After you see the Black Panther film, you’ll probably be yearning for more Black Panther adventures. That’s when it’s time to head to your local comic book shop and pick up a few issues. Here are five suggestions of where you could start. Happy reading!
First Appearance – Fantastic Four #52-53
Much of the Black Panther’s keystone elements were established from his very appearance including the country of Wakanda, vibranium, his nemesis Ulysses Klaue, and the heart-shaped herb that gave him his superhuman abilities. In his debut, T’Challa invites Marvel’s First Family to Wakanda. When they arrive, he tests their abilities in combat and then reveals he brought them to Wakanda to help him defend his country from Klaue. In a medium renowned for retconning stories left and right, it’s remarkable that so much of what is essential to the Black Panther character was set up from the get-go.
The “Panther’s Rage” Storyarc – Jungle Action #6-18
The Black Panther film has just hit theaters and one of the fan favorite characters is Killmonger played by Michael B. Jordan. The “Panther’s Rage” storyline contains Killmonger’s first appearance and is regarded by comic book historians and academics as comics’ first graphic novel. The story centers on Killmonger challenging T’Challa for the throne of Wakanda, especially since T’Challa has been away from Wanda for an extended period time due to his helping out the Avengers. Without this story we wouldn’t have much of what makes Killmonger and T’Challa’s rivalry so compelling.
“The Wedding of Storm & Black Panther” – Black Panther #18-25
There have been a lot of iconic comic book couples: Sue & Reed Richards, Peter Parker & Mary Jane Watson, Lois Lane & Clark Kent just to name a few. However, no two people better exemplify the term “power couple” than the X-Men’s Storm & Black Panther. Storm and T’Challa met each other when they were teenagers and despite falling in love, their lives took them in different directions; his path led him to leading a country as king, hers to leading the X-Men. Their wedding was right in the middle of Marvel’s Civil War storyline and was a ceasefire so both battling superhero factions could attend the event of the century. T’Challa and Storm are both serious and determined characters yet their relationship allows us to see the vulnerable and romantic sides to them.
“Avengers Of The New World” – Black Panther #13-18
One of the more fascinating aspects of Black Panther and Wakanda in general is their belief in the Panther God (who is sometimes referred to as Bast). However, not every writer that takes on the Black Panther leans into the spiritual angle. Ta-Nehisi Coates took on the mythology and religion of Wakanda, exploring T’Challa’s faith and how much access the Black Panther has to his gods.
“The Client” – Black Panther #1-5
Christopher Priest’s Black Panther work has been cited by many as definitive. In 1983, he became the first black writer to work full-time for either Marvel or DC and is responsible for many of the Black Panther’s classic storylines. One of those storylines is “The Client” where T’Challa meets Agent Everett Ross (played in the film by Martin Freeman) who acts as the king’s escort and the audience’s perspective into the world of Black Panther. The story is told from Ross’ point of view as T’Challa has to deal with a possible coup.
Which Black Panther comic do you think should’ve made this list? Which comic are you most excited to read? Let us know what you think in the comments below!