Wow, let me just say that as a current working journalist, Ta-Nehisi Coates is an inspiration and someone who I look up to as a writer.
Combine that with my love of comical books, and this dude just blew me away with his introduction to comic book writing with Black Panther #1 from Marvel.
T'Challa and Wakanda face issues like never before in this one. We see the Black Panther out of his element, we see his people turning on him and we see the most technologically advanced society in the world crumbling.
You can feel Coates' investment into each line of dialogue and word in this issue. We see a new nation threatening to rise in the aftermath of Wakanda's thought-to-be self-destruction. The nation has been threatened and suffered its fair amount over the years, but not from a threat this close to home and from within.
It's a medium-paced character story with enough action, substance and background to merit the hype and the #1 tag for a legendary character. I need to give props to Marvel for letting Coates do what he does best; tell big picture, intertwined cultural issues.
While Coates writing is strong and his story flows at the right pace to please newbies to Wakanda and decade-long readers, it's Brian Stelfreeze who made it necessary to wear a bib whilst reading this issue.
Stelfreeze's colors, facial expressions, choosing when to hide someone's face or not, the inner-workings of T'Challa's suit; it's all good and it's all super easy on the eyes.
Let us not overlook the amazing job on colors by Laura Martin. Every cut felt different, each setting popped and she deserves as much credit as anyone in this book's success.
This book is a must-grab. Both as a standalone and as a No. 1. Coates is a special writer and I think it translates well in this genre.
Rating: 9/10 Super hyped up book delivers. Gripping story and fantastic art with an array of kick-ass variants and regular covers to pick from. I grabbed Skottie Young's because, of course.