In my previous Omnibussin piece, I charted the ways Marvel could collect Black Panther’s comics from the mid-70s to the mid-90s in omnibus format. It was a complex process, despite T’Challa not having too many comics to his name back then… or perhaps because of it! With the entire piece dedicated to that era, I promised I’d return to cover the modern material, which is—as is often the case—quite a bit easier. As I teased last time, however, though modern collections tend to focus on a single author or run and are thus much more easy to envision, there are a few surprises left.
The release of 2018’s Black Panther was a bit of a surprise hit for Marvel Studios. One good reason we know that is that the publishing arm of Marvel did not bother to prepare a single hardcover collection in time for the film’s release—something they’ve begun to do for all of their movies. Marvel vowed to do better next time around, and they have: where once there were no Black Panther omnibuses, now three have been released in a span of a few months, just before the release of the much-anticipated sequel, Black Panther: Wakanda Forever. And another one’s on the way! But Black Panther has a long comics history, so these don’t even begin to cover all his adventures: what omnibuses are left? What will they contain? That’s what we’re here to find out!
The gang reviews Black Panther: Wakanda Forever! Spoilers follow!
T’Challa and and the legacy of Wakanda is continued by Ta-Nehisi Coates in his recent Black Panther series. Being his first shot at writing a comic book, Coates was determined to provide a lush, vibrant story that would ensnare leagues of veteran fans and newcomers to the series. He also proved to stay authentic to T’Challa’s background and story by featuring Klaw, Luke Cage, Ororo Munroe and countless others into his arcs. Themes surrounding colonial theft, xenophobia and the struggles to stay autonomous within an increasingly ‘globalized’ world are discussed within the series.
It is vastly important for Wakanda to have a collective memory and purpose outside of the Western gaze. While Don McGregor did a considerable job with T’Challa, it is evident that when dealing with culturally diverse characters, it is best to have a person who is of that culture to spearhead the character’s development. While some dismissed it as a promotional tool to ramp up interest in the Black Panther film by director Ryan Coogler, Coates proved that he is a writing force to be reckoned with. In his run of Black Panther, we receive a more nuanced idea of what T’Challa’s reign as a King is. The strife, the complications, the love interests, the cultural context – are perfected with Ta Nehisi’s flawless sociopolitical insight. Here are some highlights of his amazing run. [Read more…] about Ta-Nehisi Coates’ Black Panther Retrospective
The Black Panther franchise has seen its popularity soar since the cinematic adaptation hit theaters in 2018. The newest installment into the Epic Collection, Panther’s Prey revisits Don Mcgregor’s 1988 work of the same name, Panther’s Quest (Marvel Present #13-#37) and the spackling of Black Panther micro appearances in SOLO Avenger’s #1, Marvel Fanfare (1982 #60) and Fantastic Four Unlimited #1. After Panther’s Quest, the collection features Black Panther in a series of standalone appearances. In The Vanities of Philip Whitehead, Black Panther teams up with Hawkeye against Plant Man.
Don McGregor and Billy Graham are partially responsible for Black Panther’s ascension to the mainstream masses at a time where most superheroes were white men. Billy Graham had previously worked on Luke Cage, and McGregor was one of the few writers of his day who had an interest in telling a great Black Panther story, so when the two met it was a match made in Wakandan heaven. The two created the now legendary Jungle Action series, which delved into T’Challa’s life more than any other series had done at the time. [Read more…] about Black Panther: Panther’s Prey Epic Collection Review!