I purchased this because it has Jack Kirby material. Nevertheless, the entire book is quite a treat for comic book fans. The book may be divided in three periods. The first period is when Kirby returns to Marvel. As usual, Kirby’s artwork is explosive. His comics follow the tendency of intertwining plotting with art in Kirby’s inimitable manner. Under Kirby, the Black Panther moves from one adventure to another, and accompanied by supporting characters such as Mr. Little and Princess Zanda. A time machine, a humanoid from the future, a forbidden samurai land, a pair of mobsters, a vibranium-controlled usurper to the throne of Wakanda, and a mad scientist are plotted into the Panther’s journey, each issue connecting to the next the way Kirby was doing with the Demon and Kamandi, back in DC. During this period, Kirby conserves his explosive style of story-telling and illustrating.
In spite the fact that Kirby is inimitable, EdHannigan and Jerry Bingham and Peter Gillis and Denys Cowan succede Kirby at writing and illustrating new stories effectively albeit their style is realistic and more modern. Under Hannibal/Bingham, the Panther goes to New York as ambassador of Wakanda with a desire to open his country to the world. He meets the Avengers, fights Klaw along with Captain America, Vision, and the Beast; and then he confronts a racist organization while recovering his memories of his past. During this period, the Panther coexists in the real world, and references to Cyrus Vance and Andrew Young attest to the fact that the writers attempt to make the Panther more connected to society and more relevant. There is another story where the Panther fights a racist villain with the aid of Storm.
The last 4 issue collection shows a quite interesting story because the Panther fights apartheid while the panther’s spirit has been lost. Written in the late eighties, it’s issue is quite relavent: apartheid. The story is quite unique; it attempts at explaining why if a hero as the Black Panther exists, how could he possibly ignore such an injustice as apartheid happening in a neighboring country. Although South Africa is never mentioned, the reference is very clear. Of all the stories, this one is the most political one.
Anyhow, this is a great volume to have on the Panther. None of these stories lets you down if you are a Panther fan or a Marvel fan.
- Paperback: 456 pages
- Publisher: Marvel; 1 edition (9 April 2019)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 1302915428
- ISBN-13: 978-1302915421
- Product Dimensions: 16.8 x 1.9 x 25.8 cm
- Boxed-product Weight: 685 g
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- Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 79,181 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)