COMIC BOOK REVIEW - Black Panther: A Nation Under Our Feet Book 2
By The Masked Medic
I’ve been trying to make an active effort to read some more Marvel comics recently, only because although I will always be Team DC, as an avid fan of comic books, it would be ignorant of me to ignore the competition and learn about popular characters from their source material. That being said, the last time that I read a Black Panther novel, I was quite disappointed. I felt that there was very little that actually pulled me to the character, and when you compare that with the movie version, I thought the story could have been better. So I thought it was time we return to Wakanda.
‘A Nation Under Our Feet: Book 2’ continues the story seen in the first novel. T’Challa is finding that his hold over his nation is weakening whilst under attack from Tetu and two of the Dora Milaje. Initially, he struggles to find out the root cause of the problem, however, after speaking to Tony Stark, he is made aware that the brain behind the operation is none other than Zeke Stane, the son of Obidiah Stane, the first Iron Monger. Realising that he may need a bit of help, he enlists the help of a group that call themselves ‘The Crew’, made up of Manifold, Luke Cage, Misty Knight and T’Challa’s former wife, Storm. With the help of his friends, Black Panther is able to discover the full nature of Stane’s operation, although he seems to still be unaware of who Stane has actually funded within Wakanda. After escaping one battle, T’Challa and Manifold set out on a mysterious mission from which they may not return. The novel ends with a few classic Black Panther issues in which T’Challa meets Killmonger for the first time!
So compared to the first novel, I’d say this one was a definite step up. I think that one of the things that I really struggled with in the first novel was the vast swathes of knowledge of Wakandan mythology needed in order to fully enjoy it. For this novel, although there was still all that mythology, actually just taking the time to read it properly and try to enjoy it, helped immensely. I mean there’s so much richness in some of the scenes with Shuri and her mother. Another aspect that I enjoyed was the involvement of the Crew because it was nice to see T’Challa interacting with other black heroes. I’m not going to lie, there were a few moments in the novel where I was hoping that T’Challa and Ororo might rekindle their relationship. I’m not sure if all the Marvel novels from here on out will have classic issues at the end of them, but I enjoyed those!
So we come on to the artwork. For the most part, I actually thought the artwork was fine and didn’t have any issues with it. I think for all the scenes with Shuri, the artwork was fantastic. Another thing, although not part of the actual novel, the artwork style at the beginning of the issues is super futuristic and I’m all here for it! There were so many covers and styles that picking one for this article was tough! Overall, this novel stepped up! I now want more Black Panther!
Awwww yeaahhh. I loved the fact that T’Challa’s backup team was made up of black heroes. Representation matters people.
It’s tough actually. Whilst I think that T’Challa should be the obvious choice, I think that Manifold has so much potential.
Story Arc: ★★★½
Character Development: ★★★