Black Panther #3 Review: Recreating the Legend in the Depths of Space

N'Yami and Nakia discuss the legend of T'Challa, the Black Panther, as N'Yami believes that the true T'Challa is among the Maroons. Later, T'Challa and Nakia go to retrieve a cargo shipment on the top of a mountain on a planet. Before long, the forces of the Wakandan Empire attack this Maroon installation. The Maroons put up a fight, with T'Challa, Nakia, and M'Baku leading the charge. However, the Wakandan Empire has a powerful soldier in this fight.

Black Panther #3 cover by In-Hyuk Lee
Black Panther #3 cover by In-Hyuk Lee

The intention of the "Intergalactic Empire of Wakanda" becomes clearer with this issue. Ta-Nehisi Coates intends to recreate the Wakanda mythos in a different context and with different intents. It is our T'Challa we our following, but he is no king here — only a former slave and revolutionary. Nakia, M'Baku, and N'Jadaka have different roles here as well. That said, this realization didn't dawn on me until the final reveal with that mystery imperial soldier.

That is an interesting idea and a more in-depth version of what the current Exiles title has been doing with various portions of the Marvel Universe.

That said, Black Panther seems to have another goal behind it. The Wakandan Empire enslaves and assimilates the culture of countless planets across five galaxies… not unlike the U.S and Europe have been doing in Africa, Asia, the Pacific Islands, etc. for centuries now. There have been…voices of late attempting pushing "scientific racism" and other such nonsense to reassert the narrative of white supremacy and that that imperialism and colonialism was justified. This Black Panther story seems to be aiming to prove the point that any culture could do what the U.S. and Europe has done with the right advantages, intent, and motivation. It's racialized exploitation, but it doesn't come from a racial advantage.

Black Panther #3 art by Daniel Acuna
Black Panther #3 art by Daniel Acuna

Anywho, that bit of attempt at a deep reading aside, Daniel Acuna is still awesome. His artwork in Black Panther is outright stunning, and the redesign of Wakandan costumes and weaponry continue to impress. The action sequences hold together well, and the color work is deep, vibrant, and gorgeous.

Black Panther #3 has further ignited my interest in this new direction. Coates is recreating the Black Panther mythos in the far reaches of space, and he has the same fire and strength which he showed at the beginning of his time with T'Challa. Plus, Daniel Acuna continues to show his every-growing artistic talent. This book earns a recommendation for sure. Give it a read.

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About Joshua Davison

Josh is a longtime super hero comic fan and an aspiring comic book and fiction writer himself. He also trades in videogames, Star Wars, and Magic: The Gathering, and he is also a budding film buff. He's always been a huge nerd, and he hopes to contribute something of worth to the wider geek culture conversation. He is also happy to announce that he is the new Reviews Editor for Bleeding Cool. Follow on Twitter @joshdavisonbolt.
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