For a few weeks, issue after issue has come out showing the heroes of the Marvel universe falling, one by one, to the deathly dull threat of Knull, God of symbiotes, the void, and unidimensional character motivations. King In Black: Black Panther #1 shows what happens when he sends his apparently endless forces towards Wakanda and Black Panther does his best impersonation of Gritty.
The script by Geoffrey Thorne here truly sets this apart. Whereas King In Black Marauder #1 sidestepped the central conflict of the crossover for a monstrous tale of human proportions, this issue says, "knuckle up," and dives headfirst into fighting the threat menacing the planet. The visual work provided by German Peralta, Jesus Aburtov, and Joe Sabino is both faithful to Wakanda's roots all the way back to Jack and Stan while incorporating the design flair of Brian Stelfreeze and the canonical contributions of Christopher Priest and Reginald Hudlin. This issue is literally a King Solomon's Frog away from having everything and the kitchen sink, all woven in with great craft and intention.
There are a few really wonderful moments that should be discussed as best as possible without spoilers. A comms conversation between Okoye and T'challa revealed a very big Wakandan secret that's been hiding in the background. A segment at the end of the issue that is gasp-inducing, framed by a flashback narration, showcasing the character of the Panther and the nation, and that's really something to see. The dramatic tension here is wielded like a rapier, and this issue fulfills its promise in a very successful fashion.
In a word, wow. When crossovers were all beginning to do the same thing, this one showed a very nice take on how a tie-in can have an effect and impact the story. RATING: BUY.
King In Black: Black Panther #1
By Geoffrey Thorne, German Peralta
SYMBIOTES INVADE THE UNCONQUERABLE COUNTRY OF WAKANDA! T'Challa's most treasured allies are lost in a storm of Knull's making in this wild one-shot! Critically acclaimed writer, actor and producer Geoffrey Thorne explores a Wakanda gone dark – invaded by Knull's massive symbiote army. Wakanda needs its king. It needs the Black Panther. But once again, the hero must choose between his role as an Avenger, his role as a king and the yearnings of his heart.