Earning the Crown (Black Panther #14 Comic Review)
Black Panther #14 Review
Book 3: Two Thousands Seasons
Written by: Ta-Nehisi Coates
Penciled by: Daniel Acuña
Lettered by: VC’s Joe Sabino
Cover Artist: Daniel Acuña
Variant Cover Artists: Carlos Pacheco, Rafael Fonteriz, & Marcio Menyz
Previously on Black Panther…
We are in the final stretch. The Maroons have an intense plan to take out N’Jadaka once and for all. It’s risky and M’Baku reluctantly agrees but not before he has to deal with a more technical issue. Since T’Challa and his memories have returned he’s not acting very kingly. T’Challa is sure about one thing and that is he needs to find home, Wakanda-Prime. At the expense of the good ship Mackendal’s energy, he has the sensors searching the galaxy for a signal to Birnin Zana, the Golden City. This prompts a battle between M’Baku and T’Challa, just before the signal gets a hit.
I said this on Twitter. This is probably the most challenging comic I review. I don’t say that tto disparage it but to say that it forces me to think hard about what I’m reading and what I’m looking at. This issue has some beautiful panels, not seen since the beginning of the relaunch. Acuña is in rare form. The bright colors of light blues, pinks, yellows, oranges, and greens on the black background is magnificent. The battle between the ships of the rebels and the empire give me serious Black Star Wars vibes. I love that.
At various times, I’ve struggled with our story of T’Challa in space but now the stakes are higher. The lives of thousands are on his shoulders but this time it isn’t Wakanda-Prime on Earth but it’s the slaves of 5 galaxies under the heel of the Emperor N’Jadaka. All of this while at the same time, T’Challa hears about the recent peace in his kingdom at home. If you read Coates’ run before the relaunch, you would know that Wakanda has gone through some turmoil with the Dora Milaje and the common people. But he has the balance this new peace his obligation to the rebels. He struggled with being stripped of his memory, a Nameless, along with the death of colleagues like N’Yami along the way. This is an intriguing conversation.
Ultimately, introduction to a new world has been interesting, but I miss the more grounded stories with Storm, Shuri, Ramonda and the other Wakandan characters. But I think T’Challa’s intent is for there to be an all-out war which I’m interested in seeing. But I will say, my favorite part was Bast and her contribution to the battle. I’m still here for the story but I’m ready for more commingling between the two Wakandas and I hope the action keeps coming.
Summary This action packed issue is as beautiful as it is exciting. While T’Challa talks things over with his family on Earth the Mackendal is warring with the Empire’s warships. Explosions, lasers, evacuations, and an angry Emperor. Check out the mayhem and the beautiful colors in this issue of Black Panther, pick it up today!