Black Panther #2: “Many Thousands Gone” Part 2
Written by: Ta-Nehisi Coates
Penciled by: Daniel Acuña
Lettered by: VC’s Joe Sabino
Covers and Title pages: Daniel Acuña
Previously on Black Panther:
Ta-Nehisi Coates introduces us to a new group of characters with familiar names in a galaxy far, far away. Cue the screen crawl. The Wakandan empire is similar but different from it’s African ancestor. In its conquering of the planets, it has mind-wiped and enslaved hordes of people to work in vibranium mines. One slave has flashes of his former life and his former love and it inspires him to fight. He fights his way into the Maroons rebellion force led by alien N’Yami, joined by Nakia and M’Baku. The rebel slave is named after legendary warrior T’Challa.
Either in anticipation of the bevy of questions or because folks are reading reviews, Coates helped us out a bit this time. Especially helpful was the background information and profiles at the end of the issue. Now I can better engage with the story now that some things are clearer. I won’t pretend that everything is crystal, but this helps. I feel like the beginning of this issue gave me A New Hope vibes and T’Challa was Luke in his X-Wing. The art is magnificent, almost psychedelic.
We are also introduced to head of the empire N’Jadaka. I have a lot of questions about him. This again begs the question of how did we get to an empire? What kind of line of rulers has influenced this breed of Wakandans? I think my major gripe is that it plays like scenes of a movie with little exposition and just enjoying the ride. I need my comics to tell me things, drop hints for later, and connect me with people quickly. Coates is doing the exact opposite of everything he’s done before. I am intrigued by the ending and it’s connection to a local empire. So, I’m hanging close, but I need more than beautiful art and action. Like Nakia told T’Challa, “Everyone needs backup.”