Black Panther #1
A new era for the Black Panther starts here! Written by MacArthur Genius and National Book Award winner TA-NEHISI COATES (Between the World and Me) and illustrated by living legend BRIAN STELFREEZE, "A Nation Under Our Feet" is a story about dramatic upheaval in Wakanda and the Black Panther's struggle to do right by his people as their ruler. The indomitable will of Wakanda -- the famed African nation known for its vast wealth, advanced technology and warrior traditions -- has long been reflected in the will of its monarchs, the Black Panthers. But now the current Black Panther, T'Challa, finds that will tested by a superhuman terrorist group called The People that has sparked a violent uprising among the citizens of Wakanda. T'Challa knows the country must change to survive -- the question is, will the Black Panther survive the change?

Black Panther #1 Details

TitleBlack Panther #1
Author
FormatKindle Edition
LanguageEnglish
ReleaseApr 6th, 2016
PublisherMarvel Comics
Number of pages31 pages
Rating
GenreSequential Art, Comics, Graphic Novels, Graphic Novels Comics, Fiction, Superheroes, Marvel

Black Panther #1 Review

  • David Schaafsma
    June 15, 2016
    Coates writes Between the World and Me and none other than Nobel Prize winner Toni Morrison anoints him as successor to James Baldwin. The world is your oyster, Coates, crack it open. What do you want to do, Return to Go Tell it on the Mountain? Nope. Or not yet. Time to retrench and take the opportunity to call forth that comics nerd in yourself, the one that was always there, and make comics yourself! Living the geek dream, man! I smiled to see this comic as going back to the roots of who is, Coates writes Between the World and Me and none other than Nobel Prize winner Toni Morrison anoints him as successor to James Baldwin. The world is your oyster, Coates, crack it open. What do you want to do, Return to Go Tell it on the Mountain? Nope. Or not yet. Time to retrench and take the opportunity to call forth that comics nerd in yourself, the one that was always there, and make comics yourself! Living the geek dream, man! I smiled to see this comic as going back to the roots of who is, a comics fan, and because he can be a respected literary giant showing a wider world that comics are a good way to address important issues in the world.So Coates knows political philosophy, as he addresses it in and though his journalism. He knows how to tell a story (his memoirs) and knows how to ground that story in character (himself and his son). He also knows the Marvel universe and how Black Panther fits into it, and how BP can potentially greater contribute to it. Black Panther as a comic predates the Black Panther organization, by the way; both came about in the late sixties, but no one knows both the activist organization AND the comic as well as Coates. All this has created major hype for this new series, just begun. What could go wrong? You have a genius at the helm! But can a great writer and thinker who loves comics also write good comics?As we begin, Black Panther, T'Challa, is fronted by a superhuman terrorist group, The People, that has sparked a violent uprising among the citizens of the great African nation Wakanda. Okay, that much seems fine. But we don't know that much about Black Panther as a character, we don't go enough into his origins for those of us unfamiliar with this character. We also have lots of storylines to follow, much of it narrated instead of acted out. And then, not that much actually happens, either. There's a lot of threads for a first issue. More ideas than clarity. Too ambitious? Dunno. I would say it's a slow and somewhat confusing start, but I will read on. I mean, it's Coates! YOU expect him to make some innovative political commentary! I have a feeling he will, be will he do so entertainingly? Not yet, I would say, but one issue, give him a break, Dave.
    more
  • Nicolo Yu
    May 25, 2016
    Visually, the art is very appealing; it is both bold and slick at the same time. The story too, is something new. Wakanda has always been this technological wonderland and now it is undergoing a tremendous upheaval. Before long, this series would inform future takes on the Black Panther and it all started here.
    more
  • Ken Moten
    April 14, 2016
    I do not usually review an individual issue of a comic because it is like (in the modern age, the old days were different) reviewing one chapter or part of a chapter of a book. That's why my comicbook reviews are of graphic novels or trade paperbacks, it gives a complete story. I have to make an exception in this case as this may be one of the most hyped/read comics of the new millennium. Though I know from interviews leading up to this book what Ta-Nehisi Coates is trying to do, this is only th I do not usually review an individual issue of a comic because it is like (in the modern age, the old days were different) reviewing one chapter or part of a chapter of a book. That's why my comicbook reviews are of graphic novels or trade paperbacks, it gives a complete story. I have to make an exception in this case as this may be one of the most hyped/read comics of the new millennium. Though I know from interviews leading up to this book what Ta-Nehisi Coates is trying to do, this is only the set-up and cannot be properly scrutinized. What I will give the majority of my opinion on is the art, which is very well done. The artist Brian Stelfreeze (along with colorist Laura Martin) is bringing into this book not just a revival of the style of the Black Panther's original artist Jack Kirby, but an art style that I have been aware of for the past few years: Afro-Futurism. I will not go to in-depth until a proper volume of this series is released, but I am very interested both in the how the story is told and depicted. Coates compared making comics to how a movie is made the comicbook writer is like the screenwriter while the artist is like movie director (I guess that makes the editor the producer). It will be interesting to see how the story plays out and I hope to do a proper review in a few months time.
    more
  • Crystal Starr Light
    May 16, 2016
    Bullet Review:Huh.Yeah, I picked it up because I loved Black Panther in the movie. So shoot me.I'm still not sure what to think. It definitely feels like I popped into the middle of a story, but it seems to be the first in a line?You canNOT blame it for lack of representation. 1) ALL the characters are black. 2) MANY of the characters are female. 3) The one overt romantic relationship is a lesbian one.
    more
  • Terence
    April 6, 2016
    Recent events have demonstrated that the once unconquerable Wakanda is now vulnerable. The worst part of that is the threat seems to be coming from within Wakanda.I struggle with relating to T'Challa as a character. In a group he seems outstanding, but in his solo titles I've often been underwhelmed. I'm not sure exactly why that is, because I want to like him much more than I do. Black Panther #1 revolves around turmoil in Wakanda. That part was straight forward, but their was a part involving Recent events have demonstrated that the once unconquerable Wakanda is now vulnerable. The worst part of that is the threat seems to be coming from within Wakanda.I struggle with relating to T'Challa as a character. In a group he seems outstanding, but in his solo titles I've often been underwhelmed. I'm not sure exactly why that is, because I want to like him much more than I do. Black Panther #1 revolves around turmoil in Wakanda. That part was straight forward, but their was a part involving the Dora Milaje that just made no sense to me. I even tried rereading it and the conclusion that was reached still seemed strange. I was expecting a much stronger start to the new Black Panther series since T'Challa will be making his big screen debut in Captain America: Civil War. Hopefully he'll be more relatable in the upcoming issues.
    more
  • Sam Quixote
    April 8, 2016
    I’ve read a couple of his solo books and seen him crop up in events and team titles but I don’t know much about Black Panther – though I was honestly hoping to be blown away with this comic – and I think a number of people coming to this are in the same boat. That’s why I don’t think Ta-Nehisi Coates and Brian Stelfreeze’s much anticipated Black Panther #1 is a very good start: it really doesn’t give you a good idea of who Black Panther is and that must have been one of the primary goals of this I’ve read a couple of his solo books and seen him crop up in events and team titles but I don’t know much about Black Panther – though I was honestly hoping to be blown away with this comic – and I think a number of people coming to this are in the same boat. That’s why I don’t think Ta-Nehisi Coates and Brian Stelfreeze’s much anticipated Black Panther #1 is a very good start: it really doesn’t give you a good idea of who Black Panther is and that must have been one of the primary goals of this relaunch, especially with the character’s big screen debut next month in Captain America: Civil War. Read the full review over at Need to Consume here!
    more
  • Jessica
    April 23, 2016
    This might be the first literary comic I've read in a while. I'm not sure if that is a good or bad thing yet. Coates has been nothing but honest about his venture into writing a comic book. I won't hold that against anyone adjusting to a new medium. This is a revamped Panther and it's hard to judge a comic run on a first issue. I think 1-4 are usually all about set-ups anyway. Coates HAS INTRODUCED A WHOLE NEW WAKANDA, cast of characters, and villains. I am anticipating subsequent issues and wil This might be the first literary comic I've read in a while. I'm not sure if that is a good or bad thing yet. Coates has been nothing but honest about his venture into writing a comic book. I won't hold that against anyone adjusting to a new medium. This is a revamped Panther and it's hard to judge a comic run on a first issue. I think 1-4 are usually all about set-ups anyway. Coates HAS INTRODUCED A WHOLE NEW WAKANDA, cast of characters, and villains. I am anticipating subsequent issues and will without judgement after a #5-6 issue run. FOR NOW it's FULL THROTTLE KEEP BRINGING US DIVERSE TITLES MARVEL, mmmkay! please and thank you! <3
    more
  • Nancy
    December 9, 2016
    This review can also be found on my graphic novels blog: https://graphicnovelty2.com/2016/12/0...Although I am a Marvel fan, I didn’t know much about Black Panther going into this book- all I knew was that he was the African king of the advanced nation of Wakanda and was married to Storm. Hearing that the well-regarded author Ta-Nehisi Coates was penning this new series, made me excited to give it a try. I buddy-read this book with a co-worker and friend (TW) because I wanted his trusted opinion This review can also be found on my graphic novels blog: https://graphicnovelty2.com/2016/12/0...Although I am a Marvel fan, I didn’t know much about Black Panther going into this book- all I knew was that he was the African king of the advanced nation of Wakanda and was married to Storm. Hearing that the well-regarded author Ta-Nehisi Coates was penning this new series, made me excited to give it a try. I buddy-read this book with a co-worker and friend (TW) because I wanted his trusted opinion on it , and to be truthful, I had so little time to read this week that I wanted to steal his observations and pass them off as my own!Man, I struggled with this book. I so wanted to like it, but could not muster up much appreciation of it. It is not a long book by any means, but I kept putting it down because I was frustrated with it. Thinking it was just me, I was glad when TW said he was doing the same. As a gateway book, it failed. The story assumed that I knew more and I felt dropped into an ongoing storyline that was confusing. The story began to rally and come together more at the end, but it was a little too late for me to change my opinion by then.The deep themes of story were good, for T’Challa is not just a masked vigilante but king, so he sometimes has to make hard decisions that might hurt some of his citizens, but for the greater good. Other questions: What are the levels of acceptable justice and retribution, as two former members of the king’s guard join together to fight rebels who are terrorizing the countryside? Finally, his opponents have some valid reason for revolt, so should his nation continue as a monarchy? As this is the first time that Coates has written in comic book form, the way he artfully build stories in his novels, needs to be adapted differently in graphic novel form. The artist Brain Stelfreeze touches on this in an interview question in regards to their collaboration, found at the back of the book, along with variant art and a reprint of the 1966 issue of when BP first appeared with the Fantastic Four.While the storyline was not what I hoped for, I can only praise the artwork by Stelfreeze, for his work was outstanding. I felt Wakanda was a real place, and he captured the residents of this nation beautifully. There were little Easter eggs that he drew in small panels, that had Doctor Doom and Namor in it (first noticed by TW, not me), and a reference to Storm. I assume these characters will play more into future issues, so this was part of the world-building that Coates and Stelfreeze are working to achieve.This book was a magnificent first attempt, that didn’t quite do it for me, but all the building blocks are there for the series to grow and improve in the future!
    more
  • Brent
    July 24, 2016
    New spin, great storytelling, amazing and beautifully drawn. Here we go!
  • Arturo
    June 28, 2016
    While there's no big bad villain in this issue, and actually focuses more on what I think are King Tchalla's bodyguards, (I think Iv seen them in other volumes, only reason I know) and the problems in Wakanda, this issue leaves me far from impressed, but on the other hand if this issue is this good without much.. 'villainy' going on, I think it's a promising start.
    more
  • Dominique
    March 29, 2017
    As someone who wasn't raised to read comic books and is certainly new to the genre, rather than focusing on the plot and the adventure, I was far more intrigued by the concepts of race posed in this book. Black Panther, is all about Race, and yet is not about race at all. Meaning, Wakanda is a fictional African nation, where race move beyond skin color, and is categorized more by culture, ancestry, and region. Yet, this story is a reflection of our real society where race is a tool for power. Ra As someone who wasn't raised to read comic books and is certainly new to the genre, rather than focusing on the plot and the adventure, I was far more intrigued by the concepts of race posed in this book. Black Panther, is all about Race, and yet is not about race at all. Meaning, Wakanda is a fictional African nation, where race move beyond skin color, and is categorized more by culture, ancestry, and region. Yet, this story is a reflection of our real society where race is a tool for power. Race without power means nothing; power cannot exist without hierarchy. Thus, race is a vehicle for power. Race, particularly focused in America, is a tool people can use to organize power. But to be clear, "race" is essentially meaningless and is in itself, nothing. Racism is power. Read my full review on my website: http://www.dominiqueluster.com/booksh...
    more
  • Jennifer
    April 6, 2016
    Considering all the hype, I think it's a very good sign that I can say that I wasn't disappointed. Coates and Stelfreeze hit the ground running, not in terms of action-packed scenes, but in terms of complexity. This issue 1 reveals a very promising foundation for the development of multiple complex characters (family relationships, loss, personal responsibility) and socio-economic and socio-political themes. Though the script was good (although I think that the visual flow of the script/letterin Considering all the hype, I think it's a very good sign that I can say that I wasn't disappointed. Coates and Stelfreeze hit the ground running, not in terms of action-packed scenes, but in terms of complexity. This issue 1 reveals a very promising foundation for the development of multiple complex characters (family relationships, loss, personal responsibility) and socio-economic and socio-political themes. Though the script was good (although I think that the visual flow of the script/lettering could've been a little more smooth), I think that Ta-Nehisi Coates definitely has room to grow in terms of writing comic books, since it's such a different medium, but the fact that is aware of this, loved comic books as a kid, and earnestly wants to work to do a good job is promising.I can see Coates's influence throughout the issue, but I honestly feel like Stelfreeze does what might be a vastly under-appreciated and fantastic job with the visual storytelling, the "heavy lifting," so to speak. Coates and Stelfreeze's Wakanda, the diverse ecosystems and people, the patchwork *country* of Wakanda seems like the main character of this book more so than Th'Challa, and Stelfreeze shapes readers' conception of that complex country through his artwork. I also feel compelled to mention that I loved seeing black bodies and black faces and black skin in their diversity and varying, believable facial expressions. Stelfreeze's manages a bulkier Black Panther than I feel like I'm used to seeing, but this physical power isn't an over-muscled stereotype of a black male; somehow power coiled and waiting to spring is communicated in every shot of Th'Challa.
    more
  • Rachel Fellows
    April 9, 2016
    I've been reading the work of Ta-Nehisi Coates off and on for years, so I got pretty excited when I heard the he was going to dive into comic book writing. I wasn't disappointed...well, I was: when I reached the end of this issue.I'm a casual comic book fan (and though I'm a Marvel in tastes, I do stick to more indie stuff), so prior to reading this book, I didn't know much about Black Panther and Wakanda. This made me step back a bit and think about how frustrating it is that I know about the M I've been reading the work of Ta-Nehisi Coates off and on for years, so I got pretty excited when I heard the he was going to dive into comic book writing. I wasn't disappointed...well, I was: when I reached the end of this issue.I'm a casual comic book fan (and though I'm a Marvel in tastes, I do stick to more indie stuff), so prior to reading this book, I didn't know much about Black Panther and Wakanda. This made me step back a bit and think about how frustrating it is that I know about the Marvel mythology and history of, say, Asgard, but hardly anything about Wakanda. This is a problem that I hope this series can rectify as it progresses because I want to learn about Wakanda as much as I learn about the character of Black Panther. Aside from that, I think I'm most anticipating seeing how the side story (I guess that's what it is?) of the two Dora Milaje warriors, Ayo and Aneka. I can't wait to see how their story unfolds.The visual side of the storytelling is really nice, too. Kind of subdued and makes use of a lot of contrast, which I found visually striking.Overall, I'm pleased with this first issue and can't wait to read the next one!
    more
  • Cody
    May 31, 2016
    I didn't know this dude could write comics. I've read some of his stuff from The Atlantic, but hey nice crossover appeal. Regarding issue #1, it was a good, solid read. I'm way behind on Marvel's hijinks, so I was a little lost. Honestly, what I love about this book is that it is SELF -CONTAINED. Thank god there wasn't the obligatory Captian America/ Iron Man/ cameo. To be quite honest, thank god there weren't any Americans or white people at all! What they need to do now is KEEP EXPANDING. It's I didn't know this dude could write comics. I've read some of his stuff from The Atlantic, but hey nice crossover appeal. Regarding issue #1, it was a good, solid read. I'm way behind on Marvel's hijinks, so I was a little lost. Honestly, what I love about this book is that it is SELF -CONTAINED. Thank god there wasn't the obligatory Captian America/ Iron Man/ cameo. To be quite honest, thank god there weren't any Americans or white people at all! What they need to do now is KEEP EXPANDING. It's such a shame that only books set in NEW YORK have lasting appeal. I love Marvel's ideas, but their sense of setting is narrow! I'm from Wisconsin and all we get are the Great Lakes Avengers, (whom I love by the way).Mr. Coats, if you are reading this: Fuck editorial pressure! Keep your book authentic! Don't give in to unnecessary cameos to further a MOVIE STUDIO'S agenda. I know you're probably in New York as I write this, but keep the book true. You can single handedly expand and leave a profound and lasting impact on what is bound to be the next MAJOR character. Don't sell out man. Stay gold.
    more
  • Donovan
    November 24, 2016
    My eyes glazed over while reading this. I haven't seen exposition this heavy since Chris Claremont. The type that doesn't even reference what's happening in the panel. If that weren't enough, I have no idea what's happening except that it's allegory for race relations and hatred in America. Far less exposition, more action, explanation, and dialog are needed here.
    more
  • Adam
    April 9, 2016
    Even more...I thought the Illuminati arc and New Avengers fleshed out the society in Wakanda well. But this series is going to do the world building that Black Panther deserves. Awesome writing and a dynamic art style that is refreshing to see again. #WeAreWakanda
    more
  • feux d'artifice
    September 6, 2016
    Love the art. The storyline is rather "grand" introducing large scale events and many different story threads that haven't quite come together yet but you get the sense that it will down the line. Also YAY CANON LESBIAN REVOLUTIONARIES!!
  • Jenny Lynn
    May 9, 2016
    A very good beginning. I'm anxious to read #2. Also the lady at the comic shop was right: the artwork is gorgeous.
  • Rouchswalwe
    June 18, 2016
    Wow! This is only going to get better! Mr. Coates presents us with an amazing debut here ...
  • Jarika
    May 9, 2016
    Very strong start... I'm looking forward to the next.
  • Kamilah
    May 9, 2016
    Exciting beginning - I can't wait to see how the storylines develop!
  • Clém
    April 27, 2016
    Les illustrations sont absolument magnifique !
  • Seno
    May 30, 2016
    Not that good but loved the art.
  • Clifton
    March 23, 2017
    I should confess something first: I was never a comic READER so much as a comic DRAWER. I bought them here and there for the art, but never cared for the soap operatic quality to the storytelling. Too many characters and cliffhangers designed to make you buy one more issue, I suppose. So I love the societal/philosophical insights and the artistry, but I'm not an "expert" by any means. And I guess I hoped that Coates would (a) make this arc approachable for folks who had never read this comic bef I should confess something first: I was never a comic READER so much as a comic DRAWER. I bought them here and there for the art, but never cared for the soap operatic quality to the storytelling. Too many characters and cliffhangers designed to make you buy one more issue, I suppose. So I love the societal/philosophical insights and the artistry, but I'm not an "expert" by any means. And I guess I hoped that Coates would (a) make this arc approachable for folks who had never read this comic before (eg Netflix's Marvel series), (b) reimagine the genre a little. While there's some super cool stuff happening here - especially in his examination of power at the individual/societal level - I had to Google characters every other page and sift through the usual comic stuff. It was solid, but it did not feel groundbreaking to me. Not sure that I would pick up book two based on this read.
    more
  • Bookista
    February 22, 2017
    A+ book. Beautiful illustrations & really gripping, heartbreaking story. Sexy too!
  • Karen Ashmore
    February 20, 2017
    Welp if you like graphic novels, superheroes, a lot of warring violence, then you will like this book. If you don't like those things, at least you may appreciate the strong women warriors and the good artwork.
  • Kristen Shaw
    December 27, 2016
    I was hoping to be blown away by this, but I have some reservations. I did some research on the titular character before starting, but was still left feeling confused by the multiple timelines and all the introductions. We never really get much time with any of the characters, so I didn't feel much of a connection to anyone. I'm not really sure how many of the characters and timelines are being brought forward from previous Black Panther narratives, but it seems like, by hiring Ta-Nehisi Coates, I was hoping to be blown away by this, but I have some reservations. I did some research on the titular character before starting, but was still left feeling confused by the multiple timelines and all the introductions. We never really get much time with any of the characters, so I didn't feel much of a connection to anyone. I'm not really sure how many of the characters and timelines are being brought forward from previous Black Panther narratives, but it seems like, by hiring Ta-Nehisi Coates, and by revamping the series, they are trying to pull in a new audience. And for that reason I was a bit thrown off that they didn't give us newbies a more solid entry point.That said, everything starts to gel in the final issue, when, during a meeting, T'Challa learns about Tetu's origin story and we as readers get a clear description of what is happening with Aneka and Ayo, renegade Dora Milaje. Everything made a lot more sense after a reread.I will say that this is an interesting and intriguing representation. There is a lot going on here that I am excited to unpack. I think that perhaps some of the confusion of the narrative is a result of Coates' inexperience writing in this medium, so I wouldn't be surprised if this series gets progressively better.
    more
  • Cathy
    September 27, 2016
    Great illustrations, and I like the plots that Coates is building. However, I felt like T'challa spent an inordinate amount of time feeling lost and confused, and then verbalizing his feelings of being lost and confused. I do think it's interesting that Coates makes Black Panther's enemies have laudable aims, so it's difficult to root for any one group in power, including Black Panther. I think Coates is trying to get us to think about governing structures, the rights of citizens, paternalism an Great illustrations, and I like the plots that Coates is building. However, I felt like T'challa spent an inordinate amount of time feeling lost and confused, and then verbalizing his feelings of being lost and confused. I do think it's interesting that Coates makes Black Panther's enemies have laudable aims, so it's difficult to root for any one group in power, including Black Panther. I think Coates is trying to get us to think about governing structures, the rights of citizens, paternalism and imperialism. He also makes some pretty awesome references to griots, ancestral spirits, and how we've lost our connection to the earth. Still, I think he needs to work on moving the plot in a more action-oriented way, rather than relying on a ponderous inner monologue that makes the story a bit plodding.
    more
  • Alexandra Flores
    June 22, 2016
    Borrowed from a coworker when I saw Ta-Nehisi Coates's name on the cover. It's tough to judge story from a single comics issue because issues are just so short, but it seems like this one's going to be pretty complex. There wasn't quite enough grounding in it for my tastes (e.g., character establishment for Black Panther), but this is also my first time reading any Black Panther comic so it may be that veterans to his story will feel less unmoored.I loved the art--rich colors and a good sense of Borrowed from a coworker when I saw Ta-Nehisi Coates's name on the cover. It's tough to judge story from a single comics issue because issues are just so short, but it seems like this one's going to be pretty complex. There wasn't quite enough grounding in it for my tastes (e.g., character establishment for Black Panther), but this is also my first time reading any Black Panther comic so it may be that veterans to his story will feel less unmoored.I loved the art--rich colors and a good sense of movement. I'm eager to pick up the subsequent issues to see how this story develops.
    more
  • Sharon
    April 13, 2016
    I felt a little dense because I had trouble following the story during my first read-through. The dialogue and narration is rather stylized too, which I find interesting but inaccessible.After studying it more closely with annotations from Vulture (http://www.vulture.com/2016/04/ta-neh...), and also taking some time to just stare at the stunning art, I'm a lot more into it. Definitely looking forward to learning more about Wakandan politics and history.
    more
Write a review