Black Panther #22 Review
Book 4: Wakanda Unbound
Written by: Ta-Nehisi Coates
Penciled by: Daniel Acuña & Ryan Bodenheim
Colored by: Daniel Acuña & Chris O’Halloran
Lettered by: VC’s Joe Sabino
Cover Art by: Daniel Acuña
Variant Cover Art by: Kaare Andrews
Previously on Black Panther…
The war is getting intense as the symbiote emperor N’Jadaka’s armada is on it’s way. We learn more about the background of the galactic Nakia and her history with the late Commander N’Yami. As well, N’Jadaka is having some turmoil with the symbiote and the body he inhabits. Tension is felt all around and a great sacrifice is made to buy time before the galactic forces breach the gateway toward Earth.
I enjoyed this issue but not as much as the last issue. First, I am glad that we return to a T’Challa focused issue but with one minor annoyance. The art is awesome as T’Challa battles his royal ancestors. The color and the action pieces are some of the best of Acuña’s work. It’s use in the Djalia portion makes the section ethereal. I also enjoyed the combination of Bodenheim’s art for the beginning and end. The art is much more anchored and lines finer within N’Jadaka’s ship. Also, I enjoyed the shift to T’Challa. I enjoy the cast of characters and their entertaining reactions to the larger plot and subplots. Unfortunately, the supporting cast focus often makes T’Challa’s story take a backseat. As I said, the battle sequences are graceful and entertaining. However, the flaws he must answer to, are very familiar. From the previous run to the point of his memories returning, T’Challa questions his leadership. The King must sacrifice a lot to “be the nation,” very similar to his father T’Chaka. But how much can T’Challa suffer? How many times and to whom next, will he have to prove his leadership capability? What saves us from this redundancy is the outcome. The turn and twist that results from his victory gives us an incredibly memorable line. “We have discovered nothing, but we remember everything.” It echoes what happens in Djalia, the ancestors knew T’Challa is a champion as well as a king, and they must humble T’Challa by remembering his missteps. As well as T’Challa reminding them who he knows he is. That is king. In the last few pages, the whole issue is saved and Coates does it again.