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Rise of the Black Panther #1 Review!

Jambazi Jondee here at Azania,

The Black Panther movie is around the corner on February 18th and Marvel Comics is bringing readers and new fans up to speed in the Rise of the Black Panther comic. The first issue sports a cover by artist Brian Stelfreeze and a movie variant cover. “The King at the End of Everything” is written by Evan Narcisse with art by Paul Renaud. The writing is dense and I got lost a few times. The premise of the story is journals written by N’Yami, the mother of T’Challa, to her son. It opens with a splash of Captain America choked by the clawed hand of the Black Panther in a forest. This Black Panther is Azzuri, the grandfather of T’Challa, he was introduced in Reginald Hudlin’s Black Panther #1 (2005). This encounter was in Black Panther/Captain America Flags of Our Fathers #1 (2010). The two battle with the Howling Commandos surrounded by the Black Panther’s men. They face Warrior Woman, the Super Soldier formula enhanced super villain who was introduced in Invaders #16 (1977). Baron Strucker from Hydra slips away from the battle that unites Captain America and Black Panther. Captain America stays in Wakanda and Azzuri gives him a chunk of vibranium that he will use to form his shield in exchange for keeping the existence of Wakanda a secret.

This shifts to T’Chaka’s time as the Black Panther, World War 2 has ended with the help of Captain America and his shield. He was played by John Kani in Avengers: Age of Ultron and will be in the Black Panther movie. T’Chaka goes to check on his scientist, N`Yami, whom he calls “Smarty Yam.” She recounts that T’Chaka heard about a woman who was working on the vibranium and has her work as a scientist researching it. T’Chaka admires her ease around people in the villages. T’Chaka marries N’Yami in an epic ceremony while the Black Panther takes on warriors on Challenge Day to defend being the Panther. N’Yami later announces her pregnancy. The peace is kept in Wakanda by the Black Panther, a man M’Demwe from a neighboring country, conspires with Baron Striker. The invading Hydra soldiers find their weapons disabled by Wakanda jammers. Strucker has his ichor tank destroy the jammers. The Black Panther sends in Bashenga units wearing jet packs and throwing electrified spears into the turrets of the tank. The Black Panther plunges the last spear and destroys the tank!  Considering how much Hydra has troubled Wakanda, the Black Panther takes a breather from taking the fight to Strucker.

The victory is bittersweet since the queen is sick with some unknown illness. The Wakandan doctors can’t help her so T’Chaka contacts Howard Stark. He offers vibranium in exchange for Stark’s “bio-enhancement infusion” to save his wife. A Wakandan agent, Andebah, is sent to New York and meets with Agent Gabriel Jones who is a former Howling Commando. Hydra soldiers attack and Andebah manages to fly away, but the plane is destroyed. N’Yami dies giving birth to T’Challa and the king goes into mourning. The young T’Challa goes missing and the Dora Milaje warriors have lost him in the rain. T’Challa of course grows up to be played by Chadwick Boseman in the movie. He is brought back by Ramonda. In the film, she is played by Angela Bassett. She picks up the narrative and explains that she left South Africa. Ramonda stays to help raise T’Challa and marries T’Chaka. Ramonda recounts giving birth to T’Challa’s sister, Shuri, the character played by Letitia Wright. At a ceremony in honor of fallen warriors, the mercenary, Ulysses S. Klaw attacks to take the vibranium. He has found Wakanda from Hydra intelligence and attacks with a sonic weapon. This is of course different from when we see Klaw in Avengers: Age of Ultron. Andy Serkis played Klaw in that film and also in Black Panther. The Black Panther takes on Klaw and we have the beginning of their rivalry. A good intro to Black Panther and his story.

Four Heart-Shaped Herbs out of Five!

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