Black Panther: Long Live The King
Writers: Aaron Covington, Nnedi Okorafor
Artists: André Lima Araújo, Mario Del Pennino, Tana Ford
Publisher: Marvel Comics
Trade paperback edition collects Black Panther – Long Live The King #1-6 single issues, originally digital exclusives to Comixology.com. Now sold fresh in comic shops sand bookstores everywhere.
Heavy is the head that wears the crown. As the Black Panther and an Avenger, T’Challa has had to save the world time and again — but those duties pale in comparison to his responsibilities as king of Wakanda. Now, as the nation rebuilds in the wake of revolution, T’Challa finds his people besieged by a massive monster tearing through the country, leaving a trail of destruction in its wake! From acclaimed novelist NNEDI OKORAFOR (Binti, Who Fears Death) and illustrator ANDRE LIMA ARAUJO (SPIDEY, The Wicked + The Divine) comes an adventure set in the world of Ta-Nehisi Coates’ landmark BLACK PANTHER run and told in the Mighty Marvel Manner!
I much enjoyed the Black Panther movie from earlier this year. As for the comics history, I read some of the Christopher Priest run, which I also liked. I also recently started on the Te-Nahisi Coates run, which will take some time for me to finish. The bulk of my Black Panther comics exposure is through guest appearances in Fantastic Four, Avengers and various crossovers.
But seeing the movie, I felt a newfound appreciation of the character of T’Challa. His identity outside the costume, is just as important and responsibility filled as his superhero role. Yet, he continues learning of his role, asking questions while consoling with friends and family to make better decisions, and strengthen his fighting spirit.
Digging into the comics, I stumbled upon this mini-series book collection of Black Panther: Long Live The King, Something felt fresh, with the art and presentation of T’Challa and his world of Wakanda. It felt inviting, with T’Challa drawn as a youthful and expressive man. Diving in, this tugs at the heart of what I found appealing about Black Panther. He accepts the extraordinary responsibility as a ruler of an advanced society, but strives to better himself as a man and hero; to which helps him fulfill his duty.
There are other sides to him, which I think this mini-series presents well.
And within, the story takes place in the hidden African land of Wakanda. Inside is a glimpse of everyday life in different areas, from the King’s technologically advanced city to the rural outskirts exhibiting a humbled approach away from its technology. Each chapter expands the overall mythology and hidden fantasy of Wakanda, making the setting something to marvel at.
I love the art for most of the book (then changes in the last chapter for a different story). It’s different from what I have seen from the other Marvel Black Panther series. The visuals come off as welcoming, light, brightly colored, over a land not under attack (happens a lot over over its long history). No excessive grit and gritty here. Wakanda seems otherwise chill, with regular natives coexisting well.
But there are dangers, and that’s all expected. And, the drama leads to a mysterious person from T’Challa’s past, hidden magic and the return of an old nemesis. Our hero must fight with the help of his sister and friends. With that, the call for action is answered with interesting sequences and great moments for Black Panther fans to appreciate. Then, a last chapter that calls for something different (think of it as a bonus side-story).
Overall, highly recommended for new fans of the recent MCU movie. It’s a great gateway into the comics world, for those less familiar; with much of the drama, humanity and action of the movie. Meanwhile, more dedicated comics fans may feel a little less, as the story is more self-contained and light with little connection to overall Marvel Universe; yet can still enjoy for its different approach. Pick this up, for all readers looking to escape into the land of Wakanda with its fighting king.