Black Panther #1
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Black Panther #1

Writer: Ta-Nehisi Coates Artist: Brian Stelfreeze Publisher: Marvel Comics Release Date: April 6, 2016 Cover Price: $3.99 Critic Reviews: 35 User Reviews: 43
8.1Critic Rating
8.1User Rating

A new era for the Black Panther starts here!
Written by MacArthur Genius and National Book Award winner TA-NEHISI COATES (Between the World and Me) and illustrated by living legend BRIAN STELFREEZE, "A Nation Under Our Feet" is a story about dramatic upheaval in Wakanda and the Black Panther's struggle to do right by his people as their ruler. The indomitable will of Wakanda -- the famed African nation known for its vast wealth, advanced technology and warrior traditions -- has long been reflected in the will of its monarchs, the Black Panthers. But now the current Black Panther, T'Challa, finds that will tested by a superhuman terroris more

  • 10
    Pop Culture Uncovered - Harry C. Apr 6, 2016

    I am very impressed with the start of this new Black Panther series. This was definitely the book many of us were waiting for and it was worth the wait. If I read nothing else from Marvel this year, this book will firmly be on my pull list. From the time it was announced until now, I knew we were getting something good and it's great to see such an excellent start. Read Full Review

  • 10
    Comicosity - Allen Thomas Apr 6, 2016

    Black Panther #1 was a re-introduction to TChallas story that he deserves and that was a stellar new beginning. Narratively, the story works and feels believable, requiring little knowledge or investment of the titular characters history, even with nods to past events. Such a set up means that new readers wont have too much trouble and old fans of TChalla will be able to jump in with immediate recognition of his current conflict. There are some obvious questions, but not necessarily ones that are vital to understanding the story. This story is definitely worth a try and this team is most assuredly what TChalla and the nation of Wakanda deserve. Read Full Review

  • 10
    Buccaneer Book Reviews - Aku Apr 8, 2016

    A very, VERY promising debut and one of the most exciting from Marvel in a long time. The fact that they seem to be focussing on a character and setting (a) NOT in New York, (b) outside the U.S, (c) covering politics and social matters and not just earth-shattering evil and (d) the ambiguity of the morality that resembles real life where there are times when it's hard to discern who deserves what and who is truly good or bad because those clear lines start to blur" well it all makes this an incrediby readable first issue that is also very promising. Read Full Review

  • 10
    Comic Crusaders - Alan Apr 8, 2016

    Black Panther #1 is intelligently written, beautifully drawn & colored, and should be a welcome addition to the history of this legendary character. MUST READ Read Full Review

  • 10
    Project Fandom - Rexlor Graymond Apr 9, 2016

    As close to perfection as a series can come. It's only the first issue, but all signs point to Black Panther being an intensely satisfying read every month. After all the months of anticipation, Coates' first book did not disappoint in the slightest. Congratulations to all involved! Read Full Review

  • 9.6
    Comicsverse - Sean Bartley Apr 7, 2016

    First issues often make or break a series. Unfortunately, comics that fail to hook readers with their first offering aren't typically given a second chance by readers. BLACK PANTHER #1 suffers from none of this and does some things better in its initial issue than many books do during their entire run. Ta-Nehisi Coates and Brian Stelfreeze have a story to tell, and by all accounts, it's going to be epic. Should they manage to maintain the momentum built by this first issue, their run could become the defining Black Panther story. It's time for the king to ascend the throne. Read Full Review

  • 9.2
    Entertainment Fuse - Jim Bush Apr 24, 2016

    Its often hard for comics with big hype to live up to the buzz, but Black Panther #1 gives readers a very good comic, especially for a first issue. First issues of new series can be pretty hard because there is so much ground-work to lay down. However, Coates and Stelfreeze cover a lot in this one issue. While there are no crazy shocking moments, Black Panther #1 gives us so many essentials for a new series. We are giving a strong sense of character on the main players. Some clear tension is established, which creates an intriguing mood for the comic. Additionally, a compelling plot is being created. This would be a great effort in a first issue for a veteran comic book writer. That Ta-Nehisi Coates, despite his overall writing acumen, is writing comic books for the first time makes Black Panther #1 a very impressive debut. Read Full Review

  • 9.1
    Black Nerd Problems - William Evans Apr 6, 2016

    Black Panther #1 had a ridiculous amount of expectation and hype, as it should with all the moving parts involved. Coates and Stelfreeze set a very ambitious agenda, with 3 very large plot threads weaving through the narrative. It is off to great start as far as setups go and here's hoping they can keep the momentum as these threads start converging on each other. Read Full Review

  • 9.0
    FreakSugar - Jed W. Keith Apr 4, 2016

    BLACK PANTHER #1 finally gives us a T'Challa who, despite his wide-reaching achievements and abilities, is clawing his way to repair both his nation and himself. In the process, we will also assuredly see a character who will come out the other end of this hero's journey a better and more nuanced man a nd monarch. Read Full Review

  • 9.0
    Doom Rocket - Arpad Okay Apr 7, 2016

    The Midnight Angels, Black Panther's suit and Wakanda tech, these are things that must be seen to be truly appreciated. The artwork of Brian Stelfreeze and Laura Martin is as ambitious as Coates' layered storytelling and flowery dialog. I love the Panther suit. I love the sacred geometry that permeates everything. Most of all, I love Stelfreeze's liberal use of silhouette instead of detail. Doing this with a Panther suit is one thing, but the use of shadow in the genesis of the Angels was a bold move that elevates the storytelling from excellent to avant garde. Every line, every drop of ink is used to give power to the story.Black Panther is, simply put, unparalleled. Read Full Review

  • 9.0
    Newsarama - Robert Reed Apr 4, 2016

    Black Panther #1 is a stellar debut that delivers an intriguing premise, backed by interesting characters and beautiful artwork. The cumulative effect of Coates' writing and the art by Stelfreeze and Martin is what makes the book shine. There's an energetic flow that feels less like three individuals collaborating and more like a singular vision coming to the forefront. It is a testament to the creators that Black Panther #1 is able to impress in spite of heightened expectations. Read Full Review

  • 8.8
    IGN - Jesse Schedeen Apr 4, 2016

    After several years of ups and downs, Black Panther finally has the solo comic he deserves again. Coates and Stelfreeze build on the many stories that have come before to weave a tale about Wakanda in its darkest hour and a king who may not be up to the task of saving it. Whether you're a hardcore fan of the character or Captain America: Civil War has you interested in learning more about T'Challa, this comic has plenty to offer. Read Full Review

  • 8.8
    The Latest Pull - Cory Bishop Apr 7, 2016

    Overall, loved the first issue can't wait for the next one. I'm sure that Ta-Nehisi Coates is going to be taking us on a wonderful ride. Read Full Review

  • 8.5
    Nerds Unchained - Jeremy Radick Apr 7, 2016

    All in all, Black Panther #1 is a premiere issue that is packed with a lot of ideas, concepts and scene-setting. It may have a little too much stuffed in there, but what does come across is a unique vision that will definitely take the character and the title in a more complex and hopefully entertaining direction as his profile increases. Read Full Review

  • 8.5
    Florida Geek Scene - Brian Reed May 11, 2016

    But should you buy it? If you're interested at all in seeing what this hot new writer is all about, yes, you should pick this one up for sure. But I'm betting there's a good chance that once you satisfy your curiosity and can talk all about the new guy with certainty, you'll be back for the next issue because you're genuinely interested in what's going to happen next. Read Full Review

  • 8.4
    Multiversity Comics - Stephenson Ardern-Sodje Apr 8, 2016

    With "Civil War" looming large on the cinematic horizon, and Chadwick Boseman's fully-suited appearance in the trailers promising a real-world T'Challa that will shake the MCU, it's great to see that his comic-book counterpart has been given a reinvigoration worthy of his regal standing. While there's a lot of initial world-building ging on in this issue, Coates' slick style means that we never feel overwhelmed by exposition. With references to previous goings-on in the Marvel universe, there's more than enough in this first issue to exciteeven the most hardcore comic book fan, but Coates and Stelfreeze have managed to keep it accessible enough for it to be the first book you ever pick up. Read Full Review

  • 8.4
    Chuck's Comic Of The Day - Chuck Apr 7, 2016

    But this first issue was, for my money, a bit of a stumble - hopefully better things are right around the corner. They just have to get their house in order. Read Full Review

  • 8.0
    All-Comic - Jessica Petrecz Apr 10, 2016

    Coates is certainly taking his time enjoying his first comic writing experience and he is lucky to have Stelfreezeand Martin along for the ride. The threecreative geniuses are working in lockstepto create a well thought out story with great design and artwork throughout. The many threads of plot and character that were introduced this issue are only allowing us to have a more complex story than we are accustomed to in comics these days, but it's already apparent it will be worth it. The steady pace Coats is taking this story is complemented by the page layout we get from Stelfeeze along with the design work on Wakanda and the Black Panther outfit. This series is a definite must on every pull list, and Coates is sure to deliver with coming issues after all the hard work and careful planning he put into this first issue. If the last page is any indication of what the future issues brings, we are all in for a treat. Read Full Review

  • 8.0
    PopMatters - Gregory L. Reece Apr 11, 2016

    Things are set in motion in Black Panther #1, set in motion and little more. We don't know where a nation filled with shame and rage may finally go. But right from the start, Coates' has a steady hand, steady and sure. Read Full Review

  • 8.0
    Big Comic Page - Cat McGlinn Apr 7, 2016

    This is a strong first issue for Coates. It sets up the background of Black Panther and the history of Wakanda well so that those who have no knowledge of the character (like me) can easily pick this up and launch straight into it. Like I said previously, this is not a comic to read if you want cheering up, but it is written and drawn so well that you feel like you have really experienced something by the end of it and want to read on. Im really looking forward to seeing how this story goes forward. As a side note, Im also very curious as to how the character will be handled on the big screen. Read Full Review

  • 8.0
    The Beat - Alexander Jones Apr 8, 2016

    In the tradition of writers like Jason Aaron, Roy Thomas, Don McGregor, Stan Lee, Reginald Hudlin, Jonathan Hickman and Christopher Priest, Coates is able to channel that classic voice of T'Challa and further expand his world in an exciting and unique within this brand new story arc. Read Full Review

  • 8.0
    The Source by SuperHeroStuff - Marc Buxton Apr 7, 2016

    This is everything you want out of a Black Panther comic and Coates is only going to get better. The pacing is a bit muddled at times, but Brain Stelfreezes art is a sight to behold, rooted in Kirby gravitas with a modern symbology and sense of strength and action. The artistic package is overflowing with Afro-centric imagery fused with sci-fi visual cues that makes this book so unique. It feels like a Black Panther tale should and Marvel should be darn proud of this one. Read Full Review

  • 8.0
    Comic Vine - Tony 'G-Man' Guerrero Apr 6, 2016

    I wasn't too sure what to expect with this series after it was announced. I purposely avoided reading what Coates had planned in order to be able to take it all in. That decision paid off big time. Stelfreeze's art is perfect for this book, and I can't wait to see him get to unleash further. There's a lot to take in and several characters to get to know. I can't remember the last time I was so curious to see what the next issue would deliver. Coates and Stelfreeze are giving us the Black Panther we didn't realize we wanted. Read Full Review

  • 8.0
    Newsarama - Pierce Lydon Apr 6, 2016

    Black Panther isn't for everyone yet. The book is knee-deep in its own world for now, and that might be off-putting for some readers that are hoping to jump into something a little bit less dense. But it does stand as a great way to take continuity and make it your own. Coates is unapologetic about the things he doesn't like about Black Panther, and so he sets out to change them. But he doesn't so that wholesale, making changes that run counter to the character or previous events - instead, he seeks to lead the narrative in a way that the changes he wants to see are part of a natural story progression. That's something we don't always see from writers. Stelfreeze continues to be one of the best and my nitpickings with the color work are minor compared to the wholly effective work that's present and the scale of this book. Black Panther's a winner that should be making it on to pull lists everywhere as soon as possible. Read Full Review

  • 8.0
    Comic Book Resources - Matt Little Apr 4, 2016

    The writer has mentioned in his column for The Atlantic that his "Black Panther" stint is scheduled for 11 issues, so I expect a long ride with this story. There are already enough plot threads developed here to keep me around for a while. This is a good debut for the writer, highlighted by great page and design work from Stelfreeze. Read Full Review

  • 7.3
    Graphic Policy - Troy Powell Apr 11, 2016

    Overall I was expecting more from this title launch, that said, I have no doubt Coates will in time turn out a vibrant and fresh take on the series, he is a seasoned writer, and aside from this open to feedback. In the letters section at the back there was a section asking for response from the readers. I can only interpret this as an active inspiration from this liberated engaged and involved new Wakanda emerging on the horizon. Read Full Review

  • 7.2
    The Hub City Review - Matthew J. Theriault Apr 6, 2016

    While I've never invested in Black Panther other than when Jonathan Hickman was writing the character, the announcement that Ta-Nahesi Coates was attached made this among my most anticipated arrivals in the All-New, All-Different Marvel line-up. It's definitely a better debut effort than most first time comic writers could deliver, though disappointingly lacks the depth that his journalistic endeavors display (at least one issue in; the full arc or run could prove those words wrong). Coates tackles the themes of inequality and oppression as one familiar with his work would expect, but does so in an entirely unexpected manner, offering complex villains and establishing a direction for growth even in genius superheroic king. Read Full Review

  • 7.1
    Graphic Policy - Brett Apr 7, 2016

    After a long review it really comes down to this, I expected more in many ways. The first issue I'm sure will be much better when read as part of 12, but on its own, it's a let down not just due to hype, but also due to execution. Coates is clearly still learning, Stelfreeze says as much in an enlightening interview in the back, so I'm sure things will improve. But, for a comic I'm sure Marvel is hoping will bring new readers in, I'm left to wonder if new readers will read this and ask what the point/hype was all about. I don't see why they'd return other than the high profile creative team. Hell, I want to trade wait after this one issue. Add in the $5 price tag and it's hard to recommend this. Read Full Review

  • 7.0
    PopOptiq - Logan Dalton Apr 7, 2016

    Although Black Panther #1's storyline is rough in places as Ta-Nehisi Coates flits from scene to scene without letting Brian Stelfreeze do an establishing panel at times, it has a strong thematic base in the conflict between monarchy and democracy, and the always universally tradition versus progress. The comic's cliffhanger is a little less than compelling by throwing in a fan favorite character without any foreshadowing or a hook for the next issue. Coates and Stelfreeze also craft a pair of supporting characters (and antagonists for now) in the Dora Milaje turned Midnight Angels Aneka and Ayo, who are easily the best part of this comic. Read Full Review

  • 6.0
    Eye On Comics - Don MacPherson Apr 11, 2016

    However, that's not to say the homework isn't worth doing. Coates is painting a picture for Western readers of an unstable yet noble African country on the brink of war. A radically different, non-consumer culture is at its heart, and that changes the motivations of the characters and how the audience relates to them. Also laudable is the incorporation of so many strong female players in the drama. While is titled for its main male protagonist, this first issue focuses much more on the women around him: his bodyguards who've been forced into a position to question their core beliefs, his stepmother and her dedication to law and tradition despite her personal feelings, and an antagonist who's skilled at manipulating people in the wake tragedy and trauma. Read Full Review

  • 6.0
    Comics Bulletin - Chase Magnett Apr 6, 2016

    Whether that is enough is difficult to say. This is a debut issue with charm and style, but it also falters in its telling. Stelfreeze's envisionment of the world of Wakanda is captivating, while what is happening within the country's borders often leaves much to be desired. The stories of the Dora Milaje provide interest, while Black Panther's narrative and self border upon being tedious. The elements of a powerful story are present, yet the Silver Age influence without top-notch Silver Age style may put those elements to waste. Read Full Review

  • 6.0
    Outright Geekery - Leroy Dee Apr 7, 2016

    I urge you to read this story twice. It drags on the first reading because Ta-Nahesi did not structure this first issue as we comic fans are accustomed to, but there are still some interesting concepts and characters introduced. I do wish that in future issues that they remember they are writing a COMIC book. It's okay to have fun. It's pretty easy to fall in the social political trappings with a character named Black Panther, but at the end of the day he's still a superhero. Hopefully the second issue will feature more Black Panther in my Black Panther comic. Read Full Review

  • 6.0
    Henchman-4-Hire - Sean Ian Mills Apr 9, 2016

    Given the high profile nature of this relaunch, Coates and Marvel should have taken a different path. They should have focused on moving forward with new stories rather than mire the first issue in the past. The art is great, and Coates does a fine job writing T'Challa, but the disjointed narrative keeps the issue from being worthy of the hype. Read Full Review

  • 6.0
    Nerdist - Eric Diaz Apr 4, 2016

    So should you buy Black Panther #1? If you're a big fan of the character, then I'd say yes, as it seems tailor-made for people who have been following T'Challa's adventures for years. If you're a newbie to the character, then I can only give a tepid recommendation, although the book is probably worth getting for the artwork alone. This book is full of potential. I just hope it gets the time to live up to it. Read Full Review

  • 5.0
    Graphic Policy - Ryan C. (trashfilmguru) Apr 9, 2016

    After too long - way too long, in fact - King T'Challa and his fictitious nation of Wakanda were going to be portrayed with something akin to authenticity. If anyone "gets" this character, it's gotta be Coates, right? And if anyone out there was born to draw him, it's Stelfreeze. What could possibly go wrong? As it turns out, the answer to that question " and I say this with a deep and profound sense of regret " is "a lot." Read Full Review

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