Essential Comics for Marvel’s Black Panther

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If you're looking for the essential marvel comics to read for Black Panther then look no further. With his first solo movie just over a month away, its time to revisit our Character Corner episode that goes through the history of the first black super hero in mainstream comics. T'Challa made his live action debut in Captain America: Civil War but the importance and interest in the character goes back much further. 

In this episode, we break down what exactly Wakanda is and how progressive the writing for both Wakanda & T'Challa was even back in the 60's. Black Panther was given the spotlight in the Jungle Action series where he even took on and fought the KKK. The last 90's saw a new revival for T'Challa when Christopher Priest took over for Black Panther Volume 3. Looking back, this run is very problematic (it's a bit hotepy and the depiction of women/little girls is bad), but it represented a huge shift in how Black Panther & Wakanda were represented. This is the run that hooked a lot of people on the character of T'Challa and the concept of Wakanda. For all it's issues, Priest did a great job of elevating T'Challa to basically being Marvel's Batman while expanding on what Wakanda really was. As problematic as the depiction is, credit also has to be given to Priest for introducing the concept of the Dora Milaje. 

Priest's run redefined Black Panther and subsequent writers just built on that. Reginald Hudlin's run on Black Panther has moments that fall flat but also provide some significant changes to the character. For good or bad, Hudlin retcons the history of T'Challa and the X-Men Storm so that Ororo is the "one true love" of T'Challa. Personally the Storm/T'Challa marriage was poorly thought out, unnecessary and executed. But Hudlin also introduces us to Shuri, T'Challa's sister and eventual successor as ruler of Wakanda.

Our episode goes into further details with each of these series and more. We go into  T'Challa's relationship with the other rulers in the Marvel Universe: Namor, Black Bolt and Doctor Doom. The rivalry between Doctor Doom & T'Challa takes the character to the next level. 

Like I said, we cover a lot. So give it a listen.

Comic Issues:

  • Fantastic Four #52 - First appearance of Black Panther (T'Challa)
  • The Avengers #52 - Black Panther joins the Avengers
  • Jungle Action #5- #24 - First feature with Black Panther as star
    • #6 - First appearance of Erik Killmonger
    • #19-24 - Black Panther vs The Klan
  • Black Panther vol 3 - Christopher Priest
  • Black Panther vol 4 - Reginald Hudlin 
    • Bride of the Panther Issues 14-18. Marries Storm in issue 18
  • Black Panther vol 5 - Reginald Hudlin
    • #1 - first appearance of Shuri
    • #10-12 - Prelude to Doomwar
  • Doomwar - Doom takes over Wakanda in order to steal the vibranium
  • Fantastic Four #608 - Becomes "King of the Dead"
  • Avengers vs X-Men #9  - Marriage to Storm annulled
  • Jonathan Hickman's Avenger's run has some great Black Panther Moments
    • New Avengers Vol 3

      • Issue 7 & 8 - Wakanda & Atlantis go to war
    • Avengers (2012) #40  - T'Challa "kills" Namor
    • Secret Wars
  • Ultimates - Al Ewing
  • Black Panther vol 6 - Ta-Nehisi Coates

 

 

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