Black Panther: A Nation Under Our Feet

A unique characteristic that separates T’Challa from other superheroes is the role he has as both hero and king. The duties  attached with both positions bring conflict to Wakanda ,as the nation’s people grow in their frustration and  mistrust in the leadership of their King due to his work with the Avengers which sometimes takes him away from Wakanda and his subjects. Black Panther: A Nation Under Our Feet  explores the conflict T’Challa’s character experiences due to his complex role as he attempts to answer : what makes a nation? What is a king’s duty, and what are his responsibilities to his people? While other superheroes such as Batman may not think twice about using physical force against their own citizens for the greater good, T’Challa  must weigh every action as to much violence from him may create the image of a tyrant and worsen the relationship between the ruler and his subjects leading to  mistrust,anger and even more violent rebellions.

Coates has done an excellent job of introducing fresh concepts and ideas to the character T’Challa while also still acknowledging his past for longtime Black Panther fans and providing a quick back story  for new readers, such as I, to follow. There’s a deep, interesting cast of characters, a fully-realized world, and interesting politics at play. The comic’s vibrancy is a demonstration of how diversity can breathe new life into old concepts. In recent years, Marvel has made strides toward acknowledging diversity, introducing Ms. Marvel a female superhero belonging to minor ethnic group and religion in society. Black Panther is one of the company’s first series to feature black characters depicted by black creators, and as a result no part of the depiction of the  characters culture feels superficial or forced.

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