Writer: Geoffrey Thorne
Art: Germán Peralta, Jesus Aburtov, Leinil Yu, Sunny Gho, and VC’s Joe Sabino
Publisher: MARVEL COMICS
Release Date: February 10th, 2021
BLACK PANTHER’S most admired companions have fallen in a bombardment of Knull’s forces to overthrow the unconquerable Wakanda. Can T’Challa choose between his duties as the BLACK PANTHER and an AVENGER? Can he choose between love and his loyalty to the thrown? Let’s jump into KING IN BLACK: BLACK PANTHER #1 by Geoffrey Thorne and see if Wakanda can survive the KING IN BLACK or will it fall like the rest of the planet.
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Can I start by saying Joe Sabino had his work cut out for him in this issue! There are word balloons on top of word balloons with dialogue cluttered throughout the issue. This must have made Germán Peralta’s job extremely difficult to convey the detail and in-depth attributes of the characters. Readers, there was so much dialogue that I wonder if this one-shot should have been a two-parter just to free up some more space for Peralta to shine. Now, when Peralta had space, he was able to showcase what he can do. Simply check out MAESTRO to see him in action if KING IN BLACK: BLACK PANTHER #1 doesn’t do it for you. Nevertheless, I think Peralta does his best work when his pages aren’t so busy or crammed with characters and writing. When given a specific character to focus on, Peralta is spot on and relentless with his renditions.
As for the story, even though it was quite wordy, I surprisingly enjoyed the premise. Furthermore, it was remarkably refreshing compared to Coates’ current (not current) BLACK PANTHER run. T’Challa uniquely finds a way to fend off a horde of symbiote dragons, stay loyal to his throne, and protect his country all at the same time. Moreover, I think readers frequently lose sight of BLACK PANTHER’S true allegiance with him being simultaneously associated with the AVENGERS. Thorne reminds fans that T’Challa is and will always be “Wakanda Forever” regardless of the cost or cataclysmic event. Plus, Thorne weaves historical BLACK PANTHER mythos into the narrative and finds a remarkably creative path to cut a swathe through the KING IN BLACK and his forces. I think BLACK PANTHER may need to help the crew in New York ASAP. Who needs Eddie Brock or VENOM when T’Challa’s on the scene?
I was shocked how much I enjoyed this issue, especially since I haven’t been a huge fan of the KING IN BLACK tie-ins. Sure, the dialogue was heavy with almost two stories hovering over top of one another throughout. Yet, Thorne managed to set the tone well and pull me deep into the story. If you’re on the fence with this issue AND are a BLACK PANTHER fan, I’d give it a look. There is no doubt it’s a KING IN BLACK tie-in. However, Thorne portrays T’Challa masterfully and provides an invigorating take on the character that’s been missing for quite some time. This KING IN BLACK issue isn’t crucial but BLACK PANTHER peeps will love the heck out of it. KING IN BLACK: BLACK PANTHER is creative, busy, and loaded with potential. Give it a look, let me know what you think, and God Bless.