The Definitive Black Panther | various authors and illustrators

★★★☆☆

When I read Ta-Nehisi Coates’s first volume of the new Black Panther graphic novels, A Nation Under Our Feet, I found myself thinking that I could really have used a bit of a potted history of the Black Panther comics of old. This collection was a good option to get fill in some of the information that I was missing! Particularly helpful was the penultimate article at the back – basically a timeline of T’Challa’s adventures from the beginning in 1966.

What was interesting for me in the collection of comics that make up this book was the development of the tone and character of the stories, which got gradually darker over time. I would say that Coates’s story (so far) has not been as dark as some of the storylines around 2008. Some of the jokes and language from the 60s have not aged particularly well, and I found the earlier comics a bit clunky and more difficult to enjoy the storylines (I’m sure this admission is some kind of comic book cardinal sin but I can only apologise).

Overall, I enjoyed getting to know the Black Panther better, and think that this will help me get more out of the next two volumes of A Nation Under Our Feet!!

Get it here.

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