Saturday, January 1, 2022

Review of "Black Panther: The Ultimate Guide," by Stephen Wiacek

 Review of

Black Panther: The Ultimate Guide, by Stephen Wiacek, ISBN 9780241300817

Five out of five stars

Detailed history of a changeable character

 Marvel broke significant new ground in comic book history in 1966 when Stan Lee and Jack Kirby  introduced the new character of Black Panther. He had black skin and was from the fictional country known as Wakanda in Africa. Furthermore, he was the ruler of that country and it possessed advanced technology that the European based countries did not. He was also a physically powerful and extremely intelligent man. Characteristics of a black person that were not often found in popular fiction at the time.

 From the original context of the character, there have been many changes in Black Panther’s position as well as in his country of Wakanda. He has been a member of many groups of heroes, fighting off the villains and on occasion fighting those that have taken over Wakanda by force. Black Panther has married a superhuman, only to have that marriage annulled and there have been many instances of multiple universes and the questionable necessity of the deaths of entire planet Earths.

 With so much that has changed over time, it is extremely difficult to follow the multiple storylines. Therefore, this book is extremely valuable in filling that void. As the subtitle implies, it is a definitive guide to all of the plot machinations that have taken place in the evolution of the Black Panther storylines. If you were like me and confused concerning the complications of the character’s role in the Marvel Universe, this book will clear up nearly all of your uncertainty.

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