The popularity of the Black Panther movie, cannot be understated, as it being of the few movies to the cross Billion-dollar threshold, and for good reason. The movie had action, comedy, politics, history, and war. Never has a movie, come from the MCU, where it was self-contained, and fans were transported to an experience, one that fans will not forget anytime soon. In retrospect, the movie only scratched the surface on just how complex the character is, as describing as Marvel’s version of Batman, doesn’t do the character justice.
His journey in the comics also have takne T’Challa through the ringer, as he has faced series of trials and tribulations that’s has seen him get married, get his marriage annulled, become King of Wakanda and lose his crown to his sister, Shuri. The movie briefly flirted with the idea that T’Challa can lose his crown and the mantle of Blck Panther. In David Liss and Francesco Francavilla’s Black Panther: The Man Without Fear, T’Challa ends up in New York city, more specifically Hell’s Kitchen.
We meet T’Challa,shortly after abdicating the throne, realizing he has to make a way without the mantle of Black Panther, he seeks a way to do good, as he finds his way to New York City, right after Matt Murdock , being corrupted by the Hand, leaves Hell’s Kitchen, for his own redemption. As T’Challa, looks to create a new identity and fight crime without the use of Vibranium or the Black Panther suit, he takes on the mantle of the Protector of Hell’s Kitchen, which brings the ire of the Romanian mob and its chief architect, Vlad The Impaler. As quiet as T’Challa is trying to keep his presence in NYC, he catches the attention of Spiderman and Luke Cage, who both don’t know he is secretly fighting crime, but Kraven the Hunter does, as he comes to the city to find him as hatemongering version of himself pops up, in the American Panther, both whom T’Challa defeats in some hard fought battles. By book’s end, Storm comes to aid him as he battles Lady Bullseye and finds out exactly where Matt Murdock has been, as he leaves city back in his hands, just a bit better.
Overall, an engaging book that reminds readers that though we love to see superheroes triumph, it’s when they suffer and struggle, is what builds character in them as it does in us. The story by Liss, is large, sweeping, adventurous, action packed and gives T’Challa a new light to see him under. The art by Francaviilla feels intimate, warm, and sparks in places where you least expect it. Altogether, an important part of his canon which would like a sin if it is overlooked, as any fan of Black Panther needs to read this book.
Story: David Liss Art: Francesco Francavilla
Story: 10 Art: 10 Overall: 10 Recommendation: Buy