[*Mild Spoilers Ahead!]
T’Challa, Nakia, M’Baku, and Farouk have been brought aboard the Wakandan Empire ship, the Mackandal, and are standing before Manifold, Achebe, and the daughter of Emperor N’Jadaka himself, Zenzi. However, Zenzi is not herself; she has been possessed by the panther goddess, Bast. She has her own designs on taking vengeance upon N’Jadaka, and they begin on Planet Agwe. She wants to give T’Challa his memory back, but he must follow her plans and her will in the war against the Intergalactic Empire of Wakanda.
Black Panther #11 continues to catalog the struggle against the Intergalactic Empire of Wakanda by the Maroons, led by M’Baku, Nakia, and T’Challa. This issue finds them in the mouth of the lion, but not all is at it seems.
Zenzi, Achebe, and the Manifold being among N’Jadaka’s closest associates (especially given that Zenzi herself is the emperor’s daughter). However, Achebe and Manifold are ready to serve Bast through Zenzi.
The restoration of T’Challa’s memory has been a long time coming, but it’s been teased as coming up in the past few issues dealing with Planet Agwe.
As such, the fact that this issue drags its feet in getting to that point is a little tiresome. Admittedly, explaining what is happening with Bast and Zenzi should take some time, but almost the entire issue can be summed up with Bast telling the Maroons that they serve him now.
Ta-Nehisi Coates has had some pacing struggles with Black Panther even more so than in Captain America and Black Panther and the Crew. “Avengers of the New World” took over a year to come to its conclusion, and that length of time wasn’t really needed. “The Intergalactic Empire of Wakanda” looks primed to drag its feet too.
Kev Walker’s art is perhaps the strongest aspect of this comic. Walker knows how to draw some drama and strength out of even a slow-moving comic like this. Java Tartaglia’s color art is atmospheric and appealing too, serving the visuals excellently.
Black Panther #13 is a fairly disappointing issue. It moves forward very slowly and only reaches its point on the very last page. It has its strong aspects; Coates writes solid dialogue. Kev Walker, Marc Deering, and Java Tartaglia’s visuals are great. As such, I can still recommend this one, if only tentatively. Feel free to pick this one up.
Black Panther #13 comes to us from writer Ta-Nehisi Coates, artist Kev Walker, inker Marc Deering, color artist Java Tartaglia, letterer VC’s Joe Sabino, cover artist Daniel Acuña, and variant cover artist Rahzzah.