Black Panther #12 Review
Book 2: The Gathering of My Name
Written by: Ta-Nehisi Coates
Penciled by: Jen Bartel
Layouts by: Kris Anka
Colored by: Triona Farrell
Lettered by: VC’s Joe Sabino
Cover Artist: Paolo Rivera & Daniel Acuña
Variant Cover Artists: Heyjin Im
Previously on Black Panther…
T’Challa and some of the other Maroons are working alongside Rebels from the planet Agwe and Rebel spy within N’Jadaka’s empire, General Achebe. They have also gotten a hold of the Emperor’s daughter, Zenzi, who is being possessed by the panther goddess Bast. Oh and did I mention that the goddess is pissed? She is ruthless and looking to tip the scales in favor of the rebels against the emperor. N’Jadaka stole the power of the Orisha and Bast plans to return the memories of T’Challa.
One of the strongest aspects of Coates on Black Panther is his interweaving of the history of Wakandan lore. In this issue, we are treated to the remembering of T’Challa. From the home of Wakandan memory, Djalia, T’Challa recovers his memory and he recounts many elders and also his own birth mother, N’Yami. Coates shows us a very different side of our Wakandan King, one of vulnerability, artfully hidden beneath his austere exterior. This is both refreshing and jarring.
They say heavy is the head that wears the crown. This issue shows how the heavy burden brought about his current condition. But there is more to discover about what happened after T’Challa and Manifold left Shuri for space. I love the subtle connections to the Shuri book but can’t wait for the inevitable convergence. I’m not really sold on the side story of Achebe and Farouk’s plan with the M’Kraan crystal but only time will tell. The art is beautiful and eye-catching. The more traditional comic art fits well with the story at this point. Acuna is masterful but the panels and faces tell the story in a way I’m used to.