Reincarnation, Askari Raider battles, and a new possible villain emerges all in this week’s BLACK PANTHER #3 as Ta-Nehisi Coates attempts to catch up readers from the month off while Daniel Acuna shows fans why he was made for this book. Let’s dive in!
WRITTEN BY: Ta-Nehisi Coates
ART BY: Daniel Acuna
LETTERS: Joe Sabino
WARNING SPOILERS AHEAD!!!
BLACK PANTHER #3 SPOILERS TOO!
To see what happened the last issue, click on the writer’s name below.
Commander N’Yami discusses the idea of reincarnation with Nakia and has a theory that the T’Challa in ”this future” is the same T’Challa who was the Black Panther with the Avengers from over 2000 years before. Furthermore, the Commander wants to keep this information on the down low for now since M’Baku will be pissed if this theory is true as well as kill everyone involved.
Meanwhile, the story fast forwards to T’Challa rock climbing right before an invasion from the Askari Raiders. These nasty buggers surprise the Wakandan people and with the help of Manifold, begin to lay the smackdown on M’Baku, T’Challa, Nakia, and the rest of the Wakandan forces.
When last readers saw Manifold, he was helping the Black Panther BEFORE Fresh Start. Is this the same Manifold or is he a reincarnation too? Or, is he from the past and somehow traveled to the future? This was an intriguing cliffhanger to draw readers back next month. We’ll have to wait until next issue to see what’s going to happen!
Definitely Felt Lost
This issue was a bit confusing. With almost two months off between issues, Coates could have done a better job connecting the dots from this issue to the last. At one point, Commander N’Yami was talking to Nakia about the reincarnation of T’Challa, and I had a difficult time deciding if they were in the past or the future of the current issue. Coates made the context challenging to decipher what time period the story was in, which is fine if it’s a creative device used to tell the story. However, I don’t think that was Coates’ intent.
Later, Nakia was rock climbing with T’Challa. However, I thought he almost died in the last issue. The Commander insinuates that people thought ”this” T’Challa was dead but now he’s fine. Again, readers see him on the next page immediately, and he looks healthy and capable. Coates is telling a time travel, space narrative in which it seems like he’s also time jumping into the issue that takes place in the future. Readers context of background and plot are beginning to slip away. Fans need clarity soon, or many might pass on this Sci-Fi romp.
Also, Commander N’Yami was fearful of her ”reincarnation” idea getting out to M’Baku yet (I thought) he jumped out in the fight against the Askari Raiders and helped T’Challa fight the invasion. Was that large man-creature with the bazooka M’Baku or was it someone shouting his name? And, if M’Baku had even just an inkling of jealousy or resentment towards ”this” T’Challa, why would he jump out to fight by his side? This is just another area that Coates needs to clean up. He has a couple dangling plot threads that are confusing and need to be tied up quickly.
Somethings Can Be Explained
However, even with all the confusion, Coates did explain that this T’Challa is not the same Black Panther that readers new from before Fresh Start. Coates also took the time to re-explain that this story is taking place in the future, on another planet, and in another galaxy. Therefore, even though fans left the issue confused and with more questions, Coates did give readers definitive evidence of this stories background moving forward. However, if fans were paying attention last issue, they should have figured that out already.
What a wonderful phrase! Acuna’s art style is perfect for Science Fiction Space Opera stories. His colors are clear, deep bright purple, and leap off the page. Acuna’s action scenes are dynamic, vivid, and contain a harmonious flow around each page. Plus, his backgrounds are incredibly detailed and add to this futuristic adventure. Acuna was made for this comic and truly has no worries for the rest of his days.
Should you buy this issue and/ or add this to your pull list?
As much as Acuna’s art was futuristically spectacular, and knowing that he has a problem-free philosophy, I left the issue wanting to know more about the current T’Challa, as well as the direction of the comic. Also, where is Coates’ character building on the issue? It’s been two months since the last issue, only three issues have been released, and readers don’t know anything more than what happened the first issue. This story has been too slow, it’s beginning to stall, and the comic needs to develop now before Coates loses fans.
When will the plot develop? What direction is Coates moving going forward? That said, if your cup of tea is battle scenes with tons of action, then this is the issue for you. But, if your cup of tea is story, plot, and character development with answers, you may have to wait until next issue for that. It’s too early to quit on this comic book it has so much untapped potential. I’d pass on this issue but hang in there on the series.