Dave Galanter
December 1st 1969 - December 12th 2020
He was loved.

Black Panther >> View Post
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Subj: New Avengers, New Black Panther, New Black Power???
Posted: Tue Apr 30, 2013 at 12:31:28 pm EDT (Viewed 274 times)

Hickman's Black Panther as depicted in Fantastic Four #s 607 & 608 and New Avengers # 1-5 was a much needed redirecting of the Black Panther from the path of impotency and irreverence due to the irrelevancies occurring in Defenders #7 and the debacle that was Avengers vs X-Men. Hickman posits a formidable Black Panther.

While Tchalla has been given a new title, a new power, a new base of operations and some new equipment, I don't see Hickman's Black Panther as new as much as I see the incorporation and expansion on some of Black Panther's existing themes and that is a good thing if they remain cannon and are unchanging in achievement or effect over a period of time.

Appointing Tchalla the King of the Dead (I assume only the Wakandan dead) is a dubious attempt at replacing his title as King of Wakanda. It is not a failed effort and Hickman certainly has time to flesh it out...but the throne of Wakanda was something unique to Tchalla.

Crowning the Black Panther King of the Dead may be exciting but it supplants an essential and iconic element of the Black Panther; that being his inheritance of the throne, thus the political responsibilities and global ramifications of possessing such. It is akin to taking Superman's ability to fly and replacing it with teleportation.

Endowing him with the ability to access the accumulative knowledge of his ancestors is something Tchalla should have been able to do all along. Ancestral communication is an Afrakan trademark. Priest first demonstrated Tchalla's inseparable bond and ability to commune with his ancestors in issue six of his run.

I'm not sure if Hickman was demonstrating Tchalla as having hyper speed (something I imagined akin to Marvel's Ultimate Alliance 2 Black Panther) or not, but it looked good.

I hope Hickman can stabilize the Black Panther's place of residence, business, headquarters and secret base. Tchalla has been moving around a lot over the past few years. the Caves of Bast, the Nowhere Room, Hell's Kitchen and now the Necropolis at Wakanda. I thought the Royal Palace and the Techno Jungle were more than adequate if exploited to their full potential.

The force shield and teleportation device are both welcomed and logical additions to one who is a prep master. The cloaked phasing effect was long over due. I used to hate how the Hatut Zeraze were shown phasing but not the Black Panther. I appreciate Hickman's inclusion of the morphing costume, energy dagger and vibranium as well.

Consistency has often been one of Tchalla's greatest opponents. During Hudlin's run Tchalla confronted Doom on two occasions. Once with an armor and once without. Nuff said. One time uses or editorial lapses delete Tchalla's credibility and lend themselves to the deus ex machina effect.

If Hickman wishes to avoid the faux pas of some of his predecessors he better up Tchalla's battle strategies. Having the Black Panther jump on the back of the cosmic powered Terrax only to be swatted off like a minor annoyance does not bode well. It would have been better played if Tchalla suggested everyone fall back (without the short lived obligatory fisticuffs) and let Black bolt do his thing.

In the future Hickman should demonstrate the Black Panther's genius in solo efforts comparable to or surpassing the other members of the Illuminati Personally I think Stark's Dyson Sphere was more impressive than the reverse engineered bomb it took both Reed and Tchalla to construct. Subjective I know, however Starks presentation outclassed them both.

And I shall attempt to refrain from discussing the fact that the Illuminati has been and is primarily comprised of white men. I guess no women of any race qualified for an invitation. Tchalla should have had Shuri represent him, thus killing two “minority” birds with one stone.

If Tchalla has any problem with Black Swan it should be that she gave the order that resulted in the death of 3 Wakandan children... unnecessarily I might add. If you want the Black Panther to appear bad ass his force shield should have protected the “Makers.” Not to mention the fact that Hickman could have written it so that Tchalla could have successfully teleported the children to the safety of the city. Since he didn't do either, he would definitely hold her accountable. Last and probably least, how does Black Swan get away with sitting in the Black Panther's Bast throne seat?... and without so much as a curt glance from the King. She doesn't hold membership.

It is most important that Tchalla follow through on his threat to Namor. If he does not kill him, which is more than likely the case, the Black Panther should brutally demonstrate the severity of his threat by decisively beating Namor within an inch of his life. Remember the Red Skull's broken jaw. Remember the Skrulls who attempted to infiltrate and colonize Wakanda. If Hickman really wants to show off the Black Panther: next issue show Tchalla humiliating Doom in some significant way. For example by having Victor burn in his armor via the nanites Tchalla infested Doom's castle with when the New Avengers were there. Revenge is a dish best served hot.

Hickman's success in writing the Black Panther lies in his subtly introducing what I term the Panther Effect. Originally introduced by Kirby, deftly mastered by Priest and often dismissed by too many writers; the Panther Effect is demonstrating the intelligence, powers, resources, prowess and attitude of Tchalla the Black Panther in a consistent, organic manner that would logically manifest in a given situation

Hickman like Priest, Hudlin and all his predecessors should be given the necessary time for character development and engaging story telling. So far he has written an entertaining tale that has both super-heroics and depth. Hickman has sown strong seeds for an emblematic rendering of the Black Panther, true to his potential... again only time will tell.

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