Wakanda has been the most advanced civilization on Earth for millennia, but the country’s reach is far greater than previously thought. Last year’s Marvel Legacy one-shot introduced the Intergalactic Empire Of Wakanda, and the ongoing Black Panther series is traveling to the stars for its latest relaunch. Writer Ta-Nehisi Coates has done great work exploring the politics and mythology of the African country in his Black Panther run, and he gets the opportunity to create an entirely new faction of Wakandans in this new series with artist Daniel Acuña. Coates’ first year on Black Panther had some pacing issues, and the writing struggled to balance the deeper thematic elements with exhilarating superhero action. That was fixed in Coates’ second year, which delivered thrills that energized the storytelling, and this exclusive preview of next week’s Black Panther #1 kicks off the new volume with force as T’Challa fights for his freedom in an alien mine.
The first page of this excerpt, which first appeared in Marvel Legacy with different text, immediately establishes the spectacular scale of Acuña’s artwork, and his design work shows how the spirit of Wakanda has been influenced by alien cultures in space. From there, the scope narrows considerably to introduce T’Challa’s new status quo: He might not have his royal authority anymore, but he still knows how to kick ass when he’s threatened. These pages are light on dialogue and heavy on mood, and they effectively signal a major shift for this series by putting T’Challa in a dark, cramped environment that he quickly escapes. The action moves with immense power and speed, and Acuna doesn’t lose any dynamism in the rich detail of his line work and coloring. There are a lot of questions in this preview about how T’Challa ended up in this situation, and readers curious about Black Panther comics after the movie have an easy jumping-on point that gives them something different than the film, but no less exciting.