Black Panther #15 Review
Book 3: Two Thousand Seasons
Written by: Ta-Nehisi Coates
Penciled by: Daniel Acuña
Lettered by: VC’s Joe Sabino
Cover Artist: Daniel Acuña
Variant Cover Artists: Ryan Benjamin & Rain Beredo
Previously on Black Panther…
The armada of the Emperor of Galactic Wakanda, N’Jadaka faces off with the Maroons to retrieve his Bast-possessed daughter. Meanwhile, the rebel legion plan to blow
away the emperor and his horde as he gets close to the planet Agwe. The evacuation of the planet population has to be cut short because time has gotten away from them and this is their only chance to topple the empire. Wakanda’s true king with a recovered memory reunites briefly with his family and it’s about time he returns home.
Acuña tricked me. The cover beautifully illustrates this celebratory moment where T’Challa, the lost King, triumphantly returns home. I think that concept fuels the swerve that this issue ends with. Just when you thought the battle was over, it is not. The story is the opposite of rejoicing, it’s brooding. Acuña skillfully paints the pages dark and full of shadows. When tone matches art, I can’t get enough. Coates has had us on a roller coaster with this relaunch from the beginning. It moved with action and beautiful strokes and few words to an all-out war for the memories of the Nameless. Now that the battle is “over” and T’Challa is returning home, the end is bittersweet. T’Challa starts with having the awkward break-up with Nakia, him not quite accepting that he even needs to return since there’s been so much peace in Wakanda Prime, and him not even enjoying his reunion with Ororo to take a call with Manifold to check-in.
“I am not there yet.” – T’Challa
It is an interesting twist that although the King’s memory has returned, he can’t quite go back to the way things were before he left. According to T’Challa, he can’t get over the TRILLIONS (yes, with a T), that are still without names and without a proper leader. I guess the reward of wading through the silence and confusion of the first issues to now to make T’Challa an even more thought-provoking character. He has always been tethered to responsibility that he was born with but now, it’s even more than that. I guess that’s why they say, “Ignorance is bliss.” T’Challla obviously knows too much about the horrors N’Jadaka wreaked on those galaxies. The twist is a half suprise. I knew it couldn’t have been over but Coates perfectly placed the reveal. I’m waiting for more!