Written by: John Ridley
Art by: Germán Peralta
Colors by: Jesus Aburtov
Letters by: VC’s Joe Sabino
Cover art by: Alex ross
Cover price: $3.99
Release date: September 7, 2022
Black Panther #9 begins a new arc as T’challa resumes his position as leader of the Avengers when a strange threat arrives to use the Earth for grazing his cattle. Enter the Colonialist.
Is It Good?
Black Panther #9 is just plain weird. I don’t know if Ridley is trying to be funny, or if he’s… Never mind. I have no idea what Ridley is doing. Black Panther #9 is bizarre.
Imagine a time when Black Panther, having learned absolutely nothing from his recent failures in Wakanda (read: more arrogant and self-involved than ever), reassumes his place as leader of the Avengers when a weird threat arrives, the Colonialist, speaking Twitter buzzwords and progressive tropes. The Colonialist owns the strange monsters the Avengers fought (without explanation) in issue #1, and the Colonialist explains he mistakenly thought it was okay to use unpopulated sections of Earth to allow his monsters to “graze.”
The Avengers curtly disinvite the Colonialist from using the Earth for further grazing activity, but no colonialist ever took ‘no’ for an answer when it comes to land or taking what doesn’t belong to them.
On the one hand, you could say Ridley is going to extreme levels of meta to design an enemy worthy of the Avengers while also making a statement about the evils of colonialism. On the other hand, the new villain introduced here is so on the nose and entirely absent of cleverness or nuance that it’s hard to say if Ridley is taking this story seriously or if he’s writing satire. What’s next? An invasion of white-hooded aliens who call themselves the Klansmen.
Truly, you could see this as a brilliant way to insert a social message in a way that works for the context of a superhero book, or you could see this as a writer so out of ideas that he just went all in on the social commentary. Either way, this is a bizarre way to start an arc.
Credit where credit is due. Peralta’s art looks great in this issue. The Colonialist’s design is sufficiently weird enough to match Ridley’s story. The action is solid, and the scenes transition nicely.
About The Reviewer: Gabriel Hernandez is the Publisher & EIC of ComicalOpinions.com, a comics review site dedicated to indie, small, and mid-sized publishers.
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Black Panther #9 is either a brilliant approach to social commentary or a happy accident from a writer whose completely out of ideas. Either way, the new arc starts off with a bang that will leave you scratching your head.
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