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Black Panther: Who Is the Black Panther?

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The Wakandan super hero is back with Hollywood heavyweight Reginald Hudlin (House Party, Boomerang) and fan favorite John Romita Jr. (Wolverine, Amazing Spider-Man) teaming up to deliver a new take on T'Challa that's sure to excite both True Believers and the hip-hop faithful. The Black Panther's origin is retold in cinematic scope with social satire and all-out action. Co The Wakandan super hero is back with Hollywood heavyweight Reginald Hudlin (House Party, Boomerang) and fan favorite John Romita Jr. (Wolverine, Amazing Spider-Man) teaming up to deliver a new take on T'Challa that's sure to excite both True Believers and the hip-hop faithful. The Black Panther's origin is retold in cinematic scope with social satire and all-out action. Collects Black Panther (2005) #1-6.


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The Wakandan super hero is back with Hollywood heavyweight Reginald Hudlin (House Party, Boomerang) and fan favorite John Romita Jr. (Wolverine, Amazing Spider-Man) teaming up to deliver a new take on T'Challa that's sure to excite both True Believers and the hip-hop faithful. The Black Panther's origin is retold in cinematic scope with social satire and all-out action. Co The Wakandan super hero is back with Hollywood heavyweight Reginald Hudlin (House Party, Boomerang) and fan favorite John Romita Jr. (Wolverine, Amazing Spider-Man) teaming up to deliver a new take on T'Challa that's sure to excite both True Believers and the hip-hop faithful. The Black Panther's origin is retold in cinematic scope with social satire and all-out action. Collects Black Panther (2005) #1-6.

30 review for Black Panther: Who Is the Black Panther?

  1. 5 out of 5

    Sean Barrs

    The Back Panther is more than your standard superhero. He stands for something that has real world value beyond that of his comic book universe. He is a strong symbol of black pride and when he first appeared on the pages of a marvel issue in the sixties he was a symbol of the world beginning to move forward, a world ready to move beyond the horrors of slavery and the cultural aftermath that followed it. So who exactly is the Black Panther? He is a symbol of freedom and individuality; he is The Back Panther is more than your standard superhero. He stands for something that has real world value beyond that of his comic book universe. He is a strong symbol of black pride and when he first appeared on the pages of a marvel issue in the sixties he was a symbol of the world beginning to move forward, a world ready to move beyond the horrors of slavery and the cultural aftermath that followed it. So who exactly is the Black Panther? He is a symbol of freedom and individuality; he is a symbol of the right to rule one’s self in the face of imperialism, slavery and cultural apartheid. Not everybody wants to be part of the rest of the world (with all its self-imposed problems) some people like isolation and independence. For the Panther’s people this is on an international scale. He is not just a man to fight against crime and injustice within his own culture but he is also a political ideal, one that stands for cultural independence and national authority. And all I can do is respect that. Captain America stands up for America, but do the American values really need someone to defend them in the comic book universe? They are firmly established in the real world, and they are not under threat like black identity has been. Just look at the way the Panther deals with Steve Rogers: Not many can defeat the super solider, and even fewer with ease. The best thing about the Panther is how advanced he is. Not technologically speaking, but ethically so. His culture isn’t driven by money or greed, but peace and prosperity through natural human development. The Panther doesn’t have any super powers; he is just a highly trained and skilful warrior, one ready to past down the mantel to the next generation of warriors. It’s all for the purpose of defending of defending their cultural identity against those that would superimpose their ways onto it. The Panther is a symbol of pride, justice and, again, black power. Needless to say, these are very important ideals. I’d love to do some research on his first actual appearance. This is a modern re-write as comics often do. I think there’s much to say about this character in the world of academia from a theoretical perspective of postcolonialism. The film trailer looks quite good too!

  2. 4 out of 5

    Terence

    Who is the Black Panther? He's a bad mother...shut your mouth! The Black Panther is the ceremonial title for The King of Wakandan. He's more than just The King, he's the head cleric and head of everything else. Oh and he beat Captain America one on one before. This volume reinforced the notion I already had regarding The Black Panther, he is an odd character and his nation is confusing. The Wakandans are the most technologically advanced nation in the Marvel Universe and yet they still live in ho Who is the Black Panther? He's a bad mother...shut your mouth! The Black Panther is the ceremonial title for The King of Wakandan. He's more than just The King, he's the head cleric and head of everything else. Oh and he beat Captain America one on one before. This volume reinforced the notion I already had regarding The Black Panther, he is an odd character and his nation is confusing. The Wakandans are the most technologically advanced nation in the Marvel Universe and yet they still live in houses that appear quite old and out of date. They have the cure for cancer, but they dress in animal skins quite often. It's confusing. I'd expect them to all have unique and imaginative homes and clothing, but instead it's an odd contrast of people living off the land who have jets and incredible technology. When T'Challa is on his own and not interacting with Wakanda I find him more interesting, but overall I find him somewhat bland. I imagine his film will be a difficult one for Marvel to make relevant and interesting for the masses.

  3. 5 out of 5

    David

    I love the concept of Blank Panther. He's the bad ass king of an African nation so advanced they've found the cure to cancer. He's so adept at fighting, he could take Captain America. He's a genius military strategist, benevolent leader, and he's intelligent. He's an awesome character if you're looking for a positive Black role model in the comic book medium. So why didn't I like the book? One name: Reginald Hudlin. The writer of "classics" such as House Party and Boomerang. While I appreciate th I love the concept of Blank Panther. He's the bad ass king of an African nation so advanced they've found the cure to cancer. He's so adept at fighting, he could take Captain America. He's a genius military strategist, benevolent leader, and he's intelligent. He's an awesome character if you're looking for a positive Black role model in the comic book medium. So why didn't I like the book? One name: Reginald Hudlin. The writer of "classics" such as House Party and Boomerang. While I appreciate those movies from my childhood, it's really not an impressive resume for writing comics. Hudlin's dialogue is less than mediocre. There is no wit there. It just feels juvenile, clunky. I groaned at the opening scene, worried about what was to come: "Stay cool, stay cool" "Hold your ground, running will only make it worse." "Oh, it's getting worse--" (Thousands of spears flying in the air) "Kiss my butt, Wakan--" "Stay cool"? "Kiss my butt"? Did I forget to mention that this dialogue was from 5th century African tribesmen? At first, I tried to rationalize it as just rough translations of what had been said in native language. I wouldn't even accept this if it was said in English. Even worse, Black Panther really doesn't come off as a bad ass in this book. Read Jason Aaron's current mini "See Wakanda and Die" and you'll see just how monumental this king can be. Hudlin's book tends to tell us through exposition that Black Panther can do this, and he can do that. It's like he's just telling us how awesome he thinks BP is, but he can't show it to us. We need some bad ass lines. We need him to stand up against the unbeatable odds and triumph! Ugh. And don't get me started on Hudlin's take on racial issues. Black Panther is defined in this book by his blackness. And that's what gets to me. We get it, Hudlin, BP is Black. And he's awesome. He's an awesome Black guy. But stop hitting us over the head with it. He is more than Black. He is a king, a father, a leader, a fighter, a diplomat, and hero. Show us he's a great CHARACTER regardless of his ethnicity. Then we'll see, without being told explicitly, that he's one of the greatest superheroes the Marvel U has seen, Black, White, Asian, Latino, Kree, or Skrull. What saddens me more is that this is going to be the basis of BET's cartoon. By the way, the animation is pretty crappy. I was really hoping for fresh material. From what I hear, Christopher Priest's run was much better, and I look forward to picking those up. I'm hoping Jason Aaron gets a full-time gig on the book now too. I originally gave this book two stars, but I think I was just being kind because I like BP as a character. Sorry Hudlin, but I can't like this book.

  4. 5 out of 5

    Artemy

    Before seeing the Black Panther movie later this month I wanted to check out some of his comics. Unfortunately, just like with Guardians of the Galaxy, it seems that there is not a single good Black Panther run in existence. Christopher Priest's stuff is incomprehensible, Ta-Nehisi Coates writes a superhero comic equivalent of a science textbook, and Reginald Hudlin's run is the silliest thing I've read since the last time I tried to read a Stan Lee comic. Even worse, it doesn't have a lot to do Before seeing the Black Panther movie later this month I wanted to check out some of his comics. Unfortunately, just like with Guardians of the Galaxy, it seems that there is not a single good Black Panther run in existence. Christopher Priest's stuff is incomprehensible, Ta-Nehisi Coates writes a superhero comic equivalent of a science textbook, and Reginald Hudlin's run is the silliest thing I've read since the last time I tried to read a Stan Lee comic. Even worse, it doesn't have a lot to do with T'Challa himself. It does a decent job of explaining the mythos of Wakanda and its place in the world, but its main focus is on some laughable caricatural villains and their contrived plot to kill Black Panther because of reasons, and T'Challa is just a supporting character who shows up from time to time to kick an occasional butt. It's dreary and depressing and I keep wondering why Marvel wouldn't just hire a good comic book writer to write a Black Panther comic. I mean, think about it! Hudlin is a film writer and director, Coates is a journalist and a non-fiction writer, and Priest is... a priest, apparently. Yes, they're all famous black people, and representation is a necessary and important thing, but these people obviously don't have the chops to write good comics! I have no doubt that the Black Panther movie will be great. After all, Marvel hired a professional director and a bunch of professional actors, as well as a whole professional movie crew to make that film. If only they could learn from that experience and hire a professional comics writer to write a comic book, wouldn't that be swell...

  5. 4 out of 5

    Mike

    ​I've never acquired an emotional connection to the Black Panther as a solo character. That probably makes me suspect as a racist, and that's always a possibility a bleeding heart socialist should consider. Humbling. Maybe it's that I've never heard great praise for any of his solo runs. Maybe it's that his homeland is a cold intellectual paradise - not like Attilan with its stultifying politics, but the fact that Wakanda is so technologically superior that I always just assume there's little rea ​I've never acquired an emotional connection to the Black Panther as a solo character. That probably makes me suspect as a racist, and that's always a possibility a bleeding heart socialist should consider. Humbling. Maybe it's that I've never heard great praise for any of his solo runs. Maybe it's that his homeland is a cold intellectual paradise - not like Attilan with its stultifying politics, but the fact that Wakanda is so technologically superior that I always just assume there's little real conflict to read about. Well, the Black Panther was always brooding about some unmet goal or unspoken interpersonal stressor, but nothing that said "let's dance, smile and have a drink or three". Not that all my superhero tales need to go down that path, but the super-serious cloud over BP's head... (Man, how to select a metaphor for "not fun" that doesn't mention "dark", "clouds" or "shadow")...makes me less-than-enthused to dive in to his world. The impression I'd gotten from Goodreads reviews was that Priest's run was inferior to Hudlin's, so I'm reading that short run (mini?) right now on MU. It's biting in its commentary, but a little like every Inhumans story I read too, with all the stodgy and boring courtly politics that does nothing for me. Hudlin infuses an edge to these stories that helps get past those built-in limitations. His political/social/racial(?) commentary definitely ups the stakes, by daring to take the majority white-dude audience through a potentially-uncomfortable ride through the "fun"house of life through a black world's eyes. Great climactic tech-and-fisticuffs battle. Fun and satisfying. Panther all the way.

  6. 5 out of 5

    Bookishrealm

    This was a great introduction to Black Panther. With the movie coming out in a couple of weeks, I wanted to familiarize myself with his origin story. While this book does not follow the same plot as the one described in the movie, it does give a great introduction to Black Panther and Wakanda. I was pleasantly surprised by the artwork and definitely loved learning about all the characters. This installment in the Black Panther story is mainly focused on T'Challa and his rise to the throne in Wak This was a great introduction to Black Panther. With the movie coming out in a couple of weeks, I wanted to familiarize myself with his origin story. While this book does not follow the same plot as the one described in the movie, it does give a great introduction to Black Panther and Wakanda. I was pleasantly surprised by the artwork and definitely loved learning about all the characters. This installment in the Black Panther story is mainly focused on T'Challa and his rise to the throne in Wakanda. As he attempts to do what's best for his nation, he meets an old adversary responsible for the death of his father. No one has ever been able to infiltrate Wakanda, but this old enemy is attempting his best to throw T'Challa and the rest of the nation off their feet. It was truly captivating. I loved the plot. My only complaint is that I wanted to know more about Wakanda and those related to T'Challa. I feel like the writer was so focused on the plot that we missed out on significant character development. I will be reading other versions of T'Challa's origin story to learn more about this unique and exciting Marvel character.

  7. 4 out of 5

    Peter Derk

    Oh man, if you're looking for a Black Panther comic book to read, I'd go with this one. Stuff happens, there's excitement, and there's just enough backstory to make sense of everything. This one delivers where the Coates book was a little bit of a letdown. Namely, I was introduced to the characters, the situation, and Wakanda like I didn't already know what was happening. Most of us probably occupy that space when it comes to the Panther, and if that's you, this is the book. The art is also by t Oh man, if you're looking for a Black Panther comic book to read, I'd go with this one. Stuff happens, there's excitement, and there's just enough backstory to make sense of everything. This one delivers where the Coates book was a little bit of a letdown. Namely, I was introduced to the characters, the situation, and Wakanda like I didn't already know what was happening. Most of us probably occupy that space when it comes to the Panther, and if that's you, this is the book. The art is also by the amazing John Romita Jr, one of my all-time favorites. That guy kicks ass. The art in the new book was also very good. I give the edge to Romita, but what can I say, the dude is in my top 3.

  8. 4 out of 5

    Sam Quixote

    This is an excellent jumping in point for those (like me) who don’t know the character of Black Panther in the Marvel Universe at all. Reginald Hudlin (director of House Party) scripts a pretty decent introduction to the character. He’s like Captain America but for Africa, and dresses all in black sans shield. Unlike most superheroes who are vigilantes, Black Panther is the leader of his fictional African country Wakanda which is a self sustaining nation that is far more technologically advanced This is an excellent jumping in point for those (like me) who don’t know the character of Black Panther in the Marvel Universe at all. Reginald Hudlin (director of House Party) scripts a pretty decent introduction to the character. He’s like Captain America but for Africa, and dresses all in black sans shield. Unlike most superheroes who are vigilantes, Black Panther is the leader of his fictional African country Wakanda which is a self sustaining nation that is far more technologically advanced than Western nations, let alone African nations (they even have a cure for cancer!). But people want what they don’t have and many have tried to invade Wakanda’s borders for years. Partly because the nation is so rich and is sitting on a massive oil deposit it refuses to mine, Black Panther and his government come under fire from mercenaries and greedy plutocrats looking to exploit this isolated yet deadly nation. Well written with lots of action, “Who is the Black Panther?” is a fine introduction to a somewhat unknown Marvel character. This edition also includes two Fantastic Four issues from 1966 where Black Panther made his first appearances.

  9. 4 out of 5

    Michelle Morrell

    A stylized story of attempted invasions of Wakanda and the $h!t that rains down on the misguided fools that attempt it. My first Black Panther story, not my last!

  10. 5 out of 5

    Labyrinth Rossiter

    I was surprised at the vehemence of some of the bad reviews on Goodreads. Some people really don't seem to like the writer, Reginald Hudlin, or this depiction of Black Panther at all. After reading the first 6 or so books, I understand their feelings, but I have to disagree overall with an easy dismissal. On the downside, this book is politically charged. Some sensitivity to race issues is to be expected with an African-American super hero, but there's an overall depiction of a world that is run I was surprised at the vehemence of some of the bad reviews on Goodreads. Some people really don't seem to like the writer, Reginald Hudlin, or this depiction of Black Panther at all. After reading the first 6 or so books, I understand their feelings, but I have to disagree overall with an easy dismissal. On the downside, this book is politically charged. Some sensitivity to race issues is to be expected with an African-American super hero, but there's an overall depiction of a world that is run by greed and power, symbolized by America and the Church. America kowtows to big business aka Haliburten, and they use Klaw's invasion of Wakanda as an excuse to inv...help Wakanda using recycled zombie soldiers. People who lack good character in these books spout anti-French sentiments. It is pro-French. Wakanda is held up, in this world, as a place of Enlightenment. Someone very caught up in their Conservative world view is likely to get angrier and angrier while reading. The paramaters of the universe will interfere with their enjoyment of the story. They'll likely say, "There is no story," because they can't see one. However, this series was written to please a young, black, liberal audience. It is "translated" into their language and aimed to fit their views as a demographic (Marvel hopes). As readers, whether we agree or disagree with Hudlin's world view, we can accept it, much the way we accept the "rules" in Tolkien's or any other author's universe, for the sake of the story. Once one has accepted the parameters, the story elements can be better appreciated. T'Challa is a role model. The Black Knight best acts as his foil. The Black Knight commits villainy in the name of God while T'Challa as "The Panther God" acts as a role model, and after saving a young boy, reminds him that he is only human and that God works through him. The villains represent countries who have colonized Africa as well as African leaders who take advantage of their own people. As the Panther races off to find Klaw while his cousin is in danger, we see that he does, indeed, have potential weaknesses, and is not a static character. The two points that I couldn't put down though were, "Be cool, man. Be cool." from an African native ages ago. It felt more like dudes on a corner than ancient Africa. Also, the Black Knight's Pegasus poops on Cannibal's pretty hat. POTTY HUMOR? SERIOUSLY? I still plan to read more of the series. I look forward to reading about Black Panther's relationship with Storm. Since I haven't read any Panther before, I'd also like another writer's take for comparison.

  11. 5 out of 5

    Alazzar

    I should have listened to the warnings. I decided recently that I wanted to give Black Panther a shot, mostly because I thought he looked cool. (Hey, this reasoning worked with Daredevil--couldn't it work again?) So I did some research to figure out which book I should try first, and, unfortunately, this one definitely wasn't at the top of most lists. But it's one of the few my library system happened to have, so it's what I went with. Reviews I'd read before diving into this book seemed to be rat I should have listened to the warnings. I decided recently that I wanted to give Black Panther a shot, mostly because I thought he looked cool. (Hey, this reasoning worked with Daredevil--couldn't it work again?) So I did some research to figure out which book I should try first, and, unfortunately, this one definitely wasn't at the top of most lists. But it's one of the few my library system happened to have, so it's what I went with. Reviews I'd read before diving into this book seemed to be rather divided about its authoer, Reginald Hudlin. Some people thought he was good. Some people thought he stunk. As it turns out, the second group was right. For starters, the rumors are true: Hudlin's dialogue is terrible. Like, legendarily bad. And his version of "wit" is, without exaggeration, about as clever as something that's stupid. (That last part was my attempt at some Hudlin-style writing. I think I failed, on account of not being terrible enough.) And as if the dialogue wasn't retarded enough, the Wakandans (Black Panther's people) aren't exactly doing anything to endear themselves to the reader. I mean, this is a nation so technologically advanced that they've cured cancer . . . and they won't share that secret with the rest of the world, because they think we're not "spiritually advanced" enough yet. So I guess all the non-Wakandan people of the world get to keep dying of cancer, just because Wakanda is full of assholes. The story (which isn't very good, by the way) is followed by a three-page note from the book's writer, Reginald Hudlin. He goes on and on about how Black Panther is the most badass superhero out there. It's total fanboy ranting and raving, and it somehow made me hate both the Panther and Hudlin even more. When I went to the library to pick up some Black Panther material, I got two books. This one makes me want to not even try the second. Good work, Mr. Hudlin.

  12. 5 out of 5

    Eric

    A nice reintroduction. Good Art and Story. Perfect, no. Overall a good vehicle to discuss colonialism with comic tropes. High brow? Hardly.

  13. 5 out of 5

    Jwchef196

    A thrilling book of stuff i didn't know about the black panther. Amazing artistic work too!

  14. 4 out of 5

    Shannon Appelcline

    I was excited to read the v4 Black Panther with art by JR jr, but this volume was just a mess. The characterization was the worst. Everett has become a character-less stooge. If those were the Panther's Beloveds (and I'm not sure, they were two warrior women who never got explained), then they lost all their character too. The Black Knight is some sort of religious zealot. And Klaw is retconned into an assassin-for-hire?? However, the focus is also quite bad. In short, the Black Panther is almost I was excited to read the v4 Black Panther with art by JR jr, but this volume was just a mess. The characterization was the worst. Everett has become a character-less stooge. If those were the Panther's Beloveds (and I'm not sure, they were two warrior women who never got explained), then they lost all their character too. The Black Knight is some sort of religious zealot. And Klaw is retconned into an assassin-for-hire?? However, the focus is also quite bad. In short, the Black Panther is almost never on screen. The first issue passes by with no appearances from the Panther, and he's not much better in the later issues. Unsurprisingly, he doesn't get much characterization either. There were a few redeeming points, like the backstory in the first couple of issues (even with the Klaw retcons) and the great art. But overall this book become more and more boring the more I read, in large part I think because you don't connect with any of the characters. It wasn't exactly painful to read, but I was ready to put it down by the end

  15. 5 out of 5

    Jimmy Williams

    I read all kinds of books. One thing that has been true and remains true is some of the best stories are told through comics. I have to be honest though my opinion of this collection is completely bias. Black Panther is the greatest black super hero of all time (That ain’t hard to be in here but still). That was a little House Party reference because Reginald Hudlin wrote this collection and..... Nevermind At any rate Vol. 1 introduces you to the Black Panther and also Wakanda. The art is dope a I read all kinds of books. One thing that has been true and remains true is some of the best stories are told through comics. I have to be honest though my opinion of this collection is completely bias. Black Panther is the greatest black super hero of all time (That ain’t hard to be in here but still). That was a little House Party reference because Reginald Hudlin wrote this collection and..... Nevermind At any rate Vol. 1 introduces you to the Black Panther and also Wakanda. The art is dope and the story is cool. My one problem with this comic so far is the lack of comedy. Great comics IMO have the ability to deal with serious issues, have amazing action scenes but at the same time make you laugh by interjecting comedy.

  16. 4 out of 5

    Brent

    I liked this a lot more than I thought, in large part due to some great art by J.R. Jr. and Klaus Janson, great colors by Dean White. Thought I had read it years ago: perhaps it was only a chapter or two I read then. Mostly successful as a reintroduction of T'Challa with key villain Klaw.

  17. 4 out of 5

    High Plains Library District

    As a comics nerd, people will often ask me which books to read when a new movie comes out. So, with Black Panther's release, I wanted to recommend this one. Why? Because this book does a decent job explaining the origin of the nation of Wakanda and the Black Panther. It gives you enough backstory, plus a more-than-decent, very comic-book-y Black Panther tale. This book isn't the one that dives the deepest, and it's not nearly T'Challa's first appearance, but it's got a good summary of what we nee As a comics nerd, people will often ask me which books to read when a new movie comes out. So, with Black Panther's release, I wanted to recommend this one. Why? Because this book does a decent job explaining the origin of the nation of Wakanda and the Black Panther. It gives you enough backstory, plus a more-than-decent, very comic-book-y Black Panther tale. This book isn't the one that dives the deepest, and it's not nearly T'Challa's first appearance, but it's got a good summary of what we need to know up to the story's beginning, and then it gets right down to business. After reading this one, you'll know whether or not you're interested in more Black Panther. And there's some trivia that goes along with it. The book is penned by Reginald Hudlin, who got his start directing music videos for artists like Heavy D, then directed House Party. He also directed Boomerang starring Eddie Murphy, which is a criminally underrated romcom (though it's not one to watch with the kids at home). He was a big wheel at BET, made more features, and was a producer on Django Unchained. Overall, a guy with a pretty interesting, varied body of work. And I might go so far as to say this Black Panther book is some of his best stuff. ~Peter

  18. 4 out of 5

    Shaun Stanley

    Who is the Balck Panther collects issues 1-6 of Black Panther by Reginald Hudlin and John Romita Jr. This fourth volume of Black Panther serves as a new starting point for the character. Klaw has put together a team of mercenaries to invade Wakanda. Black Panther must fight off this surprise battle from his nemisis and his father's murderer. I picked up a ton of Black Panther comics in ComiXology from a sale earlier this year. I have read a few issues of the Black Panther over the years and enjo Who is the Balck Panther collects issues 1-6 of Black Panther by Reginald Hudlin and John Romita Jr. This fourth volume of Black Panther serves as a new starting point for the character. Klaw has put together a team of mercenaries to invade Wakanda. Black Panther must fight off this surprise battle from his nemisis and his father's murderer. I picked up a ton of Black Panther comics in ComiXology from a sale earlier this year. I have read a few issues of the Black Panther over the years and enjoyed them so I am excited to learn more about the character. This first volume was a good jumping on point but not much really happened. I found very weird that Rhino was in this arc. He felt very out of place. My only issue with this volume was JR JR's art. It isn't as bad as is now, but still not good. Every character he draws looks like they are carved out of wood and they all have the same features. Luckily he is only on the first arc.

  19. 4 out of 5

    Richard Gray

    A quick read as an entree to the film screening tomorrow. The first issue gives a pretty good short overview of the history of the character, although the rest of the arc spends far too little time answering its own question. Meandering off through US politics, mercenaries, and hitherto unknown factions, the finale builds towards an army of undead cyborgs. Really. The main reason this has landed on so many "essential Black Panther" lists is undoubtedly John Romita Jr's art, which is brutally flu A quick read as an entree to the film screening tomorrow. The first issue gives a pretty good short overview of the history of the character, although the rest of the arc spends far too little time answering its own question. Meandering off through US politics, mercenaries, and hitherto unknown factions, the finale builds towards an army of undead cyborgs. Really. The main reason this has landed on so many "essential Black Panther" lists is undoubtedly John Romita Jr's art, which is brutally fluid, panelled for rapid-fire action, and casts T'Challa as every bit the hero he deserves to be. Bonus points for the appearance of a technologically modified Batroc.

  20. 5 out of 5

    Tasha

    Enjoyed reading about a developed African country not willing to share their technological advances with uncivilised Western countries.

  21. 5 out of 5

    Sarah

    Oh yeah, I’m really excited for the movie!

  22. 4 out of 5

    AceNici27

    The introduction of Wakanda and Black Panther Very interesting. This begins the storyline which was the basis for the first movie

  23. 5 out of 5

    Andrew

    A very enjoyable read! It's interesting to think about Black Panther as a character while reading this volume which re-works the original story, which originally appeared in the Fantastic Four series during the 1960's. Here, Black Panther has an origin story all his own, and a powerful one at that. Black Panther, also named T'Challa, is the leader of a sovereign African nation, Wakanda. Wakanda is home to powerful technology beyond the imagination of man. Black Panther's rule is stable and prospe A very enjoyable read! It's interesting to think about Black Panther as a character while reading this volume which re-works the original story, which originally appeared in the Fantastic Four series during the 1960's. Here, Black Panther has an origin story all his own, and a powerful one at that. Black Panther, also named T'Challa, is the leader of a sovereign African nation, Wakanda. Wakanda is home to powerful technology beyond the imagination of man. Black Panther's rule is stable and prosperous. In the meantime, Klaw, a supervillain assassin who killed the last Black Panther, T'Challa's father, prepares his army for an invasion into Wakanda. The story is driven forward by this conflict, and T'Challa's desire for revenge. A slight gripe I have with this book is that it, in a way, struggles to answer the question its title asks; "Who is Black Panther?" but all we get is a rather general overview of who he is. A colossal amount of time is focused on the villains of the story, who, yes, play an important part in Panther's origin story, but take away from the character. There doesn't seem to be much to say about the character of T'Challa/Panther. He's questing for revenge, he's a wise ruler, a great man; there isn't much growth. It feels as though the Black Panther character represents his home nation of Wakanda, rather than who's behind the the mask. He's the symbol of wisdom and innovation in the continent of Africa. And maybe that's the point of the volume. Who is Black Panther? He's Wakanda. (This really isn't something I can be mad about, just me wondering. I thought about giving this book four stars on this count, but realized it never truly detracted from my enjoyment of the book.) The Volume is strengthened by its bonus portions; the letter from Reginald Hudlin, writer of the the volume, explaining his love for the character, and his desire to write a Black Panther story. This was neat, and insightful. But more importantly is the original two issues from the Fantastic Four in which the Panther made his debut. This shows the strength of the character by contrast; it tells a similar story as we see in the "Who is Black Panther" volume, but doesn't need the white heroes to tell his story. At the core, what we have is, as Hudlin notes, the coolest black superhero in the game. Sure, there is the Green Lantern John Stewart, or Cyborg, or Blade, but none of them are as historic, or frankly, badass, as Black Panther. This volume is an excellent introduction to this character, and an excellent read.

  24. 4 out of 5

    Dani

    I'm a huge Black Panther fan. He's certainly in my top 5. And why not? He's a total badass and Wakanda is all kinds of awesome. The scarcity of BP comics around where I live is one of the primary reasons I just signed up for Marvel Unlimited. I'd been dying to read this comic for years and immediately dug in. I gotta say, it was a bit disappointing. My issue is the writing. It had a couple gems in there-actually in hindsight, those were all name drops of other Marvel characters (which almost alw I'm a huge Black Panther fan. He's certainly in my top 5. And why not? He's a total badass and Wakanda is all kinds of awesome. The scarcity of BP comics around where I live is one of the primary reasons I just signed up for Marvel Unlimited. I'd been dying to read this comic for years and immediately dug in. I gotta say, it was a bit disappointing. My issue is the writing. It had a couple gems in there-actually in hindsight, those were all name drops of other Marvel characters (which almost always makes me smile). But the majority of the dialogue comes across as awkward and sometimes flat out cringeworthy. Some of the scenes and transitions felt very abrupt and disjointed too, not to mention some events I swear were shoe-horned in just to set up for something later on. Don't get me wrong, I'm all for setting up future story arcs, but it should still fit into the current events. Before now I haven't had much access to comics, so I'm not too familiar with the writing standards yet. Imagine my relief to read other reviews criticizing the writing for being sub-par. I think a big part of why I gave this three stars was because it's not the worst comic I've ever read but also not the best by any stretch of the imagination. I didn't hate it, but I didn't love it either. It was okay, but I think T'challa and Wakanda deserve a better intro than this. I'm going to keep reading because, like I said, Black Panther's one of my favorites, but dear lord please let the writing get better.

  25. 5 out of 5

    Austin

    I've been trying to get into Black Panther for months, and this collection finally did it for me. A brief summary (no spoilers!): T'Challa usurps his uncle as the Black Panther, political, spiritual, and military leader of the African nation of Wakanda. Mercernary Ulysses Klaw (grandson of a Belgian colonist), the man who murdered T'Chaka, former Black Panther, strikes a deal with a coalition of villains--they will invade Wakanda, kill the Black Panther, and open it's untapped resources to the W I've been trying to get into Black Panther for months, and this collection finally did it for me. A brief summary (no spoilers!): T'Challa usurps his uncle as the Black Panther, political, spiritual, and military leader of the African nation of Wakanda. Mercernary Ulysses Klaw (grandson of a Belgian colonist), the man who murdered T'Chaka, former Black Panther, strikes a deal with a coalition of villains--they will invade Wakanda, kill the Black Panther, and open it's untapped resources to the Western world. Meanwhile, the America government (a neutral party, though eager to be allies with Wakanda for said resources) evaluates the risk Wakanda proves to its interest and considers its own options for invasion. (Summary over!) Aside from the writing, which is kind of cheesy and awkward at times, and the art, which I actually quite liked, this collection also provides a great criticism of African colonization and the current state of Western colonialism/imperialism. Black Panther, at his heart, is a character built from a narrative of colonization, and Wakanda's reputation as having never been conquered in it's history provides the perfect opportunity to ask: what is the legacy of colonization in Africa? What if a nation resisted and rose above all colonial efforts? To that end, Black Panther is also a great work of Afro-futurism, a genre that I hope for the series to fully embrace in the future. A new run written by Ta-Nahesi Coates just started up, so here's hoping we see some Afro-futuristic influences there!

  26. 5 out of 5

    Phillip Berrie

    Almost 3.5 stars because I have a soft spot for heroes that operate at human levels of power. With this re-imagined version of the Black Panther I saw some interesting parallels with Lee Falk's Phantom character. Both of the heroes are based in Africa and both are personae, the role of which is taken up by the individual in their family best suited for the position. Also, a lot of the power of the character is based on the legends of past exploits (i.e. very few local inhabitants will ever go up Almost 3.5 stars because I have a soft spot for heroes that operate at human levels of power. With this re-imagined version of the Black Panther I saw some interesting parallels with Lee Falk's Phantom character. Both of the heroes are based in Africa and both are personae, the role of which is taken up by the individual in their family best suited for the position. Also, a lot of the power of the character is based on the legends of past exploits (i.e. very few local inhabitants will ever go up against these characters because they have been brought up to fear them). I liked this approach and think it suits the character and legend of the Black Panther well. Things I didn't like. I didn't like the re-imagining of Klaw, the leader of the bad guys. This is not a spoiler as the character was so unlike the Klaw from the Fantastic Four and who was involved in Secret Wars that the author may as well have invented a new character from scratch. Which leaves me asking the question, why didn't he? I also didn't like the nature of the involvement of the US in the climax. It made little sense and should have had ramifications seen in other titles, but instead it meant next to nothing in the story. Your mileage may differ.

  27. 5 out of 5

    Xhale

    What started off as a really amazing depiction of Wakanda's military and economic prowess, ended in an ill-contrived cluster of mediocrity. The set up was terrific, but the defenses of present day Wakanda weren't nearly as impenetrable as shown in T'Chaka's regime. In fact, it was non-existent. And there was nothing to indicate how advanced the city has become since then. The writing really went downhill after the 2nd issue. I'm also not a fan of Klaw, but I favored Priest's interpretation of th What started off as a really amazing depiction of Wakanda's military and economic prowess, ended in an ill-contrived cluster of mediocrity. The set up was terrific, but the defenses of present day Wakanda weren't nearly as impenetrable as shown in T'Chaka's regime. In fact, it was non-existent. And there was nothing to indicate how advanced the city has become since then. The writing really went downhill after the 2nd issue. I'm also not a fan of Klaw, but I favored Priest's interpretation of the character more. And the motivations of his allies lacked merit. I did however love the art despite loathing the look of T'Challa's suit. The illustrations are transcendent in my opinion whether modern or silver age and that's what I favor about JRJR's style. I loved the racial connotations and the political overtones of this series, although some may oppose Hudlin's portrayal of American government values. I personally do not. This would have been a fantastic origin point for someone new to Black Panther; unfortunately, as the story progresses, everything else falls flat. Worst of all, "Who" the Black Panther is seemed to have gotten lost in the crosshairs.

  28. 5 out of 5

    Silas

    My experience with the Black Panther is largely limited to where he has shown up in other comics, and this is the first of his solo books I have read. I more or less knew his origin story, though his powers have always been somewhat ill-defined. This did little to help with that, and just depicted him as an isolationist ruler with little regard for the outside world surrounded by corrupt counties trying to take advantage of him and his country. There are zero likable characters presented here, a My experience with the Black Panther is largely limited to where he has shown up in other comics, and this is the first of his solo books I have read. I more or less knew his origin story, though his powers have always been somewhat ill-defined. This did little to help with that, and just depicted him as an isolationist ruler with little regard for the outside world surrounded by corrupt counties trying to take advantage of him and his country. There are zero likable characters presented here, and some pretty strange changes to existing characters (I am not a fan of how they changed the Black Knight, which is a character I have enjoyed in the past, and the changes to Klaw are just strange). Somehow, the Black Panther presented here is even less likable than the one in the Illuminati New Avengers where he is literally preparing to blow up the Earth. It also features an artist whose work I have never enjoyed. Perhaps this will get better later on, but this is not a good start.

  29. 4 out of 5

    Nick

    While Reginald Hudlin's "Who is the Black Panther" isn't the best Black Panther story I've ever read, it's also not half-bad either. My biggest kvetch about the story is that it doesn't really explore T'Challa's character much at all. Instead of focusing on the Black Panther, the story focuses on Wakanda as a whole. That said, this book is really good at world-building. We get to see Wakanda at various points in history and see how the modern-ish world (it's not crystal clear where this story tak While Reginald Hudlin's "Who is the Black Panther" isn't the best Black Panther story I've ever read, it's also not half-bad either. My biggest kvetch about the story is that it doesn't really explore T'Challa's character much at all. Instead of focusing on the Black Panther, the story focuses on Wakanda as a whole. That said, this book is really good at world-building. We get to see Wakanda at various points in history and see how the modern-ish world (it's not crystal clear where this story takes place in Marvel continuity) relates to it. It also features a number of classic Marvel villains: the Rhino, the Black Knight, Ulysses Klaw (pre-uh, ...pinkification) and my favorite, Batroc the Leaper. The villains, to me, are entertainingly written and easily the best part of the book. Add to all that John Romita Jr.'s art (I'm a fan), and this is a pretty decent volume, though by no means essential reading.

  30. 4 out of 5

    Takeia

    This was my first foray into comic books (graphic novels?) and I am glad I started with the Black Panther series. I love the way that Wakanda becomes a sort of utopian African nation, the type of nation that could happen were it not for colonialism. I love the discussion of social issues like racism, imperialism, sexism, patriarchy, and the pressure that gifted Black people feel when we seemingly (and in the Black Panther's case, in reality) have to carry the weight of the world on our shoulders This was my first foray into comic books (graphic novels?) and I am glad I started with the Black Panther series. I love the way that Wakanda becomes a sort of utopian African nation, the type of nation that could happen were it not for colonialism. I love the discussion of social issues like racism, imperialism, sexism, patriarchy, and the pressure that gifted Black people feel when we seemingly (and in the Black Panther's case, in reality) have to carry the weight of the world on our shoulders. The graphics are amazing and the dialogue was pretty funny after I became accustomed to the straight-to-the-point writing of comic books. I really enjoyed this book and I plan to read the entire series in time for the 2017 major motion picture release of the Black Panther film. It's about time we see Black people hold leading roles as superheroes and as people that all children can look up to.

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