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Thursday, January 17, 2008

Black Panther Comic Book V1 #01-05 (1977)

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The Black Panther's first starring series was in Jungle Action #6-24 (Sept. 1973 - Nov. 1976), written by Don McGregor with art by pencilers Rich Buckler, Gil Kane, and Billy Graham. One now-common innovation it pioneered was that of the self-contained, multi-issue story arc. Writer Christopher Priest's 1998 series The Black Panther would utilize Erik Killmonger, Venomm, and other characters introduced in this arc.

Immediately following the initial series was the much less well-received Black Panther, written and illustrated by Jack Kirby for 12 of its 15 issues (Jan. 1977 - March 1979), with a corresponding shift in tone from McGregor's lyrical naturalism to Kirby's trademark high adventure. A four-issue miniseries, also titled Black Panther, appeared in 1988, written by Peter B. Gillis and penciled by Denys Cowan.

McGregor revisted his Panther saga with Gene Colan in "Panther's Quest", published as 25 eight-page installments within the bi-weekly omnibus series Marvel Comics Presents (issues #13-37, Feb.-Dec. 1989). He later teamed with artist Dwayne Turner in the squarebound miniseries Panther's Prey (Sept. 1990 - March 1991).

Priest and penciler Mark Texeira revamped the character in 1998, playing up the manipulative side seen in the Panther's first appearance but largely abandoned afterward. Their series The Black Panther, which was under the "Marvel Knights" imprint its first year, earned critical plaudits, but sales of the comic were never high. An experiment for the last 13 issues (#50-62) saw the main character replaced by a New York policeman named Kasper Cole, with T'Challa relegated to a background character, but sales continued to be low. This Black Panther, now the White Tiger, was placed in the series The Crew, running concurrently with the final few Black Panther issues, but this was cancelled with issue #7.

In February 2005, Marvel began publishing a new ongoing Black Panther series, written by filmmaker Reginald Hudlin and drawn by artist John Romita, Jr., with the first arc set immediately after the character's first appearance.

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Black Panther comics - Character biography

The Black Panther is the title given to the chief of the Panther Tribe of the fictional African nation of Wakanda. The Black Panther rules the nation of Wakanda and is also the chief of the various tribes (collectively referred to as the Wakandas) that comprise the nation's population. The Black Panther uniform is a symbol of office and is used even during diplomatic missions. The Black Panther is entitled to the use of a heart-shaped herb that grants the person who consumes it enhanced strength, agility, and perception. The current bearer of the Black Panther mantle is T'Challa, who has had a lengthy career as a superhero, including a longstanding membership in The Avengers. In recent years, it came to light that the Black Panther originally joined the Avengers with the intention of spying on them. This drove a temporary wedge between T'Challa and his fellow Avengers.

T'Challa is the son of T'Chaka, who was the Black Panther before him. In the distant past, a massive meteorite comprised of the sound-absorbing mineral vibranium crashed in Wakanda, and was only recently unearthed. Knowing that other, more powerful nations would attempt to manipulate and dominate Wakanda for this rare and valuable resource, T'Chaka concealed Wakanda from the outside world. He would sell off minute amounts of the valuable vibranium while surreptitiously sending Wakanda's best scholars to university abroad, consequently turning Wakanda into one of the most technologically advanced nations in the world. Eventually, however the explorer Ulysses Klaw found his way to Wakanda, and using lies and subterfuge covered up his work on a vibranium-powered sound-based weapon. When exposed, Klaw killed T'Chaka and many other Wakandans, only to see his "sound blaster" turned on him by a grieving T'Challa, who was then barely a teenager. Klaw's right hand was destroyed, and he and his men fled.

T'Challa earned the title and attributes of the Black Panther by defeating the various champions of the Wakandan tribes. He then studied abroad before returning to his kingship. To prove himself worthy as the defender of his people, T'Challa attacked the Fantastic Four and defeated them in individual combat before revealing his reasons. After making up for the poor first impression with a sumptuous welcome, he persuaded the team to help him battle the returning Klaw. Klaw soon returned as a being made entirely of living sound. T'Challa became romantically involved with the American singer Monica Lynne and began a long association with the Avengers.

The role of Black Panther briefly fell into the hands of T'Challa's rival Erik Killmonger when Killmonger defeated T'Challa in ritual combat, only for Killmonger to fall into a coma upon eating the heart-shaped herb — toxic to anyone outside the royal bloodline, who had a hereditary immunity to its toxic effects.

Although it would have been far more convenient to allow him to die, and thus be unquestionably entitled to the title of the Black Panther, T'Challa preserved his rival's life - causing complications when Killmonmger subsequently awakened. At present, only an uneasy accommodation allows T'Challa to use the ritual garb and title.


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Craig Belcher said...

Good post. Hudlin's run has been reliably readable, but I detest how he erased much of Priest's contributions to the Panther storyline and his tampering with continuity. His stories should have run in an Ultimate Panther title.

Mad Human said...

Nice one , if u have a lot of comics could u uplouad here , please.

Kagan M. said...

Nice Black panther post.
Check out this rap poster I put out - used some info from this blog to verify a few things here and there, so thanks!

Anonymous said...

Loved Priest's Panther. What a smart, wonderful run that was. I would probably appreciate Hudlin's run if not for Priest's work on the Panther. Now the Panther is boring, standard fare.

Soundspot said...

Can you please repost it ? I have a message that says the file is not found, deleted for copyright or something like that...
Even the cover isn't available on imageshack.

I know you said "do not ask for re up" but I have to try.

Machiventa said...

Yeah Soundspot I'll try and find it, then re-up it as a new post.

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