Black Panther #4 Review
Book 1: Many Thousands Gone part 5
Written by: Ta-Nehisi Coates
Penciled by: Daniel Acuna
Lettered by: VC’s Joe Sabino
Cover Artist: Paolo Rivera & Daniel Acuña
Variant Cover Artists: Maxx Lim; Joe Jusko
Previously on Black Panther…
CAUTION, major spoilers for Black Panther #4
The battle continues between the Maroons and the Galactic Empire of Wakanda as the rebels seek to restore the memories and personhood of the Nameless. This battle, like many in such a war, has an severe casualty. The rebels had to fall back because the combination of the powerful Empire agent, Manifold and his accompanying forces were too much. In the retreat, the leader of the Maroons, General N’Yami was shot down, leaving the leadership of the resistance to M’Baku.
Coates slows things down a little bit this issue. It has a little less action but by no means less compelling. I love a good fast forward. Expect the unexpected with this book because we’ve done just that with a five year jump in this fifth issue. I think chasm in time is represented well in the chasm between T’Challa and Nakia. There’s definitely something missing or rather a barrier for them to get closer to each other. This issue also has its fair share of reveals for not us but for the characters themselves, particularly T’Challa. In his search for his memories, there are definitely some things that were right in front of his face. His memories are connection to his whole self and without them, he can’t quite go on. This issue was rife with issues of mental health, suicide, masculinity, wholeness, love and longing, and resistance. We could teach a class about this issue alone. Culminating in N’Yami providing one final word via a saved disc on her suspicions who T’Challa really is. His coming to terms with this significant truth, bring him to tears.
This issue is a highlight in the series so far. The art is stellar. The colors still pop with the blacks, purples, light blues, greens, and browns. And the expressions on the characters faces capture the anguish, the longing, and the fervor that I feel in the topics addressed in the story. I could not imagine this story being told in any other way or with any other artist. The interplay between the words and the art make me want more, like now. I think as well, clarity around who T’Challa is can be complimented by reading the Shuri mini-series, see me review here.