Black Panther #14-15
Issue(s): Black Panther #14, Black Panther #15
T'Challa is already fending off trade requests and explaining that his country doesn't seek advisors, Cuban or otherwise. When he chases away all the diplomats, he has a visit from the Avengers...
...and he explains to them the recent events in Wakanda from the truncated Jack Kirby series. He confides in Captain America that as a result of his exposure to raw vibranium during those events, he has lingering psychic powers, specifically a limited kind of precognition.
Later, the Black Panther is prowling the city to clear his head, when he notices Klaw, who has wandered into a bad part of town, seemingly inviting a mugging. He is indeed attacked, by a gang called the Thunderbolts that the Black Panther has encountered before. Their attack drops Klaw, and when the Panther tries to intervene, they manage to activate Klaw's sonic claw, knocking him out as well.
The Panther brings Klaw to Avengers Mansion, while the Thunderbolts bring the claw to a garage where they hook it up to a synthesizer.
The Panther asks the Avengers to ship Klaw back to Wakanda, where he can stand trial for the murder of T'Challa's father. And then he heads out alone to track the Thunderbolts. When he finds them, they've already figured out how to make awesome elephant-eagle solid sound creatures.
Cap had actually been following the Panther, so the two of them fight the elephant-eagle.
The Panther notices that Cap's shield is having an affect on the sound creature, and so he's able to use it to dispel the creature.
It's worth noting that the Panther observes that Cap's shield "possesses some of the properties of vibranium". The composition of Captain America's shield hadn't been defined yet, so this is a fairly significant revelation. The Panther also wasn't already aware of that fact and is just speculating here; i have a feeling that later stories imply otherwise but nothing i can specifically recall so i'll just have to keep it in mind.
Meanwhile, the Beast and the Vision are at the docks, trying to convince a customs official to let them load Klaw onto a boat without a passport or extradition papers. The Vision (of all people!) makes the case that the Klaw isn't really human any more so they don't need papers, but the official isn't buying it.
Before that argument can be concluded, the Avengers are attacked by more sound monsters. It becomes clear that the Thunderbolt playing the synth is possessed by Klaw.
While they are fighting the animals, a forcefield develops around Klaw. The Vision is able to disrupt the animals, but can't penetrate the forcefield. However, the Panther and Cap soon join the other Avengers, and then a limo from the Wakandan embassy arrives, delivering a pair of vibranium-clawed gloves.
The Panther uses them to breach the forcefield to battle Klaw.
The other Avengers deliberately hang back and let the Panther do the fighting.
Even though the Avengers are prominently featured in these issues, it's definitely intended that the Panther be the hero here. Hence the Avengers not joining in for the end fight, and the Panther earlier figuring out Cap's shield's unique properties and demonstrating the ability to expertly wield it himself.
The Black Panther defeats Klaw by pointing his sonic claw back at himself, which causes him to explode in a feedback loop. Klaw says that the reason he "recruited" the Thunderbolts was part of a scheme that would have restored him to his original power levels, which is a nice acknowledgement that he's become a bit of a non-threat in his more recent appearances.
While all of this is going on, Monica Lynne and Kevin Trublood arrive in New York, stalked by Windeagle.
They make their way to the Wakandan embassy.
Ed Hannigan had a Defenders run that i have a very low opinion of, so i didn't have much hope for this. But it turns out to be exactly what was needed for the Black Panther after some really bad handling in the past few years. Don McGregor's Jungle Action was fantastic to begin with but really got bogged down in the Klan storyline. And then it was cut short for Jack Kirby's run, which pretty much ignored everything about the character and just told some weird adventure stories (and don't even start with the Black Musketeers). So moving the Panther to New York while retaining the Wakandan connection by opening an embassy (instead of making him a schoolteacher again, for example) was a great way to bring the character back into the mainstream Marvel universe, where he can fight super-villains and hang out with the Avengers. Using both Klaw and the Thunderbolts is a nice way to recognize the Panther's past stories. And having the Avengers appear prominently in this story while letting the Panther play the lead role worked really nicely as well. A lot to like.
Craftwise we are reaching that period where even non-prominent books have a good level of professionalism and quality. There's nothing spectacular here script-wise or artwise (which isn't to say there isn't nice art; i like that panel of the Panther wearing the gloves leaping at Klaw), but it's all done well.
Unfortunately from here, Hannigan is faced with the unenviable task of picking up on McGregor's Klan storyline. So while having the premise allows for the Panther to be in New York fighting super-villains and dealing with political intrigue, that's not quite what he's able to do. And this book is cancelled, sending the storyline to Marvel Premiere.
Quality Rating: C+
Chronological Placement Considerations: Monica Lynne and Kevin Trublood show up at the Wakandan embassy in this arc, and they wait there until T'Challa returns in Marvel Premiere #51. Windeagle is also lurking around in these issues and attacks at the beginning of that issue. Therefore, these issues take place after the Black Panther's appearance in Marvel Team-up #87, which also takes place at the Wakandan embassy, and Marvel Premiere #51 takes place almost immediately after these issues. And in Marvel Premiere #53, we see a photograph in the Daily Bugle with a credit for Peter Parker. So this whole arc needs to take place before Amazing Spider-Man #193. Another headline in the same newspaper calls Black Panther an ex-Avenger, placing this after Avengers #181. That means the Scarlet Witch is here after deciding to go to Europe with Django Maximoff, but before actually leaving (which is ok; we also see her in Cap #228 and Hulk Smash Avengers #2 before she leaves). Must take place before Klaw's appearance in Marvel Two-In-One #53-58.
Continuity Insert? N
My Reprint: N/A
Inbound References (2): showAubrey Pearson, Beast, Black Panther, Captain America, Iron Man, Kevin Trublood, Klaw, Monica Lynne, Scarlet Witch, Vision, Windeagle
Hey you write amazing reviews, I read a lot of your reviews. I just wanted to ask if you know about any issues you've read where hawkeye or somebody( i can't remember who, but I'm pretty sure it was hawkeye) said that captain america could fight better than the black panther, I remember reading it somewhere in your reviews, you might have written it under references or notes, I just wanted to know if the statement about captain america being to able to fight better than black panther is a statement that actually exists or am I just remembering it incorrectly?
Posted by: Rohit Rai | April 17, 2015 12:34 PM
You know, that does sound vaguely like something i mentioned once, but i don't remember what issue it was in, and i did some searching on the site and didn't find anything. Maybe someone else will remember.
If this is to settle a Whoodwin/Battleboard type question, i wouldn't take Hawkeye's word for it, in any event.
Posted by: fnord12 | April 17, 2015 12:48 PM
Thanks for searching man :) and yeah I wouldn't take hawkeyes word for it either , the panther is well respected to be caps equal.
Posted by: Rohit Rai | April 17, 2015 1:32 PM
Kurt Busiek once said that Cap is faster than the Panther, but Tchalla's fighting style emphasizes his speed more than Cap's. Maybe it was something along those lines?
Posted by: Luis Dantas | November 6, 2016 12:49 AM
Cap and Panther are near equivalents. Both operate at peak human potential efficiency by different methods (super soldier serum versus exotic African herbal lore). In terms of pure fighting ability, I'd give an edge to the super soldier, but Panther has access to advance technology so he might win in other playing fields.
Both Black Panther and Kraven have powers with very similar origins, although Kraven has far more power than the Black Panther (since he is near Spider-Man strength). I don't think they ever met which is a shame.
Posted by: Chris | November 6, 2016 1:19 AM
Without any sort of weapons, I figure Cap and T'Challa are equals, but T'Challa's uniform now has the vibranium weave and all sorts of gadgets, while Cap still just has the chain mail shirt and that damn shield. They have an inconclusive fight in Tales of Suspense 98, but much later Priest and Hudlin will give the edge to T'Challa.
T'Challa and Kraven finally face off in Black Panther: Man Without Fear 519.
Posted by: Andrew | November 6, 2016 7:19 AM
Had this comic as a kid (bought for cheap in a back issue store, think I assumed it had already been established that Cap's shield was part vibranium and T'Challa was just deducing something the readers were already aware of.
Interesting to learn this is apparently the first reference to Cap's shield being part vibranium, and it's not confirmed in story until Captain America 302. Wonder if the Marvel writers at the time were already thinking about the Marvel Handbook to explain this sort of thing.
Seems to me that the introduction of vibranium into the mix helps explain how the shield isn't just indestructible but also apparently "absorbs" force/energy to stop it having an effect on the guy wielding the shield. (I think there are some times he's depicted as being knocked flying by a force on the shield, but it's very much an exception.) Though can't recall whether that "absorbing" property of the shield had already been established at this point, or whether it only became a trope after "part vibranium" is introduced?
Posted by: Jonathan, son of Kevin | February 4, 2017 4:46 PM
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