Black Panther
A new era begins for the Black Panther! MacArthur Genius and National Book Award winner Ta-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!Collecting: Black Panther 1-4, Fantastic Four 52

Black Panther Details

TitleBlack Panther
Author
FormatPaperback
LanguageEnglish
ReleaseSep 13th, 2016
PublisherMarvel
ISBN1302900536
ISBN-139781302900533
Number of pages144 pages
Rating
GenreSequential Art, Graphic Novels, Comics, Superheroes, Marvel, Fiction, Graphic Novels Comics

Black Panther Review

  • Anne
    December 14, 2016
    T'Challa!I wanted to like this so much, but it was a snooze-fest that took me several days to read. The art was beautiful, lush, and vibrant...which was in stark contrast to the flaky, boring, dried out dialogue.Too much talky, not enough action.You know what?I've been sitting here for about 30 minutes, scrolling through Facebook posts (mostly checking out cat videos), looking at Instagram pictures (why do my friends take so many pictures of food?), reading other Goodreads reviews (sadly, they'r T'Challa!I wanted to like this so much, but it was a snooze-fest that took me several days to read. The art was beautiful, lush, and vibrant...which was in stark contrast to the flaky, boring, dried out dialogue.Too much talky, not enough action.You know what?I've been sitting here for about 30 minutes, scrolling through Facebook posts (mostly checking out cat videos), looking at Instagram pictures (why do my friends take so many pictures of food?), reading other Goodreads reviews (sadly, they're all much better than mine)...because I can't think of anything to say about this title. Even writing about it is boring.*crickets chirping*Yeah. Ok. Well, the gist is that T'Challa is having problems in his kingdom. Several different (I think) groups are unhappy with him, and it looks like his people (or at least, some of them) might revolt. And, honestly, I don't blame them. Sounds like there's a lot of assholery going on. Now, I'm not directly blaming him, but...And that's it. shrugsThis is not my cuppa when it comes to comic book stories, but I want to read more about Black Panther, so I think I'll just dig around and see if there's anything more my taste in some of the older stuff.After all, he seems like such a badass...
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  • Jan Philipzig
    December 28, 2016
    With its critical, abstract, ambitious reflections on the history and ideology of Black Panther comics, Black Panther: A Nation under Our Feet might have worked as an academic essay. As the superhero title it is, however, the book makes for a rather difficult, frustrating, slow and ultimately boring read. 1.5 stars, I’d say.
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  • Sam Quixote
    January 5, 2017
    I’ve read some Black Panther comics before this but I’m definitely not that familiar with the character and I’m guessing almost 100% of readers coming to this book are gonna be in the same boat. He’s a relatively obscure character who occasionally pops up in ensemble stories with bigger readerships than his own books and that’s mainly where I know him from.Following his much-touted and well-received appearance in Captain America: Civil War last year, his forthcoming solo movie, and Marvel’s trad I’ve read some Black Panther comics before this but I’m definitely not that familiar with the character and I’m guessing almost 100% of readers coming to this book are gonna be in the same boat. He’s a relatively obscure character who occasionally pops up in ensemble stories with bigger readerships than his own books and that’s mainly where I know him from.Following his much-touted and well-received appearance in Captain America: Civil War last year, his forthcoming solo movie, and Marvel’s tradition of giving movie characters their own titles, here’s Black Panther’s new ongoing series - and it sucks donkey balls.This is Volume 1 of a relaunched series that’s supposedly aiming to appeal to a new audience - so why the fuck have we been given a Black Panther comic that assumes everyone picking it up are super-mega-fans who know the character’s entire history?!Black Panther is T’Challa, King of Wakanda, a super-advanced country in Africa - but his kingdom is in peril. For some reason his people are rebelling against him and he… is gonna do something about it.Right from the get-go I was baffled. Black Panther’s guards are attacking vibranium miners whose eyes are glowing green - what was that about?! They don’t want T’Challa to be King anymore? But he’s done well historically hasn’t he - what’s changed? It feels like you’re dropped into the middle of a story rather than the beginning of one.And then I realised how little I knew about the character when he started using shockwaves, electricity and shit - does he have a version of his own Iron Man armour, does he have superpowers like mutants or is he magic? These are all things you’d hope would be established in a first volume of a little known character.Apparently Black Panther has a sister called Shuri who’s in stasis for some reason and is having a vision quest for no reason to achieve god knows what or why. There are a couple of Dora Milaje (“shield maidens” - woohoo, I picked up some of the complicated lingo, I’m not a total retard!) who’re fighting the Man in Midnight Angel armours, whatever they are!A witch called Zenzi is up to some weird shit, a nearby country called Niganda wants to fight Wakanda for no reason, and someone called Killmonger is to blame for the unrest though why we couldn’t see him causing that unrest to start with instead of being told about it in passing towards the end, I don’t know. All of this was new to me and extremely badly set up.It doesn’t help that the syntax used is largely unexplained. The fuck is Haramu-Fal? Taifa Ngao, anyone? You know how captions set the forthcoming scene by telling you where, and sometimes when, it’s based? There’s literally a caption that says “Hekima Shule, Birnin Azzaria” - I have no idea what either phrase means. Is that a place, a person, a time, what? How many new readers are you alienating by taking this insider baseball approach, Marvel?!Ta-Nehisi Coates may be an award-winning writer of nonfiction but he’s a helluva crappy comics writer! He seems to have no idea what he’s doing - how to introduce characters, set up storylines, everything is a shoddy disaster. But he’s a black guy and artist Brian Stelfreeze is a black guy and they’re working on an all-black comic so yay diversity, right? And look, more diversity: the Dora Milaje outlaws are lesbians! Yeesh, sacrificing quality to pander to wretched SJWs? No wonder Marvel’s sales are in the toilet these days!Brian Stelfreeze’s art was pretty good as were Laura Martin’s colours but I really loved Rian Hughes’ logo which is on the title page of every issue - superb work, Rian! Shame that Coates stinks up the book with his incompetent writing.I would’ve preferred a ground-up introductory first volume, establishing who Black Panther is and his legacy, what Wakanda’s all about and their place within the Marvel Universe. Then, once your audience is familiar with everything, you launch into this country-in-strife storyline and it probably won’t be so confusing! Instead we got this load of rubbish which is nothing but incomprehensible garbage from start to merciful finish.I really wanted to get excited about a new Black Panther ongoing, especially after his spectacular appearance in Captain America: Civil War, and I’m still looking forward to his solo movie, but I’m done with this terrible title.
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  • Keith
    October 15, 2016
    Depending on how well you know Black Panther -- and I mean not just the character, but every run on the character and every time he appears in another Marvel comic and, in fact, every time a reference has been made to any element of the character's world, forever -- A Nation Under Our Feet is either subversive and brilliant, or an unfathomable mess.I know nothing about Black Panther. I, like most left-leaning white comics nerds who like Batman, was just super-pumped to get a monthly comic drawn Depending on how well you know Black Panther -- and I mean not just the character, but every run on the character and every time he appears in another Marvel comic and, in fact, every time a reference has been made to any element of the character's world, forever -- A Nation Under Our Feet is either subversive and brilliant, or an unfathomable mess.I know nothing about Black Panther. I, like most left-leaning white comics nerds who like Batman, was just super-pumped to get a monthly comic drawn by Brian Stelfreeze -- partially because Stelfreeze is a black artist, but mainly because he's friggin STELFREEZE -- and I was super-pumped to get a book about a black superhero from a black writer. Of course, since I did not actually know anything about Black Panther, I did not know that Black Panther comics have been given to black writers for some time now, but this is part of what I'm saying -- the announcement about the new Black Panther had just enough of what I understood to be cool, and enough of what sounded like a socially progressive and exciting thing I didn't know anything about, to make this comic the thing I have been most excited about all year.If you read, for example, an interview with Coates (like this one at io9), what you will get is that Coates has thought about Black Panther more deeply than you. In fact, I think he's thought about BP more deeply than a lot of writers think about their characters. He has woven together every small inference to the character, along with each of the character's main story arcs, as if they are very, very present for the reader. It's not that Coates is thinking like a "black writer" that is excluding (or not writing for) a wider audience. Coates is thinking like a novelist. There's an assumption in his writing that he's got a lot of room to provide context, backstory, and necessary histories for his characters that will bring the average reader up to speed, but because this is a comic book series and not a novel, he really doesn't.This is not necessarily a bad thing. There has been something fun about reading a bunch of comics that are really well-researched and deeply developed but that do not spend much time (if any) letting the reader acclimate. Grant Morrison does this all the time -- the difference being, of course, that he does them with properties I know a lot about (X-Men, Batman), and properties whose histories, I would cautiously suggest, are generally more well-known to comics nerds than that of Black Panther.Which is where it gets interesting. My knee-jerk response to the narrative structure of Black Panther is that it doesn't really work. It relies heavily on things you probably do not know, and even its scene-to-scene transitions form a story that's almost too big for what a comic has room for. Imagine the first book of Game of Thrones packed into a highlights reel and smashed into four 22-page comic books, without footnotes of any kind. That's sort of how this book reads. As a novel-reader and a comics-reader, it's actually kind of fun to reread the book several times (5 times at this point?), look up references to old characters and old plotlines on Wikipedia, and piece together what Coates is trying to do. But that doesn't mean that the workload placed on the reader in order to make it through this comic feels intentional (as it often does with Morrison). It feels more like a very, very smart writer who just can't see the forest for the trees.But the real interesting-ness here is the fundamental question of whether or not a comic like Black Panther even owes me what I'm asking of it. I'm used to reading either A) well-established superhero titles starring characters whose histories are practically a matter of public record or B) esoteric 'alternative' superhero titles resurrecting some long-gone character that do a lot of pandering, and/or throw out the rulebook so completely that there's really nothing you need to know, going in. Black Panther does neither of these things. It just starts going and demands that you sink or swim.I will maintain that certain elements of the book just aren't explained well -- brand-new characters thrown into the back of a panel that might be important twenty pages later, or they might not, so fuck it -- but I think there's also a larger political question that Black Panther raises. White people (specifically white male people) are currently going through a cultural moment in which it is being made abundantly clear that not all culture is "made" for them, that in fact there are whole worlds of media, history and expression that do not, shock-of-shocks, exist solely (or at all) for white (male) people to enjoy. As a left-leaning white dude, I think that living through this cultural moment is a great thing. That doesn't mean that it's not also a little bit weird to be reminded of when I'm just sitting on my couch in my undies trying to veg out with some comics.I guess here's a list of the things I'm getting at:1) Black Panther is an intensely nerdy, deep-cut comic that has been marketed as a great jumping-on point for new readers. It is, in fact, not.2) UNLESS IT IS. Unless the experience of being totally alienated and finding your way into a world you do not understand is exactly would should happen.3) Even if you are a total Black Panther historian, I have come to understand that this book will completely trip you out. WHICH BRINGS ME TO THE POINT THAT I HAVE NOT EVEN REVIEWED THIS BOOK YET.Black Panther is (apparently) usually written as a brilliant scientist who rules over a perfect city, like if Batman were allowed to build his own version of Gotham. What Coates has done, however, is copiously read through every BP appearance or reference ever and realized that, taken together, that is really not the story of Black Panther at all.In A Nation Under Our Feet, Coates takes stock and realizes that if an adventuring mad scientist actually DID ever rule a country, probably that country would fall apart in about five seconds. Then Coates points out that, considering the history of the character -- the number of times his country has been invaded, destroyed, or flat-out neglected because their king was off being an Avenger -- Black Panther is actually a totally shit ruler who's got a lot of things coming to him.All of which makes me glad I know nothing about Black Panther, because i have a feeling that any reader who actually loves the character enough to be able to follow all this book's threads would be insanely pissed off by what Coates is doing with him.Because Coates is not, in fact, using his stint on Black Panther to write some kind of BLM-Afrocentrist-Afrofuturist-empowerment action feature (which, being real with you, is exactly what I wanted to read). He is, instead, writing a book that questions every structure of power Black Panther comics usually champion -- science, masculinity, military 'peace,' and the general ethics of superheroism. All of which makes TOTAL SENSE in our current cultural moment, and is yet something it never even occurred to me that I would see in this comic.This book makes me realize that I'm never actually going to know what I'm talking about regarding this book. I'm going to continue to read the shit out of it. The art is gorgeous and super weird-sciencey, and whether or not Coates actually knows how to write a comic, he sure as hell knows how to write a book. The series is called Black Panther, but it's really an ensemble title about a nation of people with clearly-etched motives and desires that feel both connected to a shared history, and completely disparate from one another. Maybe one could argue that there's too much talking, and not enough punching. Maybe that's the point of what's being challenged here. Either option is possibly true.I dunno. I don't know whether or not it's even good, but I do know that it's pretty fucking metal, you guys.
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  • David Schaafsma
    September 28, 2016
    I read the individual issues of this volume (the best-selling comic of the year?) as they came out. Why? Because I loved Between the World and Me and because he had just been awarded a MacArthur and--with the whole world now watching--chose to work on a Marvel comic series about a minor character he wanted to elevate in the Marvel universe. I haven't been very engaged thus far. It's far too talky and philosophical for the beginning of a comic book series. True, many comics do use the first few i I read the individual issues of this volume (the best-selling comic of the year?) as they came out. Why? Because I loved Between the World and Me and because he had just been awarded a MacArthur and--with the whole world now watching--chose to work on a Marvel comic series about a minor character he wanted to elevate in the Marvel universe. I haven't been very engaged thus far. It's far too talky and philosophical for the beginning of a comic book series. True, many comics do use the first few issues for background or set up, but most also move the action forward. This moves not very far at all. And the talk is stiff, the pacing slow and magisterial. The story is about Kind T'Challa of Wakanda, who faces a kind of civil war between factions, neither of which wants him as leader anymore. This is a tale of big ideas with the promise of a bit operatic story, but it's not that interesting to me yet. So he can write memoir-stories, but maybe not comics stories? We'll see, but the evidence so far isn't promising.I'd say this is about a 2.5 at this point, which usually means I would stop reading, but it's such an event in the comics universe that I will be curious to see if things change for the better.
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  • Matthew Quann
    October 8, 2016
    After being highly impressed with Between the World and Me, the last thing I expected was Ta-Nehisi Coates to headline a Marvel comic. But Black Panther is a great fit as Coates' digs into some headier themes than I am used to in my tights & capes comics. Coates asks an excellent question: why is the most technologically advanced country in the world ruled as a monarchy? This question forces T'Challa to reconsider his position as king of Wakanada and Black Panther while he is beset on all si After being highly impressed with Between the World and Me, the last thing I expected was Ta-Nehisi Coates to headline a Marvel comic. But Black Panther is a great fit as Coates' digs into some headier themes than I am used to in my tights & capes comics. Coates asks an excellent question: why is the most technologically advanced country in the world ruled as a monarchy? This question forces T'Challa to reconsider his position as king of Wakanada and Black Panther while he is beset on all sides by new and fearsome enemies. The enemies, I have to note, are extremely well thought out and don't have the feel of the "villain of the month" trap that a lot of comics fall into. Coates' is making antagonists that are sympathetic, but also villains whose causes and motivations are understandable. So, all of this is good. Really good, in fact. But it's also only the opening chapter of a much larger story. This doesn't mean that the comic suffers in quality. Indeed, the opposite is true: this is a stellar setup. The problem lies in the fact that it is all setup and no pay-off. As such, I'll probably revisit this review once I've read the subsequent volumes to make sure that Coates' continues to build tension, and create a captivating story and cast. I love the way that Coates' really digs into continuity rather than shaking it off, and he obviously has a love for the Marvel universe that comes across through the script. The art is also pretty great. Stelfreeze is doing a great job of establishing Wakanda's unique terrain, technology, and has a great eye for action scenes. Black Pather's suit looks fantastic and I love the way his mask retracts and envelops his face as needed.My recommendation at this point would be to wait for the second part of A Nation Under Our Feet or the eventual hardcover compilation before delving into this comic. It is great stuff, but I felt it was just getting started and it comes to an end. Partially this is due to Marvel's frustrating trade paperback policy. Four issues of a comic is a bit of robbery at $20, when I would have gladly waited for the subsequent four issues in a single collection. I'm enjoying Marvel's post-Secret Wars lineup so-far. Especially the more intelligent and daring comic book narratives that are present in Black Panther and The Vision. If Marvel happens to be listening: more like this please.
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  • Tori (InToriLex)
    September 18, 2016
    Find this and other Reviews at In Tori LexThese four issues introduce us to Wakanda in chaos, while T'challa struggles to be a leader who has to balance the use of his sword with the use of his intellect.  Right away in issue one we're introduced to hard choices, T'challa's step-mother decides to punish a fierce warrior for killing despite her having just reasons why. The comic draws parallels to the issues that plaque African countries in unrest. Trigger warning, this comic does show sexual vio Find this and other Reviews at In Tori LexThese four issues introduce us to Wakanda in chaos, while T'challa struggles to be a leader who has to balance the use of his sword with the use of his intellect.  Right away in issue one we're introduced to hard choices, T'challa's step-mother decides to punish a fierce warrior for killing despite her having just reasons why. The comic draws parallels to the issues that plaque African countries in unrest. Trigger warning, this comic does show sexual violence, women are imprisoned and raped as a show of power by village cheiftans. Aneka and Ayo are two warriors who defect, are in love and give rise to their own resistance against factions who are unjustly hurting the people of Wakanda. T'challa's leadership is questioned because he has returned to Wakanda after it has been ruined by flood, and ravaged by villains. The people are skeptical of his leadership and a psychic preys on that vulnerability causing more division.The plot does explore the detriment of losing touch with our memories and innate power because of mistreatment of the earth. I enjoyed the fantasy/mystic elements that were featured throughout. This comic is fascinating to me because it's author is able to weave in significant diversity in sexuality, education and belief system. Women in this comic are also featured in leadership roles and as elite warriors which is a refreshing break from many other superhero comics. I enjoyed every page of this introduction to who Black Panther is and the many internal and external struggles he has to face to lead Wakanda. I read this because of it's author and subject matter, I usually shy away from mainstream superhero comics. I would recommend this comic to Adult readers who are interested in reading a diverse world full of fantasy, challenging obstacles and thoughtful dialogue. I look forward to continuing and reviewing the rest of the series.
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  • Sesana
    September 30, 2016
    Super expositiony, yet largely compelling.
  • Paul
    January 31, 2017
    I'll be honest, this story didn't really grab me. I felt there was too much set-up and too little payoff. Maybe the next volume will get the balance right; I'm certainly going to give it the chance.Story aside, I really liked the artwork in this one. Brian Stelfreeze is creating some really striking visuals here and Laura Martin's excellent colour art is enhancing it even further. Art me some more, folks.
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  • Naz (Read Diverse Books)
    September 28, 2016
    Book 1 only has 4 issues, which is rather short for a collection. The story is still being set up and will eventually go somewhere exciting, I'm sure. But for now, it's a lot of speeches and setting up. I will read future volumes, but was a little disappointed at the slow pacing of this collection.
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  • Ran
    September 14, 2016
    "No one man should have that much power." - AyoMy first issue with Wakanda has always been monarchy. How is most advanced country on earth governed by one individual (and you know, a council of dead monarchs)? How do intelligent Wakandans justify themselves as subjects to a monarch? Ta-Nehisi Coates takes this question and runs with it. How do Wakandans react to their King when it appears he is not serving their best interests, when their nation is wrecked by flood, invaded from outside, and suf "No one man should have that much power." - AyoMy first issue with Wakanda has always been monarchy. How is most advanced country on earth governed by one individual (and you know, a council of dead monarchs)? How do intelligent Wakandans justify themselves as subjects to a monarch? Ta-Nehisi Coates takes this question and runs with it. How do Wakandans react to their King when it appears he is not serving their best interests, when their nation is wrecked by flood, invaded from outside, and suffered a regime change? The People are angry about the state of their nation. Former Dora Milaje (King's protective guard) warrior Aneka is condemned to death for her just defense of captives. Her lover, Ayo, steals the Midnight Guard advanced armor to break Aneka out. Together they turn into a force to be reckoned with under the slogan No One Man. Meanwhile, a former student of philosopher Changamire at Shulé (university), shaman Tetu is also fomenting revolution: "And the worms of the earth shall devour all wolves, lions, and leopards ... and the era of kings shall end."Revolution is upon Wakanda; and I have no sympathy for haramu-fal. I'm interested in seeing where the tentative coalition between the former Dora Milaje and Tetu goes, especially considering Tetu's liaisons may not be sound moral characters. Lastly, as I was reading this trade, I kept thinking, "Man, I need a goddamn map." Low and behold, the process section at the end of the issues 1-4 totally provided that information for me. I ignored the Fantastic Four 52 issue entirely. Thank you, thank you, well done! I'm definitely picking the next one up.
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  • Robert
    November 24, 2016
    This one took me forever to get through in spite of being only 4 issues, and not for the usual excuses/reasons of helping take care of a 1 year while working 2 jobs.It was so...wordy, which I guess is no big surprise when a Serious Author is the scribe, but once I gave it more time and a chance to breathe and grow on me I started digging it more and more.And who would've guessed that the most riveting scene in a Marvel superhero comic would be an argument about political philosophy between two g This one took me forever to get through in spite of being only 4 issues, and not for the usual excuses/reasons of helping take care of a 1 year while working 2 jobs.It was so...wordy, which I guess is no big surprise when a Serious Author is the scribe, but once I gave it more time and a chance to breathe and grow on me I started digging it more and more.And who would've guessed that the most riveting scene in a Marvel superhero comic would be an argument about political philosophy between two grey hairs?I'm in for Vol 2, at the least.
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  • Cathy
    November 27, 2016
    The art is gorgeous, stunning, had a huge impact on me every time I sat down with this. The people, the African people, the black people, are powerful and strong and bold and wild and reserved and dignified and just beautiful in every way. The impact of seeing page after page of bold and beautiful black people, real looking black people, not exaggerated comic book looking people with tiny waists and huge chests (as so often seen in comic books for males and females) and not a Caucasian anywhere The art is gorgeous, stunning, had a huge impact on me every time I sat down with this. The people, the African people, the black people, are powerful and strong and bold and wild and reserved and dignified and just beautiful in every way. The impact of seeing page after page of bold and beautiful black people, real looking black people, not exaggerated comic book looking people with tiny waists and huge chests (as so often seen in comic books for males and females) and not a Caucasian anywhere in site, was really significant. It moved me, it inspired me. Especially during this time of social justice upheaval. It’s so important for people to see positive portrayals of people of color. Realistic portrayals of people of color where some people are heroes, some are villains and some are just living their lives, caught up in the drama. And the settings were stunning as well. The juxtaposition of nature and high technology was striking and very well integrated. Every page was interesting, beautiful, always something to see and explore. The art was a huge success in my opinion. It’s really gorgeous. And I can’t forget the color artist, Laura Martin deserves as much credit as Brian Stelfreeze for making this special, they’re a superb team.But I found the story to be confusing. I clearly came in in the middle of an ongoing tale and the short update provided at the beginning, while very much appreciated, wasn't enough to make the story make sense to me. I had a hard time keeping track of who the characters were and what their motivations were. I just didn't get what was going on for a lot of the book. T'Challa seemed lost and confused throughout the book and I felt the same way. Plus it seems like nothing really happened, a lot of talk but no action. Which happens at the beginning of long novels sometimes, but I’m not sure it was the best way to start this new series that has surely drawn in a lot readers who are new to Black Panther and new to comic books because they’re fans of Coates. There were some points that were quite dramatic, others that were fascinating, some that were intriguing. I think this run has a lot of potential as Coates learns to tell tales in this format and as the team learns to work together even more smoothly, and I’m looking forward to the next volume and seeing what they do with it. But this volume had some shortcomings.As a bonus, this volume included the Black Panther’s very first appearance in a Fantastic Four 1961 comic. Boy was that weird! And an interesting and uncomfortable experience in seeing how far our society has come in the way we view African Americans and black people all over the world, and how far we still have to go. The contrast between 1961’s issue and the new issues couldn’t be more stark. I wish the new story was closer to reality and wasn’t aspirational, but I fear that the recent election in the U.S. showed too clearly how many people fear black people with kind of power, strength, beauty and dignity this book portrays. I hope that the trend toward this future continues and won’t be derailed by the people who are clinging to a hateful past.
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  • Philip
    April 26, 2016
    So sue me. I hated it.How this came about: I (along with a lot of the country) read and loved Coates' Between the World and Me. I liked it so much, that I asked if any other teachers at school wanted to read it and discuss it with me - something I've never done before. ...And then I read it again.And then, the group (who didn't universally love the book) wanted to read and discuss The Case for Reparations, by Coates, which I also loved.So, one of the guys in the group saw this was coming out and So sue me. I hated it.How this came about: I (along with a lot of the country) read and loved Coates' Between the World and Me. I liked it so much, that I asked if any other teachers at school wanted to read it and discuss it with me - something I've never done before. ...And then I read it again.And then, the group (who didn't universally love the book) wanted to read and discuss The Case for Reparations, by Coates, which I also loved.So, one of the guys in the group saw this was coming out and got it for me.Good on him, but I didn't like this. Maybe this is the DC/Marvel divide? I didn't know the backstory, and had a hard time following it. I mean, I shouldn't have. I love comic books. I even went through a collection stage. My favorite was Nightwing:And that might have been the problem with Black Panther. I didn't have previous ties to it. I loved Batman, so NightWing was an easy sell. I especially liked when they fought common villains. ...When the villains from Gotham would vacation in Bludhaven... you know?*Side Note* At least the guy who got me this knew enough to get me a direct edition. So, props to him for that.All that to say, I don't think it's because I'm not a "comic book" person, because - although I'm not like... a superfan, I am a fan.In the letters section, Coates broadcast his insecurities about writing a comic book. So, I get to be the guy he let down. The good news for Coates is, Black Panter was the year's best selling comic book.
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  • Rachel
    January 6, 2017
    This is not your typical superhero comic, and this is a good thing. Instead of pitting the hero Black Panther against hordes of villains in battles that leave little mark on the protagonist, or world at large, this creative team decided to create a stronger root cause for the strife, and tie the themes more directly to T'Challa's other role as king of Wakanda. The narrative flips between several points of view, giving brief vignettes of conversations or action, which all together form into a who This is not your typical superhero comic, and this is a good thing. Instead of pitting the hero Black Panther against hordes of villains in battles that leave little mark on the protagonist, or world at large, this creative team decided to create a stronger root cause for the strife, and tie the themes more directly to T'Challa's other role as king of Wakanda. The narrative flips between several points of view, giving brief vignettes of conversations or action, which all together form into a whole picture. Wakanda is an advanced civilization that has suffered under poor management; not all are as benevolent as the king, and the common people are suffering under those who are power hungry. Many, such as the ex-Dora Milaje Aneka and Ayo, have decided to take matters into their own hands, while T'Challa struggles to chose the right course of action. Characters are morally grey, and the circumstance is a delicate one (as the creators note, punching a few bad guys won't solve this one).Black Panther subtlety addresses a lot of contemporary concerns; the environment, the balance of the past and the future, women's rights, and more. It's setting and feel is distinctly African, but because these issues, and themes such as the responsibility of a king, and the power of the people, are universal, a connection can just as easily be made to any other home.In addition to the brilliant writing, is some equally stunning art. Nature and technology, the spiritual and the physical, the traditional and the futuristic, each stands side by side, and looks like it is part of the same world.The people, and the community is everything to T'Challa, and to see it descend into anarchy, due to his perceived and actual failures, makes him one of the most compelling characters in the Marvel universe... and this is only volume one.
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  • Alex
    March 22, 2017
    The headlines were "Ta-Nehisi Coates writes a comic book," but they should have been "Ta-Nehisi Coates writes fiction." Coates is famous for nonfiction. I assume he's working on a novel - who isn't? - so this might be seen as sortof a test run.Comic books are different from novels, though, and they're harder then they look. They're a team effort, for one thing - the artist is responsible for a lot of the storytelling. By tradition, writers don't interfere much with how the artists choose to tell The headlines were "Ta-Nehisi Coates writes a comic book," but they should have been "Ta-Nehisi Coates writes fiction." Coates is famous for nonfiction. I assume he's working on a novel - who isn't? - so this might be seen as sortof a test run.Comic books are different from novels, though, and they're harder then they look. They're a team effort, for one thing - the artist is responsible for a lot of the storytelling. By tradition, writers don't interfere much with how the artists choose to tell the story. I don't know if Coates followed the tradition or not, but the artists here - Brian Selfreeze and Chris Sprouse - don't do an awesome job. There's a fight scene around issue 6 where it's literally impossible to tell who's doing what. If you feel hopelessly lost right on page one, yeah, so did I. And the story has to be tightly packed, too. Compressed. You get like ten sentences per page before things start getting cluttered, so you can't waste a word. Coates hasn't figured out how to do this. He's got a lot going on here, and he fails to communicate it clearly enough. What he's up to is taking a superhero spin on actual African events. (Black Panther, who's been around since the 60s, has always been African - the king of an imaginary African country.) Black Panther faces a revolution in his country; both sides claim to be for the people, as they do. He asks questions about violence and non-violence, as Ngũgĩ wa Thiong’o does in Petals of Blood and as Mandela did during the South African struggle against apartheid. He tries to pull his sister back from the tribal spirit land she's lost in, raising questions about old beliefs colliding with new ones, which might remind you of Things Fall Apart. These themes run throughout African history, and Coates wants to explore all of it.So that's a lot for an art form where significant space also has to be reserved for punching, and what happens is sometimes I would read the recap of previous events that starts each issue and think oh, so that's what happened. Also, not enough punching.
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  • Marta
    September 24, 2016
    This is not a superhero story - and that's a good thing. We have some of the obligatory butt kicking, but it is mostly about a divided, suffering people and their king. The nation is terrorized, lawless, in pain, people are blaming their king for not being able to protect them. He also blames himself. There is a revolution brewing, fostered by a shaman and a witch using ancient nature magic to flame people's rage. Members of the elite female guard have taken upon themselves to protect suffering This is not a superhero story - and that's a good thing. We have some of the obligatory butt kicking, but it is mostly about a divided, suffering people and their king. The nation is terrorized, lawless, in pain, people are blaming their king for not being able to protect them. He also blames himself. There is a revolution brewing, fostered by a shaman and a witch using ancient nature magic to flame people's rage. Members of the elite female guard have taken upon themselves to protect suffering women, creating a powerful female army.I loved that there are no good and bad sides - each party wants to help the nation, but wants it a different way. They all have to make tough decisions in no-win situations, are wary and troubled. The king feels divided from his people, who are torn between loyalty and anger. The "deceiver" turns out to be not evil, but a "revealer" of the truth. Technology is pitted against magic, monarchy against revolution, vile men against the elite female guard. The art is fantastic. The world is a unique blend of high-tech and traditional society. The characters are beautifully designed based on African traditions, the clothing, hair and accessories create rich personalities. I especially loved the sumptuous white dreadlocks of the queen mother and the old philosopher. The coloring is vibrant and changes based on the mood or theme. The story starts a bit haphazardly but it gains traction and develops into something forceful by the end. The drama is high - a bit too high, I felt there were too many heavy statements, a bit of levity occasionally would help the dramatic moments stand out. I also felt that the superhero branding did disservice to the story. I understand that this is how they pull in money, but sometimes it was difficult to see the king in that man in spandex (yeah, I know it is vibranium, but it looks like spandex), and his need to go out and punch people himself made him look rather immature.Overall - great story and arc, but clearly just a setup. Can't wait for more.
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  • Milo (BOK)
    September 20, 2016
    You Can Find My Full Review HereTa-Nehisi Coates is one of my favourite authors so it was great to see him turn his attention to arguably the breakout Marvel movie character of 2016 so far. A bold, confident first four issues in a series as well as the surprising inclusion of a classic Fantastic Four issue by Stan Lee and Jack Kirby may mean that despite all its strengths A Nation Under Our Feet a little on the short side, but still worth every bit of money you'll have to pay for it. Essential You Can Find My Full Review HereTa-Nehisi Coates is one of my favourite authors so it was great to see him turn his attention to arguably the breakout Marvel movie character of 2016 so far. A bold, confident first four issues in a series as well as the surprising inclusion of a classic Fantastic Four issue by Stan Lee and Jack Kirby may mean that despite all its strengths A Nation Under Our Feet a little on the short side, but still worth every bit of money you'll have to pay for it. Essential reading and this is straight into the Top 5 currently ongoing Marvel series for me, just brilliant.
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  • Eric
    November 16, 2016
    If you have any interest in starting to read about the Black Panther, do not start with the first volume of Ta-Nehisi Coates' Black Panther run. In fact, even though it's still ongoing, you may want to avoid Ta-Nehisi Coates' entire (contracted) 12-issue run entirely. I don't care if Captain America: Civil War made you really eager to read something about T'Challa. I don't care if you're a big fan of Coates and his writing. Ignore the praise his run has so far garnered. I say all this because th If you have any interest in starting to read about the Black Panther, do not start with the first volume of Ta-Nehisi Coates' Black Panther run. In fact, even though it's still ongoing, you may want to avoid Ta-Nehisi Coates' entire (contracted) 12-issue run entirely. I don't care if Captain America: Civil War made you really eager to read something about T'Challa. I don't care if you're a big fan of Coates and his writing. Ignore the praise his run has so far garnered. I say all this because the type of story Coates is trying to tell is many things - an Afrofuturistic struggle for the soul of a proud, powerful nation divided along cultural, geopolitical, gender, and ideological lines that questions the very premise of the superhero and his world it's centered around - but accessible isn't one of them. Coates isn't interested in, say, following in the footsteps of Warren Ellis' 6-issue run on Moon Knight (collected in Moon Knight, Vol. 1: From the Dead) by writing a series of self-contained one-shots that highlights the appeal of this obscure character for potential new readers. Nor is he interested in writing a genre piece that only requires cursory knowledge to dive into the story and explore the themes he's interested in like Tom King's work on The Vision, Volume 1: Little Worse Than A Man (a suburban, psychological thriller about a family of androids) and The Omega Men: The End is Here (a space opera about a interplanetary insurgency where the rebels and oppressors are equally ruthless). One of Coates' main intentions is to write the logical conclusion to all the events, incidents, disasters, and tragedies that have befallen Wakanda throughout various Marvel series in recent years: Revolution. In Coates' own words, “I am really taking seriously what people did before me. If Achebe did rule that country for a period of time. If Killmonger actually did kill the King, if Morlun did cut a swath through that country and kill M’Baku and a bunch of other people, if Doom did plot with the Desturi and overthrow the government and damn near did kill T’Challa himself, if Shuri and him did have this break and Dora Milaje did turn their back on him, if Namor did perpetrate this holocaust... what would that country look like after all of that?“This was the place that said they could never be invaded, they could never be taken over. Well, that’s no longer true. Who are you? I didn’t even come in thinking ‘I’m going to take this apart.’ When I started doing the research I was like, ‘Oh, y’all been taking some hits.’ I thought it would be dishonest to just start up again and say ‘hey the king is the king and everything’s great and everybody’s all right. Oh, and by the way, by the way, as far as we know, Shuri died in battle. The Queen was killed.’ I mean, come on!”As someone who's really liked what he's read so far of Christopher Priest's character-defining run on Black Panther in the late '90s to early 2000s (I'm halfway through the entire thing) and was emboldened to research the runs other writers had with Black Panther, I'm intrigued by Coates' premise and his first 4 issues (the stellar, sleek ink and colors by Brian Stelfreeze and Laura Martin also don't hurt), and for a first time comic book writer this is, dare I say, a good start. But this is because I'm already invested in and knowledgeable of T'Challa and Wakanda. Frankly, I'm just confused by all the positive reviews this trade has gotten by everyone who's admitted this is their first time reading about Black Panther and his country. I also can't help but nod my head in sympathy to all the critical, negative reviews written by first-time readers.3 1/2 stars
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  • Peter Derk
    November 3, 2016
    Let's start with the art:I quite liked it, although there was a distinct lack of background, which is a choice several artists are making at the moment. Maybe it's just looking at things with old man eyes, but I miss backgrounds, not just because they're fun to look at, but because they provide visual context. How close are objects and characters to each other? Where are they in space? But other than that, the art was nice, the human figures are great.It should also be celebrated that the artist Let's start with the art:I quite liked it, although there was a distinct lack of background, which is a choice several artists are making at the moment. Maybe it's just looking at things with old man eyes, but I miss backgrounds, not just because they're fun to look at, but because they provide visual context. How close are objects and characters to each other? Where are they in space? But other than that, the art was nice, the human figures are great.It should also be celebrated that the artist, Brian Stelfreeze, is black. Comic book artists don't usually get their due, and there is a lot of diversity in artists in comics. Comic Artist Minute!Stelfreeze is probably best known for some of his very cool, painted Shadow of the Bat covers, not to mention the re-design of Nightwing's costume which has been used pretty consistently since Stelfreeze created it in the 90's.It's a fucking great costume.He also did this sweet variant for Iron Man:A No-Prize to the person who names that mimicked album cover.End of Comic Artist MinuteThe story:I'm fully prepared to admit when I'm being stupid and not understanding something. I'm stupid and not understanding this book.Halfway through, I felt like I should have read the Comic Vine summary of Black Panther, as a character, before getting into this book. And I did, in fact, go and read the summary after I finished. I figured Ta-Nehisi Coates must have been handed a whole plateful of plot to tie up as a result of some of these big Marvel crossover events because there was SO MUCH happening in this book and so much of it felt like stuff that I, as a reader, would already know something about. I figured there must be a bunch of Secret Wars stuff and Super Secret Wars and Triple Dog Dare Wars and whatnot going on, and Coates was handed the stuff, like opening the Xmas lights from last year and pulling out a ball of tangled wires.I was having the experience that many people have when they jump into comics, I think. I was confused about what was happening, who I was supposed to know and who was new, and what the context was here.After doing the research...I'm still a bit confused.I don't really know why the things that are happening are happening. I'm not sure why some characters are really pissed at each other, what they're trying to do, and why they're trying to do it.My best guess, it seems that Wakanda is a fractured nation at the moment. But I can't really tell what the different factions are after.It seems that there is a pair of women who are wanted criminals and start a revolution of sorts? I think these are the characters that will be spotlighted in Roxanne Gay's tie-in title, so maybe there's more to come that will flesh them out, but as of right now I can't say I totally get what's happening with them.Also, there is a...witch of sorts? I don't actually know what her deal is. But she's leading a group of people too, but maybe by controlling their minds? Like they're not following a different leadership so much as they are brainwashed?I'm not sure why Wakanda is so divided and why everyone is so pissed at T'Challa, specifically.And what I can't tell is whether this is the groundwork for something really big and special or if it's confusing now and will remain so. I hope for the first option, but fear the second.The story was confusing, and perhaps a little disappointing considering that issue one of this book was a total sales phenomenon. Issue 1, in April of 2016, was a top-seller, selling 253,259 issues. Which is pretty goddamn incredible in comics. That's like 90's numbers, when people thought that comics were a solid investment. Which they weren't, by then. There's the occasional high-value book, but somehow most people involved in the collecting bubble did not put together the fact that older books were WAY more valuable because A) they didn't print nearly as many, B) they featured early stories of iconic characters, and C) people back in the day didn't give a rip about comics' collectibility, so there weren't a ton that survived in collectible condition. Black Panther, briefly, brought us back to the huge sales of the days in which you figured you'd pay for your kid's college in funnybooks.That said, the high sales point for Black Panther after that was issue 5, which sold 80,000+, after which issue 6 saw us down to the low of 58,746, putting it into the 30's as far as sales rankings.Now, this isn't atypical of comics. #1's sell like crazy, and then they drop off. 50,000+ is very respectable in 2016 numbers. I also notice that in the sales of issues, Marvel is getting their ass handed to them at the moment. I wondered whether that's because Marvel readers have moved to trade paperback, but in the top 10 sellers from September, Marvel only has 1 title (Secret Wars) where the folks at DC have 6. Hell, Image has 2. And this first Black Panther trade did pretty well in its first month, but didn't do gangbusters sales like the first issue did, and it dropped down the list in normal fashion. So. All this to get to the big question. Is Ta-Nehisi Coates a successful comic book writer? Because that's the big question when a prose writer comes over to comics, right?Financially and in terms of the diversification of the medium, 100%. Past prose writers who took a shot at comics have been less successful, for the most part, and didn't seem to draw in a new audience. Very few seem to convert fans of their "serious" work to comics. Coates seems to have pulled this off, which is pretty cool, although whether or not those fans are sticking around is tough to say.In terms of comic book writing? I think it remains to be seen. I see this first volume as a promise to be fulfilled. There are a lot of ends loosed, and whether or not they'll be tied up, blown apart, exposed to cosmic rays or not remains to be seen. There's also some roughness to the writing. The dialogue is very expository, and the internal monologues almost always seem to be inner thoughts of characters that have little or no relation to what's happening in the panels. I feel like that will even out as the series moves along, but it was a bit rough in this first trade. The prose itself is good, but the way it's presented is not quite clicking for me, somehow, like a well-composed photograph that wasn't developed quite right.I feel like any good review should leave a reader knowing whether or not they want to read the book. If that's you, if you're waiting to find out, here's my take: I would advise against this book if you're looking for a #1, a first point of contact, a point of entry into a series. There is very little explanation of the characters, the setting, and so on. If you didn't already know T'Challa coming into this book, you wouldn't walk away feeling like you know the dude. I might change my mind after the second trade and seeing where it all goes. Maybe it all wraps a little tighter and becomes easier to follow with hindsight. It's a little like the first 25 pages of a book. It's not totally fair to complain about being confused this early on, and I wouldn't say I'm complaining or upset, but I am definitely confused, and because comics offer such easy points at which to jump ship, the temptation is there.As for volume 2, I'll read reviews here. Although this volume is highly rated, lots of reviews with good ratings still have the reviewers saying they are confused and unsure what's going on. So, if that trend continues, I'll probably pass on volume 2.
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  • Alan
    October 31, 2016
    This is a case of me just not buying into the hype, and wondering if political correctness plays a role in the mostly favorable reviews I have seen for Coates work on this title. Coats spends six issues (and I have read the seventh which is not included in this volume) trying to set up a 21st century political thriller about how a monarchy cannot succeed int he 21st century and how out of date Wakanda's government has become. The concept is fine, but I would have bought this story much better as This is a case of me just not buying into the hype, and wondering if political correctness plays a role in the mostly favorable reviews I have seen for Coates work on this title. Coats spends six issues (and I have read the seventh which is not included in this volume) trying to set up a 21st century political thriller about how a monarchy cannot succeed int he 21st century and how out of date Wakanda's government has become. The concept is fine, but I would have bought this story much better as a creator owned property, because you know it does not work with T'Challa.Yes, I'm still going back to Christopher Priest's portrayal of T'Challa as the smartest man in the room, and Priest had Wakanda and T'Challa playing politics on an international and national scale (Priest even set up a good deal of Wakanda's political system that Coates borrows from a little).Here, T'Challa is written as indecisive, and as making one political hack mistake after another (poor Wakanda stuck with a Clinton/Trump for king). If Coates wanted to do something different he could have made some points with me by working on T'Challa's role as the country's spiritual leader, in addition to being its king.Nope, T'Challa comes off as a Wakandan Peter Parker. Parker is my personal definition for a whiny, indecisive hero who moans their way through the story.If I'm to give Coates any leeway its that he has inherited a character who's backstory and country has been torn to pieces by recent writers Mayberry, Hudlin and Hickman.As for the political correctness statement that goes to the hype about T'Challa being written by an African-American writer, and the introduction of a lesbian relationship. The relationship, eh I'm so over that being a thing (c'mon how many years has it been since Apollo/Midnighter and Batwoman/Maggie Sawyer). And African-American writers Hudlin and Priest have written the character previously, so to me Coates is not a big deal.
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  • Stewart Tame
    September 30, 2016
    This was rather ... sedate. It's good stuff and all, just very much talking heads. Even the action scenes are done with voice over captions on them, which makes them feel distant. Wakanda is undergoing a civil war, despite--or because of--the Panther's efforts to prevent it. I haven't been following the Black Panther's adventures closely over the years, so I may be at a disadvantage here. There may be nuances tied back to previous runs that I'm not picking up on. And Ta-Nehisi Coates isn't known This was rather ... sedate. It's good stuff and all, just very much talking heads. Even the action scenes are done with voice over captions on them, which makes them feel distant. Wakanda is undergoing a civil war, despite--or because of--the Panther's efforts to prevent it. I haven't been following the Black Panther's adventures closely over the years, so I may be at a disadvantage here. There may be nuances tied back to previous runs that I'm not picking up on. And Ta-Nehisi Coates isn't known for his comics work, so some of this could be a prose writer's unfamiliarity with the comics medium. What's here is good, just not particularly gripping. The book ends on an appropriately dramatic moment, so maybe we're just witnessing a slow build to a more exciting volume 2. This book is also packed with bonus content, including oodles of alternate covers, and a reprint of the Black Panther's first appearance from Fantastic Four #52.
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  • Roman Stadtler
    September 23, 2016
    I like this series for the deep exploration of the political and social/class tensions of Wakanda and King T'Challa's resulting stuggles (Aquaman is facing some similar tensions in Atlantis over in DC, but while his book is entertaining, it's more the typical superhero/king comic, not as nuanced or multi-leveled as BP), but the pacing, especially with action sequences, is strange. I'm trusting that it's simply Coates' inexperience with writing comics and the action pacing will flow more with eac I like this series for the deep exploration of the political and social/class tensions of Wakanda and King T'Challa's resulting stuggles (Aquaman is facing some similar tensions in Atlantis over in DC, but while his book is entertaining, it's more the typical superhero/king comic, not as nuanced or multi-leveled as BP), but the pacing, especially with action sequences, is strange. I'm trusting that it's simply Coates' inexperience with writing comics and the action pacing will flow more with each issue. I've enjoyed each issue (just read #6) more than the last, and I'm excited to see where the series goes. This T'Challa is a fascinatingly complex character in a particularly complex situation, and we haven't seen the Black Panther, his meaning, explored this way before, not even in Don MacGregor's great stories. I suspect I'll be adding more stars as the series progresses.
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  • Katie
    December 22, 2016
    Mostly political/philosophical setup for the country and characters but I was down with it.
  • Loretta
    February 13, 2017
    Beautifully written and includes a lot of discussion of political ideals and ways of ruling. But, it was hard to follow for a newbie to the character. I will keep reading and hope clarity appears as I get more accustomed to the world.⭐⭐⭐⭐ Beautifully written and includes a lot of discussion of political ideals and ways of ruling. But, it was hard to follow for a newbie to the character. I will keep reading and hope clarity appears as I get more accustomed to the world.⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️
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  • Ken Moten
    July 27, 2016
    [March 25, 2017]After finally reading the whole of this story, A Nation Under Our Feet, I feel I can talk a little more comprehensively about this volume. It was a very majestically drawn one, but I was very worried for the series based on how it was written and its pacing. I think you will find many people brought to read this from the hype of TA-NEHISI COATES writing it were disappointed. I was measured enough not to put too much stock into someone who wrote non-fiction journalism for a living [March 25, 2017]After finally reading the whole of this story, A Nation Under Our Feet, I feel I can talk a little more comprehensively about this volume. It was a very majestically drawn one, but I was very worried for the series based on how it was written and its pacing. I think you will find many people brought to read this from the hype of TA-NEHISI COATES writing it were disappointed. I was measured enough not to put too much stock into someone who wrote non-fiction journalism for a living to actually be any good at fiction, especially comicbook fiction. Still, I hesitated at the end of this volume. Thankfully, it does gradually progress and Black Panther: A Nation Under Our Feet, Book 3 is a very good end to this story.[From July 2016]Though this this is a shorter than usual collection for a trade paperback, it still makes a good prologue to a larger story. We see the years of strain that Wakanda has faced going back to Christopher J. Priest's run on Black Panther finally reach its tipping point. The causes of what looks to be a civil war come from two (view spoiler)[somewhat (hide spoiler)] separate factions with an axe to grind against the King and his edifice. As insurrection is stoke and armies are built, the future of Wakanda looks to be going into hard times. This is Ta-Nehisi Coates' first time writing a fiction story, and while he knows how to write a story as good as anyone, the dialogue feels like it is from a novice. He is still getting use to how to make conversations between people in this book feel natural and not stilted so I am willing to be patient for now. Brian Stelfreeze is having no such problems on the art side. The veteran is having the time of his life creating the visual narrative of this book and it is what I have been looking forward to for the last few months. The style takes the original look of Black Panther's world as first depicted by Jack Kirby and combines it with striking Afro-futurist art styles. The use of shadows and angles give it almost an expressionist feel and is THE draw of the book for me.
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  • William
    August 4, 2016
    [Edit: I have to change this review, having read the actual last issue of the arc. I thought it was four issues but it was actually five. I have to say, this is some wordy shit. Now, I have faith. I like where he's going. He's really going for it. He's trying to do The Wire in a superhero comic. But this is also his first comic, and you can tell that he hasn't yet mastered dramatic pacing or good, character-based dialogue yet. Everybody speaks in these contrived proclamations that really wear on [Edit: I have to change this review, having read the actual last issue of the arc. I thought it was four issues but it was actually five. I have to say, this is some wordy shit. Now, I have faith. I like where he's going. He's really going for it. He's trying to do The Wire in a superhero comic. But this is also his first comic, and you can tell that he hasn't yet mastered dramatic pacing or good, character-based dialogue yet. Everybody speaks in these contrived proclamations that really wear on you after a while. In a way it's cool, this gravitas about the philosophy of sacral kingship and the spirit of the nation, but it never seems to amount to anything that we should care about. There's a reason why dense, weighty social concepts get boiled down to basic antagonists and their plots in the comic book world. Still, I give him a lot of credit for trying. I have a feeling that things will pay off down the road. It doesn't seem like the status quo will stay the same in Wakanda after Coates' run.]This is the best Marvel superhero comic out right now. It's a superhero comic that's actually ABOUT something. One might have expected that from Ta-Nehisi Coates, but the way he handles his first foray into comics is a pleasant surprise.One of the best things about this book is that it's not just about Black Panther running around kicking ass and looking cool. It's practically an ensemble cast, with lots of moving parts and deep characterization. It's not the same old good vs. evil shtick. It has something to say about civilization itself.It actually has a lot to say. One of the few drawbacks about the book is that significant moments are somewhat underplayed. I chalked this up to a stylistic choice at first, but as I read on I began to think of it as a pacing issue. Maybe I'm just used to over-dramatization in superhero comics, but I think the setups and payoffs could have used more emphasis.Totally worth reading.
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  • Blindzider
    December 20, 2016
    I see lots of potential here, but there's quite a bit thrown at the reader and it's a little too much to take in. Really like the style and feel (especially the art/designs), and it's certainly more political in nature than superhero. Coates is setting up not only a Wakandan society on the verge of rebellion but also the relationship with neighboring states and any issues they have with Wakanda. Throw in a king who is weighed with self-doubt among other things, and you have the making of a very I see lots of potential here, but there's quite a bit thrown at the reader and it's a little too much to take in. Really like the style and feel (especially the art/designs), and it's certainly more political in nature than superhero. Coates is setting up not only a Wakandan society on the verge of rebellion but also the relationship with neighboring states and any issues they have with Wakanda. Throw in a king who is weighed with self-doubt among other things, and you have the making of a very interesting story. Again, though, there is quite a bit of setup which will hopefully lead to more action and conflict later. I think this one requires a little patience.
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  • Trin
    September 11, 2016
    Beautiful art. But this is really just the bare beginnings of a story -- only four issues -- and thus really difficult to judge. I think Marvel was probably like "OMG! TA-NEHISI COATES!" and rushed this out. Sigh.Also included is T'Challa's introductory issue from 1961 and it's...not great. The Fantastic Four are kind of racist and T'Challa's sexist. Hoo boy, the '60s must have been fun!
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  • Vinton Bayne
    August 14, 2016
    Lots of set up, but there are some really interesting things happening here.
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