REVIEW: ‘King In Black: Black Panther,’ Issue #1

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King in Black Black Panther #1 - But Why Tho?King in Black: Black Panther #1 is written by Geoffery Thorne, illustrated by German Peralta, colored by Jesus Aburtov, and lettered by VC’s Joe Sabino. It is published by Marvel Comics. During the events of King in Black #2, a legion of Knull’s symbiote dragons descended upon Wakanda. With the help of his sister Shuri and the general of the Dora Milaje Okoye, Black Panther formulates a defense to keep the King in Black from invading Wakanda.

Thorne has previously written T’Challa’s adventures in Avengers Assemble: Black Panther’s Quest, an animated series I thoroughly enjoyed. He continues to show the perfect handling of T’Challa’s character. T’Challa swore to defend Wakanda from invaders and nothing-whether it be Skrulls or the advent of a malicious deity of darkness-will make him break that promise. He also tries to keep his emotions in check, particularly when it comes to Storm, who was possessed by Knull during the first two issues of King in Black. The two have a long and intertwined history and I’m glad Thorne pays tribute to it, alongside the Secret Invasion: Black Panther miniseries, which was my first introduction to the character.

Other standouts in the issue include Okoye and Shuri. Shuri gets to flex her amazing intellect with a new invention, and Okoye is given control over a new weapon that pays homage to the Panther God Bast. Fans of the Black Panther movie will definitely enjoy their appearance here, and how the main story is interlaced with T’Challa reminiscing about a lesson taught to him by his late father.

Peralta previously illustrated the Maestro miniseries for Marvel, and with this one-shot he fully embraces the Afrofuturism of Wakanda and the cosmic horror elements that have echoed throughout the King in Black event. It’s absolutely horrifying to see symbiotes crawling over their victims, and the final “Knullified” creatures are ripped straight out of a Clive Barker story, with twisted, toothy grins and blazing red eyes. On the Wakandans’ side, spears glow with energy and you can often see the circuitry inlaid into T’Challa’s suit. Peralta draws an impressive image of T’Challa’s Black Panther mask sliding over his face, with the circuits glowing bright purple underneath thanks to Aburtov’s colors.

Speaking of Aburtov, he uses a muted color palette with flashes of bright purple and gold. The former comes into play when the Wakandans utilize their technology, and T’Challa unleashes waves of energy that blow back the symbiotes. The latter is prominent within Birnin Zana, the “Golden City” where T’Challa resides. The interiors and exteriors are inlaid with gold, acting as a shining beacon in the dark.

King in Black: Black Panther #1 perfectly blends the Afrofuturism of its title hero with the cosmic horror of the title event series, creating an engaging and often emotional story. Fans of King in Black or the Black Panther film, as well as Black Panther fans in general, will want to pick it up.

King in Black: Black Panther #1 is available wherever comics are sold.

King in Black: Black Panther #1
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TL;DR

King in Black: Black Panther #1 perfectly blends the Afrofuturism of its title hero with the cosmic horror of the title event series, creating an engaging and often emotional story. Fans of King in Black or the Black Panther film, as well as Black Panther fans in general, will want to pick it up.