Comic Review: Black Panther #20, Coates, Bodenheim

Ghosts of the past

“We are Wakanda. For we are memory, and what is a nation that cannot remember?”

—T’Chaka

This issue continues the brand new “Wakanda Unbound” story arc. As established in issue 19, N’Jadaka, the previous ruler of the Galactic Empire of Wakanda, secretly survived his death (at the hands of Monica Rambeau) by placing his soul in his symbiote suit (comics). N’Jadaka and his cohorts then found and resurrected the body of Erik Killmonger. N’Jadaka placed his soul into this body and now with his symbiote and the powers of Erik Killmonger, he is stronger than ever and (purportedly) ready to take on T’Challa, head-to-head.

A number of interesting elements were introduced in #20. While preparing to go to battle against N’Jadaka’s forces, Shuri has a back-and-forth with Bast.. yes, the actual goddess. Bast has, apparently, been resurrected in the form of a little girl. She and Shuri argue for much of the issue as to whether Bast should be allowed to join the fray. This should be a no-brainer because Bast is.. a goddess.. but, come to find out, Bast abandoned Wakanda at some previous point in time. Shuri is still upset at this and refuses to accept the goddess’s help at face value.

The issue also introduces a number of allies that have joined the fight. This includes Luke Cage (YES!), Monica Rambeau (the woman who previously killed N’Jadaka.. by flying through his chest at light speed aka awesome), Falcon, and Misty Knight. Ironheart even makes an appearance in this issue. Of course, your girl Storm is present and at-the-ready to do battle, as well. I would actually give this battle instantly to T’Challa’s side just because they have Storm. But, a symbiote enhanced N’Jadaka/Erik Killmonger is nothing to sneeze at.. like, at all.

T’Challa’s role in this issue finds him in the spirit realm, also known as The Djalia. Here, Black Panther is able to communicate with all his elders in order to attain knowledge and stay connected to the true roots of Wakanda. However, this time seems a little different. This visit comprises T’Challa fighting all his past lives in order to find the wisdom he seeks. The panel cuts off right as his elders are about to jump our beloved Black Panther. I can’t wait till the next issue to see this throwdown.

The issue closes as N’Jadaka’s crew leaves the war room after receiving their marching orders. In her quarters, one of the crew member receives a surprise visit from.. I won’t reveal who. I’ve said it before, but comics still manage to surprise me, to this day.

Can’t wait till the next issue! I’ve gotta see how T’Challa figures himself through this conflict, and I’m pumped to see Storm in action. I’m always down to see bad guys receive an Omega-level beat down.

Comic grade: A

—The Cavalier Nerd

2 thoughts on “Comic Review: Black Panther #20, Coates, Bodenheim

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