Ta-Nehisi Coates’ epic run on Black Panther is coming to a close this April, ending an epic five year run before ushering in a brand new era.
Marvel Comics has just confirmed that the long awaited Black Panther #25 will release this April, serving as a finale issue concluding Ta-Nehisi Coates’ epic run which began nearly five years ago. The issue will also usher in a brand new era for King T’Challa and the nation of Wakanda going forward, as soon as the Black Panther handles the Intergalactic Empire of Wakanda, led by a resurrected Erik Killmonger. Coates’ Black Panther has been nothing short of prolific, contributing vast depths and dynamic layers to the Black Panther mythos and the world of Wakanda, and it even served as a big source of inspiration for the 2018 Black Panther film.
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Ta-Nehisi Coates’ run on Marvel Black Panther began in 2016 with A Nation Under Out Feet, carrying a large focus on the clashing tension of T’Challa’s multiple roles in the Marvel Universe such as King, Avenger, and, of course, Black Panther. At the start of his run, Coates had Black Panther dealing with a massive amount turmoil within his kingdom nation, which was on the verge of civil war. The people had lost faith in him due to his torn duties, and they even dubbed him Haramu-Fal (The Orphan King), a king without a nation. Black Panther had to work extremely hard to win back to loyalty of the people and earn their love, and a big part of that involved the massive status-quo change of diverting the Wakandan government into a democracy rather than the monarchy it had long been. Eventually, Coates would also go on to create spin-off series such as World of Wakanda and Black Panther and The Crew, further fleshing out the remote nation and T’Challa himself.
However, the most current and final Black Panther arc will be The Intergalactic Empire of Wakanda, where the nation has decided launch its own space exploration program in search of the Mena Ngai, better known as the Great Mound. The Great Mound was the meteorite containing the large deposit of vibranium that came into ancient Wakanda’s possession and lead to their great prosperity and advancement. However, a time-displacing anomaly took them into the past across the multiverse, where they spent the next few thousand years creating the Intergalactic Empire of Wakanda. However the Empire lost its way, and was eventually led by Emperor N’Jadaka, who had bonded with an alien symbiote in order to hold even greater power.
When T’Challa went to investigate, he was taken captive and put on the lowest level of the Empire’s social ladder, becoming one of the slaves known as the Nameless, having his memories wiped as well. However, he eventually got his memories back after joining forces with the resistance group known as the Maroons. While Black Panther believed he had killed N’Jadaka and subsequently returned home, a piece of the emperor’s symbiote survived and followed, having now bonded to the corpse of the original Erik Killmonger (the N’Jadaka of Wakanda Prime). Now, the final battle is close at hand, and the very fate of Wakanda is at stake. Check out the issue’s variant cover art below.
With the finish line in sight for Ta-Nehisi Coates’ Black Panther, one can only hope that it will have an incredibly strong and satisfying ending worthy of the epic narrative that’s been told since 2016. It seems as though it will, especially considering that Wakanda will be at war with a dark version of itself that has forgotten what it once was. Here’s hoping that Black Panther will be prepared not only to face a resurrected Killmonger, but also guide his nation through whatever’s yet to come once the amazing Coates has moved on from the Marvel Comics series.
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