

A new era begins for the Black Panther! MacArthur Genius and National Book Award-winning writer T-Nehisi Coates (BETWEEN THE WORLD AND ME) takes the helm, confronting T’Challa with a dramatic upheaval in Wakanda that will make leading the African nation tougher than ever before. When a superhuman terrorist group that calls itself The People sparks a violent uprising, the land famed for its incredible technology and proud warrior traditions will be thrown into turmoil. If Wakanda is to survive, it must adapt–but can its monarch, one in a long line of Black Panthers, survive the necessary change? Heavy lies the head that wears the cowl!

Review:

Coates Black Panther run considers the culmination of everything that has happened till that point. After the coup orchestrated by Doctor Doom, Wakanda’s war with Atlantis which led to a biblical flood that killed many and the invasion by Thanos and the Black order, has pushed Wakanda to a boiling point. Civil unrest has taken its toll and the cities are in chaos. Wakanda’s former and temporary Queen and T’challa’s sister Shuri also died defending Wakanda against Thanos’ army. And all these events are too much to take for T’Challa. He needs mental stability in his personal life and a strong will to do justice to the people as a king and Damisa Sarki.

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Coates writing style is intriguing. He takes no time in portraying the political upheaval that is plaguing Wakanda. Key characters aside from Tachalla is his step-mother Ramonda. She is a strong and compassionate person but her decisions are always in favor of the state and by the state, even if its a difficult one. She is always by T’challa’s side, influencing, consoling and consolidating him in his actions as a mother and as someone who cares. Another interesting and integral character are the Dora Milaje (or the adored ones) duo, Aneka and Ayo. They are the royal body guards who turned against their own king and neither the king nor they themselves are intentionally responsible for this conflict. The situation has forged them and given valid reason for going rebellious against their own king. Tetu is the main antagonist along with his female companion Zenzi, who has some mysterious mind controlling power, that she uses to inflame the rioters in Wakanda. Tetu is a mysterious character whose character develops and back story unfolds gradually over the issues.

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This story is less about the superhero Black Panther and more about the king Black Panther, Wakanda and its people. The governing bodies, the authorities and their struggle in stabilizing their country as well as controlling and inspiring the people against those who have different ideologies and a different view for their king which fuels their rebellious nature. It makes them believe the current system is not effective and enough. A change is necessary and they will be the change. The political connections and themes are strong here. Ta-Nehisi Coates is already a known award winning writer and blogger and known for his writing on cultural, social and political issues. So the connection is not hard to make.

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The trade paperback collects 4 issues of Ta-Nehisi Coates’ Black Panther run. And the book’s less number of pages are further compensated by the addition of Fantastic Four issue #45. It is the issue where Black Panther debuted in the comics for first time. It makes up for a nice, nostalgic read but i wonder why they didn’t add the Black Panther issue #5 instead. The next volume will released on January 2017 and it will also have 4 issues only. The third volume, also containing 4 main issue is also scheduled. Nonetheless Volume 1 altogether, makes up for a solid book. And perhaps of the finest Black Panther story in a while.

Final Verdict:

Coates Black Panther run considers the culmination of everything that has happened till that point. After the coup orchestrated by Doctor Doom, Wakanda’s war with Atlantis which led to a biblical flood that killed many and the invasion by Thanos and the Black order, has pushed Wakanda to a boiling point. Civil unrest has taken its toll and the cities are in chaos.

Coates writing style is intriguing.  This story is less about the superhero Black Panther and more about the king Black Panther, Wakanda and its people. The governing bodies, the authorities and their struggle in stabilizing their country as well as controlling and inspiring the people against those who have different ideologies and a different view for their king which fuels their rebellious nature. It makes them believe the current system is not effective and enough.

The political connections and themes are strong here. Ta-Nehisi Coates is already a known award winning writer and blogger and known for his writing on cultural, social and political issues. So the connection is not hard to make. Volume 1 makes up a solid  book and perhaps one of the finest Black Panther story in a while.

 

Black Panther Vol. 1: A Nation Under Our Feet - Comic Book Review
4.5Overall Score
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