Thursday, June 23, 2011

From the Back Issue Bin: Black Panther

The following scene takes place on page 18 of the 2005 trade paperback of Black Panther, (which collects issues #1-#6), written by Reginald Hudlin, and with art by John Romita Jr.

* * *

"They can't do that," someone yells from inside a room in the White House.

Inside the room, the Secretary of State, Dondi Reese, is pointing out some changes on a memo to her secretary, while a group of military officials and others in business suits continue on with a discussion at a table not far from where she is standing.

"We're the #$%#$ United States of %#$%#$ America," a general says. "Where do a bunch of Jungle bunnies get off telling us they've got a 'No Fly' zone over their thatched hut?"

Dondi, an African-American woman with dark red lipstick and a head full of silver hair, turns around as she hears the general's words.

The room grows silent. "Did I say something wrong," the general asks, unaware that Dondi Reese is standing right behind him. He turns around and quickly opens his mouth to say, "Oh god, Dondi--I'm sorry! You know I don't mean you when I say--"

"Shut up, Wallace," says Dondi.

"--I mean, they're nothing like you--"

"Shut-up," she repeats.

This time the general keeps his mouth shut as his cheeks turn red.

* * *

When Hudlin, (previously known for writing and directing films), took on the task of revamping the Black Panther, he used a mix of action, injected with politics, to create a fantastic first arc. As the scene above illustrates, no matter how high they climb the capitalist ladder, Black people cannot escape National Oppression. This was shown here at the highest level of power; inside the White House.

The story revolves around an imaginary country located in the center of Africa called, Wakanda, which the book describes as being notable for "never having being conquered in its entire history." In the book you learn that the Wakandans have all battled and beat different forces who have tried, through force, to get on their land. Other African tribes, Christian and Islamic invaders in its early history. Followed by French, English and Belgium forces that were lured by stories of Wakanda's gold and riches.

The drama starts because forces inside the White House are thirsting for Wakanda's advanced technology and large oil deposits and have secretly (economically) backed a Super-villain named Klaw, who organizes a group of powerful villains to invade the country. This is where our hero comes in, as he has just recently earned the mantle/title of the Black Panther and is tested, not only with an invasion by a team of super-powered villains, but a team lead by the man who killed his father!

This trade should be easy to find at any local comic book store, or on the Internet. Highly recommended!!!

No comments:

Post a Comment