Comic Review – “Black Panther #11” is an Interesting, Grounded Story with a Few Small Missteps

With Wakanda very much in the spotlight thanks to the upcoming theatrical release of Black Panther: Wakanda Forever, fans are eager for any and all Black Panther content they can get their hands on these days. Luckily, Marvel Comics has you covered with a new issue in the character’s ongoing series.

“Black Panther #11″ begins a new arc for the former king of Wakanda and introduces a very interesting new conflict. This is a new chapter for T’Challa as Wakanda transitions into a new form of government and the Black Panther figures out his new place in this world.

A new kind of threat has rocked the Marvel Universe. This one is unlike any other because all they want is peace. The non-lethal tactics of these new “terrorists” leave everyone, especially the United States government, puzzled. Still, something has to be done to stop them.

With T’Challa still recovering from his injuries from their last battle, the Avengers must figure out how to best handle the situation. Of course, the actions of this new mystery group don’t warrant a fullt out assault, so as the leader of the Avengers, T’Challa finds himself in a bit of a tough spot.

And toe complicate matters even further, there is still the strange dynamic of the new government of Wakanda getting its footing. T’Challa is no longer a king and now must figure out how to best protect his nation while letting others handle the governing.

The strongest aspect of this new “Black Panther” issue is without a doubt the mysterious new villains and their unique approach to seizing power in the world. Can something really me considered a threat if they are not threatening violence in the slightest? There’s a very interesting dynamic at play here and it makes you think about what the best way to handle this situation would really be.

That also hits on another great aspect of this comic which is that it remains grounded in reality. Sure, T’Challa convenes with a super soldier, a cosmic warrior and a thunder god to plan out the best course of action, but the frame of this story is one that could very much take place in the real world. That allows readers to better connect with the story and not get lost in the sometimes overwhelming cosmic consequences of big comics.

With that being said, this issue does have a few small missteps. Perhaps the most frustrating is the out-of-character behavior of Steve Rogers. Yes, this is a Black Panther title, but other characters should still feel and act like they would in their own. There’s also the fact that, while this comic wants you to be shocked by its final page, unless you’ve read every issue of this ongoing series, it’s likely going to miss that mark. Even an expansive knowledge of Black Panther lore won’t help you if you haven’t been reading this specific series. And to be clear, there is nothing wrong with building a story that way, it just doesn’t quite deliver the same punch without that context.

There’s also not a lot of action in this issue, but that serves as more of a positive. Again, this is the beginning for a new arc in this series, so taking the time to set up the stakes and build suspense will ultimately be better in the long run as opposed to just a whole lot of gun shots and panther claws. This issue sets up a very interesting new story and it’s going to make you want to come back for #12.

You can check out “Black Panther #11″ now.