I’m talking, of course, about Black Panther: The Man Without Fear.
For the past several years, Marvel’s premiere African hero has been presented as a noble African king and a great technologist. He beat up Captain America and showed that he could take on anyone in the Marvel Universe.
Now things have changed. Banished from his own kingdom, without his panther powers or his high tech weapons, T’Challa agrees to take Daredevil’s place as defender of Hell’s Kitchen, New York. With only a slightly tweaked costume, he sets out to do his duty and prove his worth to himself.
While he establishes a new secret identity as the head of a small diner, he comes into conflict with the criminal now ruling over the area. Vlad “the Impaler” Dinu not only controls his territory with an iron fist, but he also has the power to generate energy and throw it as deadly javelins.
The first arc is all about Panther rediscovering his powers and learning how to work as a vigilante hero in New York. The six chapters of the story move at a frenetic pace as T’Challa goes from a typical street vigilante to a master strategist working to fight crime in his city.
The conflict ultimately draws in the Panther’s friends, allies and all of Dinu’s extended family, which all boils down to a brutal confrontation between the hero and his new foe.
Black Panther: The Man Without Fear is the perfect title for anyone that likes their pulp characters melded with the superhuman. The first trade collection, “Urban Jungle” collects the Panther’s full battle with Vlad. It’s well worth a purchase. Recommended.
Review by Nick Ahlhelm