Black Panther: A Nation Under Our Feet—Book 1

black panther a nation under our feet book 1 cover trade paperback
7.5 Overall Score
Story: 7/10
Art: 8/10

Good start, nice art

More of a set-up volume with a lot going on

Comic Info

Comic Name: Black Panther (Volume 5)/Fantastic Four (Volume 1)

Publisher: Marvel Comics

Writer: Ta-Nehisi Coates/Stan Lee

Artist: Brian Stelfreeze/Jack Kirby

# of Issues: 5

Release Date: 2016

black panther #1 cover variant

Black Panther (5) #1 Variant

Reprints Black Panther (5) #1-4 and Fantastic Four (1) #52 (July 1966-September 2016). Wakanda is at war. Shuri is gone and T’Challa is wrestling with his own people to restore his honor and the throne. When a mysterious woman appears in Wakanda and begins to stroke the anger of people, T’Challa finds he has a new enemy. With M’Baku’s brother Mandla taking the mantle of Man-Ape and rebels Ayo and Aneka keeping ahead of the authorities, T’Challa is facing more challenges than ever…but Wakanda must survive!

Written by Ta-Nehisi Coates, Black Panther: A Nation Under Our Feet—Book 1 is part of Marvel’s relaunch of the Black Panther title. The collection features art by Brian Stelfreeze and the issues in the collection were also collected as part of the larger omnibus Black Panther: A Nation Under Our Feet. The volume also includes the Black Panther’s first appearance in Fantastic Four (1) #52 (July 1966) by Stan Lee and Jack Kirby.

Black Panther has a long, storied history. His character was an early black superhero, and he’s been members of the Avengers and various teams throughout the years. The character had a resurgence with the Marvel Knights line and has been bouncing around his own title and various teams ever since. Ta-Nehisi Coates’ take on the character is to take him back to his roots and focus on his relationship with his country Wakanda.

black panther #3 cover review variant

Black Panther (5) #3 Variant

The first thing to note is that this volume is just part of a bigger story. It doesn’t feel like a complete and solo collection. While I enjoy the storytelling of the volume, some might expect a full story arc…and you don’t get one. It is also a rather short collection of issues with only four issues of new content. It is good to give some establishment with Fantastic Four (1) #52, but the length of the collection leaves you wanting more.

It also isn’t the most reader friendly collection. I had fallen off reading Black Panther when I read this collection, and the series throws a lot of characters at you. There is a short summery at the top of the collection that explains what happened to Shuri and establishes some of what is going on in Wakanda, but as a reader, you are really thrust into the mix quickly. It does settle out, but if you are expecting a high adventure, action-packed volume, you might want to pick up a different Black Panther collection.

Black Panther is a tricky character to write. He can come off as preachy and know-it-all at times, but here, Ta-Nehisi Coates is painting as very vulnerable. His kingdom is a mess, his sister is dead, and he’s being blamed for a lot of it. The story is a good set-up for future issues, and I hope that the story pays off. Black Panther: A Nation Under Our Feet—Book 1 is followed by Black Panther: A Nation Under Our Feet—Book 2.

Author: JPRoscoe View all posts by
Follow me on Twitter/Instagram/Letterboxd @JPRoscoe76! Loves all things pop-culture especially if it has a bit of a counter-culture twist. Plays video games (basically from the start when a neighbor brought home an Atari 2600), comic loving (for almost 30 years), and a true critic of movies. Enjoys the art house but also isn't afraid to let in one or two popular movies at the same time.

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