Black Panther #13
Written By: Ta-Nehishi Coates
Artist: Wilfredo Torres
Color Artists: Laura Martin & Andrew Crossley
The past 12 issues of Black Panther have been some of the greatest story telling Marvel has had in the past 5 years and well…ever. Ignoring the diversity issues and basic story telling problems that Marvel Comics has struggled with over the past few years, Black Panther has been one of the only titles to survive the constant relaunches that have occurred over that past year alone. It’s mainly due to the fact that the stories so far away from literally everything else that It doesn’t need relaunched. It’s a story in Wakanda. For once T’Challa has a book with no globetrotting with Avengers and it’s only his struggles in his country. Now with the revolution ceased and a new government being established with T’Challa at the helm, new threats arrive, old gods are missing, and old love is rekindling. Is this new chapter in Ta-Nehishi Coates’s Black Panther worth your money? Let’s find out.
The entire story is told from King T’Challa as he has either gotten ready for or has just returned from a date with Ororo Monroe ,also known as Storm of the X-men, and is beginning to tell the elemental heroine about what has been transpiring in Wakanda as of late. Since the new regime has begun, the talks of where the Wakandan gods have been has reached T’challa, throughout all the turmoil Wakanda is gone through, it only makes sense that his people would crave to understand what has happened to the beings that they worship. In the midst of this, portals have begun to open up in the forest and snake people have been entering the kingdom through them…a cat man vs snake people. This’ll be fun to read. So T’Challa, his sister and seemingly new head shaman of the panther clan, they really haven’t explained her new role yet she’s just kind of overpowered mystic woman, and Eden aka Manifold have begun the investigation to figure out what is going on in Wakanda and hopefully discover where the Wakandan gods have gone.
Black Panther #13 is a good introduction to a new arc for this series. The series itself has managed to create a sense of mysticism about Wakanda and show that it’s not all advanced technology based and almost has some egyptian style mythology behind it. They show this by sharing some of the same gods such as Bast, Thoth and Ptah, while also using one of the south African gods Mujaji. It almost gives the idea that Wakanda is the middle junction of all of Africa. Very interesting.
This issue also explores the idea that the idiocy of AvX might soon be rectified. That idiocy being the divorcing of Black Panther and storm because of Namor the Submariner. Ta-Nahishi Coates hinted at this before during the involvement of The Crew in issues 5-8 of this series, but now it seems as if we might finally rectify the mistakes of the past.
This issue is a great jumping off point for old Black Panther fans but not the best for new ones. The old comic reader idea that you can just hop on a book at the beginning of a new arc really doesn’t apply here. The story so far has been so intense that if you jump on now, you’ll be lost. I recommend picking up the trade paperbacks volumes 1-3 if you wish to catch up. The art is good and compliments the story well enough that it doesn’t hurt it, but Brian Stelfreeze’s style is absent here and it worries me that he’s left the title. Other than that, if you have been following this series, keep going, if not, back track in the trades it’s definitely worth it.