The latest volume of Black Panther reached a point in the first arc that I was on the verge of dropping it. It was good, but it was slow, and more focused on world-building than telling a story. However, last issue started to regain my trust, and this issue cemented that.
Ta-Nahesi Coates, Kev Walker, Stephane Paitreau, and Joe Sabino bring us closer to the war promised in the first arc. However, it finds our lead character faced with an important question.
T’Challa undertakes a mission alone, a simple mission to recover Vibranium from the Empire. However, he discovers the ship transporting the precious metal is also full of slaves. He’s then faced with a difficult question- follow orders or do the heroic thing and save the ENTIRE cargo?
Coates seems to know his story needs to shift gears in this issue. He gives us the best internal struggle with his lead character, showing T’Challa conflicted towards two different types of duty. However, he also writes a great action story, giving us back the badass we saw earlier in this volume again. It’s two halves that come together in a well-done whole.
Walker and Paitreau continue to be a great breath of fresh air. Walker has long been one of the better action artists in Marvel’s stable, and he’s able to balance the moral quandaries with the fisticuffs. Paitreau’s colors compliment that, with great use of shadows and lighting.
T’Challa is starting to feel like himself again, and it’s great.
Black Panther #8 is available now from Marvel Comics.