Black Panther: A Nation Under Our Feet, Book One

A MacArthur Fellowship and National Book Award–winning author, Ta-Nehisi Coates (Between the World and Me) turns Black Panther into royal fun. In this new series, Coates’ story focuses on a vital—though often underused—element of the character as king of Wakanda, a technologically advanced African nation. Instead of Black Panther juggling roles as a superhero and a king, Coates all but drops the superhero hat—though, not the mask or claws—and gives that time to Wakanda and its people. The world-building is impressive; Coates and artist Brian Stelfreeze really make Wakanda a key character, as dichotomous as its people on brink of a revolution. Unfortunately, the first arc is only four issues and doesn’t move much beyond the set-up of opposing ideals. However, even the exposition is tense—conflict, tightly woven through interesting and unique characters—giving high hopes for the coming revolution. As a nice bonus, readers will also find a reprinting of Black Panther’s first appearance, from Fantastic Four No. 52.