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Black Panther #1

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Black Panther #1

Post by Cable » 26 Nov 2021, 17:25

The new series is by John Ridley, an author new to Marvel but famously known as the writer of the Academy Award-winning movie 12 Years A Slave

Full Spoilers:
Spoiler: show
Black Panther is leading the Avengers in a battle against some monsters in Iceland. Dr. Strange is with them and through teamwork they manage to push the monsters through a dimensional portal and close it. After the others leave, Black Panther and Captain America have a personal conversation about whether T'Challa is able to continue to lead the team with all the other obligations he has. T'Challa promises to increasingly turn his attention to his duties with the Avengers. Back in Wakanda, we see that the King T'Challa now presides over meetings of the Parliament. He ends up walking out though in frustration over how little is getting done. Akili has a talk with him about accepting the process of democracy and stepping back a bit as if he is a loving adult giving his adolescent country some freedom, and T'Challa thanks him for the advice. Next we cut to a scene in Santiago, Chile where two Wakandans named Jhai and Omolola meet up for a date even though they express that they know they are not supposed to be doing this. Suddenly people around them start getting gunned down. They flee but get cut off by a car bomb and end up trapped in a dead-end alley. They make a stand and fight what look something like numerous white-clad ninjas; they are outnumbered though and Jhai sacrifices himself in an explosion, leaving Omolola with a message to give T'Challa: "they know." She contacts T'Challa who is shocked by the news and clearly had been good friends with Jhai in the past. He flies out to confirm the body and to debrief Omolola. She tells him she and Jhai knew they were not supposed to make contact with each other, but they were in love. He sends her to a safe house and then leaves to begin the mission of gathering up the other agents. He first visits Shuri and reveals a secret to her that she never knew: when he opened Wakanda to the world he never trusted the other nations, and thus he created sleeper agents. These were ten Wakandans whose deaths were faked and then embedded as normal people in various countries, ready to activate as guerilla fighters and assassins should he ever need them to. The politically sensitive nature of it meant nobody could know, but now apparently somebody does. Shuri is very displeased with hearing that he did this and that he is asking her to share in his lie, but still agrees to analyze the data on the attack and help him. T'Challa then has to call Captain America and request a leave of absence, which Rogers is clearly unhappy with considering the conversation they just had earlier. T'Challa next appears in civilian attire on the streets of Moscow, where he takes down a woman who is following him: it is Omolola and she demands to help him find Jhai's killers. He allows it and the two prepare for what comes next.
This is off to a great start. While I appreciated the creativity and ambition of Coates's run, I wasn't a big fan of the epic sci-fi story he was telling. Especially as it ran so long (basically a single arc that literally took years). I became fatigued of it after awhile and it is wise for Ridley to not try to match it and instead go in a completely new direction with the more down-to-earth genre of political intrigue and spy thriller (and let's be honest: Wakanda having greater democratization is a move long overdue!). We got secret agents to meet and a mystery villain to uncover and T'Challa operating off-the-grid; it is a really intriguing premise if Ridley can deliver. He has been given an experienced artist in Cabal and I am excited to see what they can do.
Best Comics of Week 3

X-titles: Devil's Reign--X-Men #1 by Gerry Duggan (2) and Phil Noto (1)
Non-X titles: Eternals #9 by Kieron Gillen (1) and Esad Ribic (1)

In parentheses number of times creator has had best comic this year

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