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

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Subj: I look forward to the Annual
Posted: Wed Nov 21, 2007 at 08:38:26 am EST (Viewed 1 times)
Reply Subj: BP Annual #1
Posted: Tue Nov 20, 2007 at 09:20:56 pm EST

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> The irony of the situation is that the book almost seems to be in a self-imposed exile from the rest of the MU whle the characters of Storm and Black Panther seem to be very important and apart of the rest of the MU in other books; whereas in the past Black Panther was in an editorial segregation from the rest of the MArvel universe while in his own book he was very much apart of the larger universe.

I hadn't thought of that, but yeah. It's funny that for all of Hudlin's hype about making T'Challa a major player, it's almost entirely OTHER writers that have given him anything consequential to do.

> With that said I look forward to the 2008 Black Panther Annual. Hopefully we start getting back to new storylines initiated earlier this year concerning tension within and without the Wakandan government.

I saw that Annual solicitation today and it didn't exactly enthuse me:

It’s 2057 and the Watcher’s prediction came true: Wakanda is an Imperial Power steering the course for humanity’s future. As T’Challa prepares the next Black Panther for the great responsibility ahead, he must first reflect on the road traveled–a long and winding journey filled with surprises.

Firstly, maybe I'll be proven wrong, but that doesn't sound like much of a story plot. It sounds like the issue is going to have a bunch of little What If stories set in the future, without an actual core plot. A lot like what Brad Meltzer did in Justice League of America #0. Which was a really bad comic book, in large part because it didn't have a core plot beyond "The Big Three talk about stuff."

By contrast, the other major Future BP story, "The Once and Future King," put the story first, with there being an independent plot involving the characters in their future setting, and left the 'What Happened Inbetween' matters as secondary.

Secondly, if "the next Black Panther" means the one who follows T'Challa, I wonder if the issue will address how T'Challa has managed to retain the BP title given the methods set out in BP #2. T'Challa has managed to make it to at least 75 years old, successfully defeating every person who fought him every year? And how can he be advising "the next Black Panther"? Is he planning to throw a fight?

Hopefully, the answer is simple: T'Challa eventually realizes that choosing a political leader through martial combat is a remarkably stupid means of election for an advanced nation, and ended it. One can just hope that he replaced it with a more democratic means of selection, and didn't opt to institute some kind of antiquated hereditary succession (as "the next Black Panther" might suggest).

Thirdly, hopefully the issue will also explain how a notoriously isolated and xenophobic nation like Wakanda somehow dumped all that and adopted imperialism within a 50-year period.

And if it turns out that 2057 Wakanda has adopted both imperialism AND a hereditary monarchy under T'Challa, I'll be rather disappointed that a nation that is supposed to be highly advanced has instead become increasingly politically backwards.

Because I like Black Panther and he is not in space/other dimension. That said I didn't even care for the "Once and Future King" plot. Sure it was a story in and of itself but painted a very grim view of T'Challa and his reign and verged on nihilism. I don't necessarily need a happy ending but damn. This is a hero comic and all that Priest succeeded in doing was supporting the notion that T'Challa and Wakanda are truly self-destructive.

My problem with The Wakandan mythos to date is that no author has truly considered ramifications of Wakandan politics as a viable alternative to notions of a democratic republic. You mentioned, no critiqued the annotated notions of rule used by Hudlin in the book but in truth Priest did not fare much better except of course for the fact that PRiest actually -discussed- it. Prior to that BP was simply a ruler chosen to fight by martial combat. Also it should be noted that martial combat is not the only means of succession as his uncle since Kirby's run inherited the crown from his brother. It was only Priest that ever made the distinction between king (automatic hereditary rule) and chieftain aka the Black PAnther (symbolic? rule of the tribes, won through martial combat).

At this point I hope that an -Ultimate Universe- depiction of Black PAnther be considered. Hereditary could be important and logically explained through the use of the sacred root that only those of a ceratin bloodline could ingest (and not die). Priest ingeniously established that. Using martial combat is not a problem IF it is shown that the competitors are trained from birth to be competent leaders. In reality the American educational system functions in this manner although it technically is a "free" system open to anyone. Though it maybe "free" and there are those that may "slip through the cracks" so to speak, the fact remains that there are obstacles and filters established that specifically target those that would be future leaders and those that will be janitorial workers. George W. Bush is a prime example of this.

My point is that if martial combat were the final task to complete among a group of competitors who had all past previous and rigorous mental competency tests then there is no reason that it could not be a viable tool in determining the new ruler. Hudlin's version of the task belitted it by having an obviously large, physical competitor whose literate skills were called into question. Priest's version of the task was also a bit confusing and misguided IMO particularly with a difference established between "king" and "Black Panther." I think Kirby handled it the best when it showed the fight to be a Battle Royale without and secondary commentary on the other contestants. Being vague was good.

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