Black Panther #1-7
Issue(s): Black Panther #1, Black Panther #2, Black Panther #3, Black Panther #4, Black Panther #5, Black Panther #6, Black Panther #7
...a group of illuminati-like Collectors...
...a pair of frog statues that double as time machines...
...a hidden society of immortal samurais...
...and a crazy super-evolved alien from the future.
It's either awfully awesome or awesomely awful, but it definitely must have felt retro in 1977.
Of historical interest, it is revealed that T'Challa's grandfather was named Azzari the Wise, and he was an owner of one of the Frogs but tried to bury and hide the device.
After a brief history of Vibranium and Bashenga the first Black Panther...
...issue #7 ends without resolution to a plot that is taking place in Wakanda while the Black Panther is off with the Collectors. T'Challa's jealous half-brother, Jakarra, has attempted a mutiny and subsequently exposed himself to the Vibranium mound, and is mutating. However, we'll learn in issue #8 that the Black Panther remains away from Wakanda for some time, and that his relatives are attempting to keep the peace while he is away.
One of the Collectors, Count Zorba, that appears in this story will much later get super-powers and take on the name Carnivore in Kurt Busiek's Exemplar/Eight Day crossover. He is listed in this entry under his super-villain name.
Quality Rating: C
Chronological Placement Considerations: See note above about the unresolved plot for issue #7. My reading of issue #8 leads me to believe that some time passes between #7-8 and there's no need for them to follow chronologically. For what it's worth, the MCP disagrees and pushes this entire run forward in time past a number of Avengers appearances (#159-166) that i have in between Black Panther #1-7 and #8-13.
Continuity Insert? N
My Reprint: Black Panther TPB vol. 1
Inbound References (2): showAbner Little, Black Panther, Carnivore, Jakarra, Joshua Itobu, N'Gassi, Princess Zanda
The first two titles are references to "King Solomon's Mines" and "The Six Million Dollar Man".
Posted by: Mark Drummond | August 23, 2011 12:03 PM
Kirby's editing seemed a bit sloppy as well. The cover logo on #4 reads "Action in a mystic realm with the BLACK PANTHER. Action! In a mystic realm!"
Posted by: Mark Drummond | June 10, 2012 8:25 PM
That could just be repetition for emphasis. Next issue should have said: "You people are just not getting it: Action! In! A! Mystic! Realm!"
Posted by: fnord12 | June 13, 2012 12:03 AM
May the Gods shine on Mr. Kirby and his interest in developing the very evolved and complicated Black Panther persona.I'm writing T'Challa in as a 3rd party candidate for President.
Posted by: RocknRollguitar | April 30, 2016 12:59 AM
So would the totally opposite direction from mature, complex and subtle be childish, simple and blunt?
Posted by: Brian Coffey | September 30, 2017 5:56 PM
Imagine an audiobook version of this series. William Shatner would be a perfect narrator/reader. "Action!" (pregnant pause) "In a mystic realm!"
Posted by: Brian Coffey | January 16, 2018 12:42 PM
Jakarra isn't just any rebel Wakandan. He's T'Challa's half brother by his father's second wife, and he's also the guy who gets transformed into the giant pink monster T'Challa fights in issues 8 through 10.
Posted by: Andrew | February 7, 2018 9:32 PM
Meaning Jakarra should be tagged here and in the other entry. IMHO.
Posted by: Andrew | February 8, 2018 1:35 PM
Posted by: fnord12 | February 8, 2018 8:13 PM
There's now an animated family tree for the Black Panther on Youtube: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yN0PAl-czFI
Posted by: Andrew | February 11, 2018 5:49 PM
Writer Jonathan Lethem has penned at length on Kirby's 70s Marvel run, especially in the essay "Identifying with Your Parents, or Return of the King" from his book The Disappointment Artist. In particular, he describes teenagers in that era being unsure what to think about yesterday's Marvel genius in the era of "edgy" new comic stars like Steve Gerber. Worth a read.
Posted by: squirrel_defeater | February 20, 2018 7:17 PM
Regarding the "Collectors:" Colonel Pigman might be a reference to the novel The Pigman (1968), whose title character collects pig statues. Silas Mourner is almost certainly a reference to Silas Marner: The Weaver of Raveloe (1861). Zorba is I would guess a likely reference to Zorba the Greek (1946), which was retold in an immensely popular 1964 film.
A little less likely, but still possible, Zanda might have been inspired by Zandra Rhodes, who was an up and coming British fashion designer in the 1960s & 70s. According to Wikipedia, "She made her biggest splash in 1977 with the establishment take on punk which she called Conceptual Chic. She used kilts and safety pins – pre Versace – to form a sort of embroidery, mixed with loosely drawn figures screen-printed on silk jersey, or on the newly developed Ultrasuede fabric."
Posted by: Holt | March 5, 2018 1:54 AM
I think we can all work out where the name "Hatch 22" came from.
Posted by: The Small Lebowski | March 5, 2018 4:14 PM
I never got that!
Abner Little's name is Li'l Abner reversed.
Posted by: Luke Blanchard | March 5, 2018 5:55 PM
Comments are now closed.
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