– by Joseph Jammer Medina

Black Panther #1


Ta-Nehisi Coates


Brian Stelfreeze


Brian Stelfreeze, Alex Ross, Olivier Coipel, Stanford Greene , Felipe Smith , Ryan Sook , Skottie Young ,


Marvel Comics




Apr 6th, 2016


A new era for the Black Panther starts here!

Written by MacArthur Genius Grant 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. 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,” who 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 from Ta-Nehisi Coates has everything a first issue should have. It comfortably introduces all the characters in a way that doesn’t feel forced. It presents us to a larger story arc, while also smoothly integrating the smaller subplots, and not once during any of it does it rely on the reader having some deep understanding of a character’s 50 years of backstory. The African nation of Wakanda has always prided itself on its technological advancements and ability to stay isolated from the troubles of the outside world, yet over the past few years one tragedy after the next has struck the small nation. These tragedies mixed with the weakened leadership and absence of T’Challa (The Black Panther) has caused a great amount of unrest amongst the people. It is this unrest that a new mysterious force is looking to use against the current regime and take over the nation. T’Challa must not struggle with regaining the faith of his people while contending with this new homeland terrorist group. That’s a lot for one issue to contain, but Ta-Nehisi does it with ease and is helped by Brian StelFreeze’s beautiful artwork. There is a reason that StelFreeze is given such admiration and, it shows in each and every panel. The artwork is just beautiful and every panel is used to its fullest, driving the story forward perfectly. Without a doubt Black Panther will be a hit for Marvel and one of the top books this year!

Black Panther #1 Page

  • The Hey!: Intriguing tale of a fallen king trying to reclaim the faith of his people, beautiful art, and an incredibly backdrop of Wakanda itself!
  • The Eh: There’s a lot in this issue, and it’s handled very well but it could be a bit much for a brand new reader to take it all in.
  • The What?!: Well, Stelfreeze’s art, plain and simple.
  • Who should read this series?: If you’re brand new to comics and interested in the Black Panther character (thanks to the new movie coming out) this could be a great introduction. Or, if you’re just interested in jumping into a new series that’s not bogged down by too many backstories.
  • Why should you buy this book?: It’s #1, and as stated before is perfect for any reader (old or new) to jump in and start this ride.

Score: A

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Black Panther Cover #1

Joseph Jammer Medina is an author, podcaster, and editor-in-chief of LRM. A graduate of Chapman University's Dodge College of Film and Television, Jammer's always had a craving for stories. From movies, television, and web content to books, anime, and manga, he's always been something of a story junkie.