Mind Capsules – Black Panther #1 and Uncanny X-Men #6

Black Panther #1
Black Panther #1

Writer – Ta-Nehisi Coates
Artist – Brian Stelfreeze
Colours – Laura Martin
Letters – VC’s Joe Sabino

A new era for the Black Panther begins courtesy of Ta-Nehisi Coates and Brian Stelfreeze and as far as first issues go, it is a good one, great even. Coates writes a subtle, yet grandiose tale of a man who is torn, a story that is both contemplative and revealing. The Black Panther, T’Challa, rules Wakanda once more, but it is a Wakanda that he does not recognize. Fear and hate spreads across the land and while it might have been a normal reaction from most of the populace after all the trials that their beloved country has gone through as of late, it has been fanned into a flame by a mysterious woman and instead of rising from the ashes, the people are content to mull within them as they express their rage and hatred outwards. Wakanda is in a state of crisis and T’Challa has no idea how to fix it. Making things just a little bit harder is the fact that T’Challa is both a member of the Avengers and the Ultimates and splitting his time between duties is not doing Wakanda any favours at the moment. Running alongside the main plot is a secondary one involving the Dora Milaje. Like many within the kingdom, even they have fallen prey to the wild emotions that are running rampant and their captain Aneka, has been sentenced to death for the killing of a man. Ramonda, second mother to T’Challa takes no joy in passing judgement or upholding the law, but the Dora Milaje must stand above the rest, exemplars of the nation as she puts it and as such, Aneka must pay. Brian Stelfreeze has outdone himself on this book and produced some of the very best artwork of his career. With a little aid from Laura Martin on colours, Stelfreeze is able to capture the grandeur of Wakanda, the regal stature of its King and the heated emotions of their populace perfectly. Great to see was the fact that the Panther has a new costume, not so much in look as in tech, for now it is not just a simple costume, but a suit that could quite possibly be on par with Iron Man’s. The mask/helmet is an especially good idea as it gives T’Challa an entirely new realm of possible options to use while ‘on the job.’ There are a few more reveals from Coates as the book winds up with an ending that is both surprising and heartbreaking at the same time. When Marvel announced that Ta-Nehisi Coates would be the new writer on a Black Panther title those many moons ago, it was regarded with interest and anticipation and it is good to say that the man has solidly delivered as it finds our hero returned to greatness in a book that works on every level.

5 out of 5

Uncanny X-Men #6
Uncanny X-Men #6

Writer – Cullen Bunn
Artist – Ken Lashley, Paco Medina
Inker – Juan Vlasco
Colours – Nolan Woodward, Jesus Aburtov
Letters – VC’s Joe Caramagna

Cullen Bunn takes the latest issue of Uncanny X-Men and splits it into two tales, the first dealing with Archangel and the second Magneto. The former finds Betsy still trying to communicate with Archangel, to find out if there is some semblance of the man he used to be deep within the seemingly mindless husk that they currently use as a weapon. Psylocke wants Warren to come back but is scared that he will be forever lost and that is why she persists at what she does. Surprisingly, she finally gets that little bit of hope as both Warren and his Dark Angel persona send Betsy a message and it is not a good one. To that effect, she and Magneto head out to investigate said message and what they find is a bit of a shocker. Illustrated by Ken Lashley, the story is a good one and one of the better ones to grace this book as of late. It will be quite interesting to see what happens next after that ending because it could either be good or be very, very bad. The second story drawn by Paco Medina sees a reiteration of the mutants are the enemy conversation that usually pops up in an X-Men book from time to time, specifically focusing upon Magneto until it cuts to him as he spends some time with Xorn, hoping to be healed and made whole. If Xorn can indeed make Magneto’s powers stable from the mess that they have been for the past year or so, it will mean the game has changed and that any enemies he might have had, better be on the lookout. Additionally, there is a little story involving M and Sabretooth who are dealing with the Morlocks and while the book seemed a little short, it only did so as it was split up into separate stories. The first tale was better than the second, but overall, Bunn did a good job of giving us a book that was quite entertaining with the mystery of Angel/Archangel to keep us coming back.

3.5 out of 5

2 replies »

  1. Really enjoyed Black Panther #1, what a brilliant start to the series! Awesome art as well. I must admit I’m not a fan of the new Uncanny X-Men title as all, so I will probably stop reading it. I just don’t like what they’ve done to the book now or the direction it’s gone in. Great reviews, always fun to see what everyone thinks of their new comics on NCBD 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

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