Fangirling over Coates’ Black Panther #1

BB&GT RECOMMENDATIONS(1)


blap2016001_dc11-0-0Last night, my boyfriend and I walked into our neighborhood comic book store (shout out to Alliance Comics) with seven minutes until close. We’d been there a few weeks prior to pick up the hip hop variant cover of Deadpool, which is our new coffee table book. Yesterday’s trip was a much more targeted strike– this time, it was Black Panther release day. I can’t possibly tell you how cool I felt opening it on the train, y’all.f60cee3a3e6acf256a1ba1b580b75473

For those unfamiliar with Marvel’s Black Panther, he’s the preeminent black superhero. Bar none. He’s not a new character, so check out the short-lived television series that featured voices such as Jill Scott, Alfre Woodard, Kerry Washington, and Djimon Hounsou. Yet another character created in part by Stan Lee, he made his first appearance in the 1960s, which is no small statement. Get to know the character now, because he’ll show up in the newest Captain America: Civil War film, which will lead up to his feature film in 2018.

After a couple years of unparalleled success, you’re undoubtedly familiar with The Atlantic’s Ta-Nehisi Coates, who is the lead writer for this iteration of the series. Unsurprisingly, Coates is able to use current events to bring the Black Panther some degree of modern relevance.

Titled “A Nation Under Our Feet,” he and illustrator Brian Stelfreeze evoke imagery of political struggle originating in Steven Hahn’s Pulitzer-prize winning piece of the same name. While this first issue largely serves to set up the story for future editions, it still gives a glimpse of the struggle to come. For a primer, I’d recommend WIRED magazine’s write up of their interview with Coates. Lots of great insight on his motivations for writing Black Panther.

Don’t be intimidated if you’ve never read comics, or if (like me), you’re more of an occasional reader. Black Panther is written and drawn for mass appeal, featuring graphics that are striking but easy to follow, and a wealth of background information throughout. There an incredible amount of attention to detail, which shows in things like the women’s athletic– in contrast to the obscenely busty–  bodies (read more on that here), and the questions Coates poses about a monarchy’s obligation to its people.

Pick this up now– don’t wait on Amazon, which won’t be shipping until the bound copies are out in September. Waiting until the fall means you’ll miss out on the interactivity of tweeting and emailing with Coates and fellow Black Panther readers, which adds to the experience. Instead, support small businesses and ask for them at your local comic book stores.

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This was me, staring at the copies on the shelves.

I love superheroes because they constantly question the role and responsibility of the individual, and the obligation of a citizen to their world or country. It’s a great question that each superhero seems to address differently. Have you EVER been into comics books, or are you more into the films? Let me know who your favorite super hero is in the comments below! Clearly, y’all know mine. 😉

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22 Comments

  1. […] Fangirling over Coates’ Black Panther #1 […]

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  2. I can’t wait for this one! I’m waiting for the trade, as I’m curbing my comixology to two subscriptions only (currently taken up by Ms. Marvel and All-New All-Different Avengers, which includes Ms. Marvel). I’ve been following the news and reviews on Black Panther, though, and it’s definitely getting me excited to pick it up when I can!

    My favourite superhero is, of course, Ms. Marvel 😀

    Liked by 2 people

    1. I want to read Ms Marvel so badly! Im told that its not too deep that I can’t get into it now

      Liked by 1 person

  3. I feel like I was the last person to learn about Alliance Comics. I had no idea it was there.
    I wasn’t sure if I’d get Black Panther or not because I usually don’t read superhero comics but I’m so curious about the story and art.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. I remember going there back when I was in high school a decade ago! Its a great place that I ignored throughout college until my brothers began to get interested, too. Then I became the cool big sister

      Liked by 1 person

      1. 🙂 I didn’t know it was there all that time. I used to walk on that road to Montgomery College and Negril and never noticed it was there…probably because I wasn’t interested in comics back then. I like how big it is. There’s a pretty cool comic store in Dupont too called Fantom Comics but it’s small.

        Liked by 2 people

      2. Fantom is great! I went to their Halloween party last year and it was PACKED. Its a super cool place, but I love how quiet Alliance is. Almost like a regular book store

        Liked by 1 person

      3. Yea! That’s so right. It is like a bookstore. Fantom is fun. I like asking the sellers for recommendations. They get so excited when I do that and then I end up buying more than I want to.

        Liked by 2 people

    2. And I really wanted to get it to support Coates. But you could always wait for the compilation on Amazon!

      Liked by 2 people

  4. Ahhh I so want to read this one, but I will have to wait until the bound volume makes it all the way over here. Might be the perfect time to check out the previous Black Panther comics.
    I’m still trying with superheroe comics but not very good at them, mostly because I don’t know the backstory of all the interrelated superheroes and am often lost and also some that I tried were way too much into US nationalism for me or the representation of women was horrible.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. I completely understand the US Nationalism thing. If that’s the case, you’ll definitely want to check out some of the things tht they have on Panels, because there are lots of non-nationalist superheroes that they talk about on that site. There are also lots of web comics as well, that you won’t have to wait on Amazon for. But also, Black Panther might be just for you. It’s not set in the US– it’s sent in fictional Wakanda, which is in Africa. So there’s a lot less of the American dynamic from that standpoint, even though Wakandans do interact with Americans from time to time. I’d also check out both for different female characters. Panels has a lot of feminist friendly characters that they discuss, and Black Panther has so many strong female (sometimes even lesbian) characters that sometimes are even fully clothed (lol).

      Liked by 2 people

      1. Thanks for the recommendations 🙂 I love Panels and We Are Wakanda and I should really check out more superhero webcomics. Cause my library rarely purchases comics so I wouldn’t have to worry about acess. For ex still waiting for them to acquire Kamala Khan! Haha yay for female characters that get pants!

        Liked by 2 people

  5. I love shopping at comic book stores, but I’m an occasional reader. I’m not a big superhero comic person, but my favorite right now is Ms.Marvel. Kamala Khan is awesome! I usually like superhero films a bit better.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. I think I’ve become a bit more current because I have 10 and 15 year old brothers. They know I used to like comic, and they oftentimes rely on me for backstory for the movies (and explanations of the after-credit scenes). I’ve heard such great things about Ms. Marvel! Is it too far into the series for me to catch up?

      Liked by 2 people

      1. No, I don’t think so. I think there are only 4 volumes out at the moment?

        Liked by 2 people

  6. Ah, wish I could read this but I’ll be waiting a while! I have no idea when it would come out in Germany.

    Liked by 2 people

  7. YESS MARVEL AND COMICS ❤ Black Panther is such a cool character deserves to be noticed!

    Liked by 2 people

  8. I’m not a huge superhero fan either, but I’m excited for this. I feel like his introduction to the Avengers has been a LONG time coming, can’t wait!

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Such a long time coming! I’m really excited, and hope it lives up to the hype!

      Liked by 1 person

  9. I’m picking it up this weekend. 😀

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Yay! It’s a little slow at first, but that’s necessary. The art is so sleek, too!

      Liked by 1 person

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