A team of rebellious slaves fighting the Wakanda Empire for the independence that has been long lost. A maverick spirit learns a lesson in the importance of teamwork. Defiance of a king will have dire consequences.
BLACK PANTHER #2
Writer: Ta-Nehisi Coates
Artist: Daniel Acuna
Lettering: VC’s Joe Sabino
Cover Artist: Daniel Acuna
Publisher: Marvel Comics
What You Need to Know:
Thrown 2000 years into the future, an extension of the Wakanda has grown into an aggressive empire enslaving their own people. Once “Nameless” with a forgotten past, now T’Challa named by the rebels called the Maroons. This newly formed team uses the Black Panther legend to seek redemption of what has been lost to them and their people.
What You’ll Find Out:
This second issue of the “The Intergalactic Empire of Wakanda” continues the possible buildup for a civil war in space. As members of a rebellion movement, T’Challa, Nakia, and M’Baku are leading the Marron pilots to a concerted attack on a Wakandan military base called the Shango Array. The Empire’s fighters strike back that outnumber the rebels and Nakia, as the tactical leader, orders to retreat. However, the egotistical T’Challa disengages protocols, defies the direct order and continues to take down the fleet station on his own without expectations of back up.
T’Challa pilots his Zulu fighter with such skill of weaponry operations and flight maneuvers as if he and the plane were one. The mission was successful, even though T’Chall’s arrogance almost gets him killed. The Maroons retrieved and delivered the cargo to their chief, N’yami. She uncovers the contents and introduces the M’Kraan Crystal.
News of the attack and loss of the powerful gem has been brought to the attention of Lord N’Jadaka. The Emperor suffocates the counselor who failed his king and orders the execution of everyone within the unit.
What Just Happened?
Coates’ talent continues to shine in Black Panther issue #2, as he takes well known Marvel mythology and simultaneously adds to the cosmic world-building, or should we say, galaxy-building. He creates a futuristic “reality” that reflects “Star Wars” and “Battlestar Galactica” theme and articulates well with Wakanda’s legends. This storyline follows what we learned from issue #1, based on a vibranium mining slave who has claimed the name T’Challa. Through the haze of his stolen memories, and faint images of a woman that resembles another Marvel icon, Ororo (Storm), T’Challa carries his frustration and fights along with fellow rebels known as the Maroons to regain what was lost.
Coates ends this issue with two major bombs, the revelation of Empower N’Jadaka and the famous M’Kraan Crystal! Next, to the Infinity Stones, this gem is the most powerful artifact in the Marvel Universe. X-MEN fans are well familiar with the stories that surround this pink crystal.
I can almost feel my neurons sparking through pondering the possibilities where Coates will take this arc. Are we going to be re-introduced to some more Marvel characters, such as the guardian; Jahf? Will the Maroons take use the M’Kraan Crystal to seek an alternate reality? Has there been a disruption in the timeline that will reveal Emperor N’Jadaka as the descendant of Killmonger who in this reality killed the original T’Challa and took the throne? Coates intriguingly demonstrates the intellect of storytelling and taking the M’Krann Crystal that could be “the end of all that is”.
Though Coates’ plot is mentally exhilarating, Daniel Acuna is like a star aligning “The Intergalactic Empire of Wakanda” story. His understanding of motion and pacing perfectly provides the kind of skill to enhance this story. His explosive colors demonstrate the kind of excitement and beautiful back backgrounds as if it were a science fiction action movie.
Final Thought: The costume designs, construction of action sequences, and plot by this creative team seem effortless as they effectively establish a fascinating fresh Black Panther story.
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