You Should be Reading the Black Panther

Seriously. You should be. For those that don’t know Black Panther is a comic book published by Marvel Comics. It’s about an African King named T’Challa that rules a fictional country called Wakanda. Traditionally the king of this country takes the title of Black Panther and wears the ceremonial costume of the panther. Which looks cooler than it sounds. But ultimately this makes him a super hero as the costume is made with a special metal unique to Wakanda. This metal is called Vibranium. To those that are up on there Marvel Comics history will know that this metal is 2nd only to Marvels other fictional metal Adamantium. Not to mention that the Black Panther is a skilled combatant, tactician, and all the other stuff that makes him a great ruler. I’ll let you search Wikipedia for a more detailed explanation of this stuff.

But my point is the lasted volume of Black Panther books being published is pretty cool. It’s written by Reginald Hudlin. Movie buffs will recognize him as the director of Boomerang (yeah, where has he been?) starring Eddie Murphy and Halle Berry way before she won the Oscar. Not only that but he has breathed new life into this character. Truth be told I always thought the Black Panther was a cool character just not necessarily cool enough to warrant his own book. But, damn, if this book hasn’t been one of the most interesting, action packed, and funniest books I read on a monthly basis (mostly, it probably actually comes out ever 4 to 6 weeks, roughly, publishers are much more flexibly these days about what constitutes a monthly series). Eleven issues in and it’s just as interesting (and probably more action packed) than it was when it first started. Even the tie-in to the ‘House of M’ story line was good considering... (only avid comic book readers even know what that is). Never the less you got to give props to a brother that can come up with an effective and unique way to take down Apocalypse (again avid comic book readers...) even if it didn’t involve him getting his hands dirty, per se.

The latest issue involves T’Challa and Luke Cage (aka Power Man) fighting off a group of ninjas. There is also a brief a appearance by The Falcon, Shang Chi and Han (formerly Fu Manchu). Not only is it action packed it’s pretty damn funny too. The following are a few of the lines that I thought were funny (though probably funnier in context):

Luke: Do you know how many good times I had on that couch? I had the Black Cat on that couch!
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Panther: ...to offer me your daughter is quite an honor.
Luke: And not the fugly daughter either. She is fine.
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Luke: This woman is insanely beautiful... and I bet Han wasn’t lying about her abilities to please her man. Could it hurt to go out on a date with her?

So next time you are at a book store be on the look out for Black Panther. Pick up an issue and you might be pleasantly surprised. I mean in this day and age what comic is going to give you this much ethnic diversity in one issue? Let alone one featuring an African king...