Posted - June 15, 2013 | Updated : August 11, 2015
Civil War : Black Panther
I love that each collection under the Civil War banner adds something to the main storyline - making it richer and deeper. Civil War: Black Panther adds the international dimension. After all, the Black Panther, T'Challa, is Wakandan - in Civil War terms an outsider looking in. He's also a newly married man, to Ororo, Storm of the X-Men. Civil War: Black Panther allows us to go with T'Challa and Ororo as they tour "the major global centers of power". In the context of the Marvel Universe that would mean Latveria, Attilan, Atlantis and the United States. Let's go . . .
First stop, Doctor Doom's Latveria.
Ah wait, before that, let's look into the first couple of Wakanda sometime before their "tour". They are spending their honeymoon on an uncharted island the location of which was provided to them by Namor, the Submariner. Look at this panel showing what T'Challa is reading while he is on honeymoon.
I'm a fan of textbooks. I look at them as hardcore knowledge repositories. I mean, I look at a textbook and I ask, what can I do if I absorb all this knowledge? I ask this question all the time but then I get too lazy to 'absorb the knowledge' in the first place.
In order to ensure their privacy, Namor surrounded the island with all sorts of undersea monsters, including this guy.
Monstro I believe is his name? This guy deserves his own entry in The Handbook of the Marvel Universe; he must be in every Atlantean invasion of the surface world - and there have been many attempts. By the way, that fish beside him looks really fierce also.
Now to Latveria.
The meeting with Von Doom leads up to an offer from the good (bad?) Doctor. An offer that is refused.
Well, we've been reading Marvel comics long enough to know what happens if anyone says 'No' to Doctor Doom!
Storm hits Doom with a full on lightning strike.
Black Panther reveals a neat piece of Wakandan technology as he 'armors up'.
Our techies now resort to a little 'my bike is better than yours' conversation.
No surprise that Doom is getting the upper hand over the Black Panther.
Storm, one of he most powerful X-Men, saves the day for T'Challa. Not your typical diplomatic tour is it? Next up: Attilan in the Dark Side of the Moon.
The Inhumans make an offer of transportation to Ororo and T'Challa but they respectfully decline because Wakanda has its own space-capable ship. And what a ship - unlike conventional rockets, the Wakandan craft does not use liquid rocket fuel and internal combustion - 'primitive' technologies - that the Wakandans have eschewed in favor of harnessing Earth's magnetic field. Here is an excellent panel by Manuel Garcia showing the craft with Attilan in the background.
Beautiful plane isn't it? Here's another shot of it.
Some chitchat with Triton, the amphibious Inhuman, I find very interesting.
Soon enough, T'Challa, encounters Karnak (left in the panel below) and Gorgon.
Back when I first read them in Fantastic Four these two where my absolute favorite Inhumans save Black Bolt himself. Gorgon had hooves instead of feet and can create earthquakes by stamping them on the ground. Karnak, best of all, had the enigmatic power of knowing anything's weakpoints - in those FF issues, he was shown cutting giant diamonds with his hands. But those days are gone, these days Karnak and Gorgon have become xenophobic and downright rude. Easy to hate, these two. Oh well, I'll always have those old FFs.
Crystal soon appears and tells the story of how the Inhumans have come to adopt a war footing against the humans. It seems that Pietro, Quicksilver, formerly of the Avengers, has stolen the sacred crystals that create the Terrigen Mists that give the Inhumans their varied abilities.
I don't know the story behind this panel yet but I'll find out. What could Quicksilver have been thinking?
These Inhumans are even crazier than Doom. Here T'Challa asks an innocent question?
For some reason, this angers Black Bolt.
Leading to the King of the Inhumans to go out and check something.
And this further leads to Karnak going ballistic
I like this panel that shows how Karnak's powers work. In this panel he is seeing Black Panther's weak points.
Knowing the Panther's weak points and exploiting them proves to be two different things.
Gorgon's earthquake power don't mean squat when he's struck by Storm's lightning
Crystal the Elemental goes into action.
Then Medusa goes into action.
All this insanity is stopped by Black Bolt. Keep in mind that it was the Inhumans that invited T'Challa. These guys are the poster boys for xenophobia.
Next on the itinerary is Atlantis. Knowing how hotheaded Namor can get, the Black Panther is probably in for another big fight. When they arrive Namor is uncharacteristically welcoming.
Surprise! Surprise! There is no fighting in Atlantis. What there is, is a nice discussion - about the Invaders.
I love the Invaders! For those of you who don't know them, the Invaders are the Allied forces' superhuman fighting force during World War II. The core of the Invaders include a trio of Marvel's (Timely's) Golden-Age greats : Captain America, the Submariner and the Human Torch(not Johnny, the mature Torch who's not a jerk). Here's a flashback shot of Captain America as he was then with his old shield.
That shield is still in use in the Marvel Universe. The Young Avenger known as Patriot is using it.
Ah, here are some of the Invaders.
Great rendition, except for the Torch, who looks more like Nova (herald of Galactus), than the Human Torch. It's the coloring, the Torch should have a red hue rather than yellow as depicted here. The girl in red and yellow is Spitfire, a super-speedster.The one wearing the British Flag is Union Jack - his costume is still one of the best I've ever seen.
Here is another great pinup of this Atlantean meeting from Manuel Garcia.
For the rest of Civil War: Black Panther we follow T'Challa and Ororo in U.S. soil.
Early on we get a depiction of the Sentinels guarding the X-Mansion.
What the?!! Do these look like Sentinels to you? The artist needs some reference material.
When T'Challa and Ororo visit the White House they are treated to one of the most horrifying experiences of the modern world : red tape
All hell breaks loose and a Sentinel (piloted by Jim Rhodes a.k.a. War Machine) goes after Ororo in front of her husband - the Black Panther.
Wakandan security operatives quickly come into resolve the situation.
In the Marvel U, Wakanda has the highest tech among all the nations of Earth. The highest. I can't get over the fact that a Sentinel DOES NOT LOOK LIKE THIS.
Tony Stark/Iron Man arrives on the scene and Tony is in his 'I'm a billionaire so my shit don't smell' routine. But in the face of the Wakandan King he gets his arrogance thrown back at him. I really like these panels.
I like these panels even better.
The Black Panther is wielding the mystical Ebony Blade. If I remember my Marvel lore this is the property of the Black Knights throughout history, as well as the female Captain Britain. T'Challa obtained it from a bungled assassination attempt on him. The Ebony Blade can cut through anything, even Iron Man's armor.
We can't blame the Black Panther for siding against Tony and the others. Throw some red tape at me and I'll be fantasizing all sorts fo nasty things happening to you too. Bottom Line: The Panther says he's staying in the U.S..
Ah, here's something I want to go back to from the main Civil War story arc: the death of Goliath.
That's Bill Foster's Mom talking. She sounds like every mother who lost a child through injustice. And, you know, she's right. Bill Foster got killed by a clone of Thor created by Reed Richards, Henry Pym and Tony Stark. They bury Goliath at Stark's expense. End of story. Could somebody check the calendar? Is it 1955? THERE MUST BE A FOLLOWUP STORY TO THE DEATH OF BILL FOSTER.
Anyway, T'Challa very kindly offers to provide a proper burial with a coffin in Wakanda for Bill.
Now we get an inkling of the command structure of Wakanda
T'Challa is a real king, with right of absolute rule (Wakanda is a high tech nation with a very low tech, and foolish, form of government). Even though he is an absolute monarch like Namor (Atlantis has an even worse form of government because their king is immortal), he does have a council of advisors - those people surrounding him in the panel above.
Here's another example of Wakandan capability. Black Widow, a Pro-Registration hero, accosts Black Panther. The Panther orders two of his female operatives to handle 'the Widow'.
Surprise! surprise! the formidable Black Widow gets beaten. Wow.
So Black Panther meets with Captain America and Cap punches him.
This is a baffling panel, I don't understand this. Maybe writer Reginald Hudlin doesn't either because the fight comes to an abrupt halt. You know what? I think it's Marvel's 'rule' from the Silver Age that 'there must be lots of action in every comic' something like that. Pick up an Silver or Bronze Age Marvel and you get a complementary fight even among heroes. It's almost like a handshake. Maybe that rule is still around and Hudlin felt obligated to follow it. But that panel was just out of whack - it just did not make sense.
What makes sense is the little tidbit about Civil War that we get from this meeting : Captain America and company will be supplied with Wakandan tech.
Tony Stark comes ringing on the door of the Wakandan Embassy. Great Iron Man one-pager by Marcus To and Koi Turnbull, two artists from Michael Turner's Aspen MT.
Now we get a much more sensible 'fight' between the Black Panther and Captain America.
It's a sparring session for training purposes.
So I'm rifling through the comic and this awesome babeshot panel just jumps out at me.
I have never seen Tigra rendered as sexy as she is here. Wow.
The follow up is an amazing Ororo rendition flying over a breathtaking New York landscape.
Here the Panther checks up with the Falcon.
The Falcon's flying tech is Wakandan technology, and, if I'm not mistaken, is designed by T'Challa himself.
Tigra may be sexy but she's also a spy and for some reason the Panther knows it.
Here is the Panther working with Monica Rambeau/Captain Marvel/Photon/Spectrum.
And here we are informed that what they are working on is the tech that will ultimately allow Captain America's side to infiltrate the infamous '42' prison in the Negative Zone. So that was T'Challa as well.
Here is Marcus To's rendition of that scene in Civil War where Cloak transports everybody from '42' to Manhattan.
Some great fight scense here. Monica Rambeau 'short-circuiting' Bishop.
The power of the Thor clone . . .
. .. against the power of Storm
Invisible Woman and Storm together.
And, best of all, Sue Storm and Ororo, watching Hercules beat the crap out of the fake Thor.
After Captain America's surrender, T'Challa and Ororo have a talk
They're not on there own, of course, both will be replacing Reed and Sue in the ranks of the Fantastic Four as shown in Civil War: Fantastic Four.