Rise of Black Panther #2 Review
Coffin for Head of State Book 2 of 6
Written by: Evan Narcisse (Consultant: Ta-Nehisi Coates)
Penciled by: Javier Pina
Colored by: Stephane Paitreau
Lettered by: VC’s Joe Sabino
Cover and title page by: Brian Stelfreeze
Welcome again to the wonderful world of Wakanda, home of the respected, feared, wealthy, intelligent, and powerful King T’Challa, the Black Panther. If you desire proof of any of these accolades for our hero, this book is the book for you! Narcisse introduces you to the Black Panther’s origins from his childhood to the early years as king and servant to the Panther Goddess Bast. Always at the center of a Black Panther story is the culture, people, land, and the sacred resources of Wakanda and the royal person protecting it. This story is no different.
Previously on The Rise of Black Panther…
In the previous issue that I did not have the opportunity to review, we were brought along a beautiful history of T’Challa’s parents and then a fantastic and gut-wrenching re imagining of Klaw v. T’Chaka from Fantastic Four #55 by Stan Lee & Jack Kirby. It was beautiful to look at, read, and feel fully.
Narcisse’s debut as a comic writer reads like a seasoned take on the Black Panther and his ethos. It is like Black Panther: Year One or Black Panther Begins. This issue also tackles the points of T’Challa’s origin that have been less visited, the tragedy of his mother’s death, and the victory of claiming the mantle. These stories may have been mentioned, but now we are now seeing it in brilliant 2018 living color. I loved everything about this book; the bold presence and sense of action of T’Challa, the introduction of characters we know, and the subtle nods to the future of Wakanda, are artfully done. Also, I always love a good mystery.
Something interesting for these Black Panther books that happens in some others as well is the creative placing of panels and the color and frustration on the faces of various characters are stark. Further, I feel the suspense and see the connection to the overall Wakandan world. I also appreciate the conflict T’Challa is having with his uncle, his country’s isolationist culture, and even the way his father ruled and maybe the new ways he may need to rule. I’m sad it will end in 4 issues.
This book is very good. I know it’s weird; I’m starting at #2, but I’m new here so give me a break. I love this history. I love the reworking and bridge-building and I think it helps having some continuity with Coates as a consultant. The Sound and The Fury can learn from the way this book is operating. External issues are forcing Wakanda out of its proverbial shell. This is only the beginning.
Decidedly, this series is a great start for new readers to see Black Panther and the foundation of his character.