What the F*** T’ChallaWritten By: Ta-Nehisi Coates
Art By: Chris Sprouse, Karl Story, Laura Martin
Cover Price: $3.99
Release Date: August 10th, 2016
*Non Spoilers and Score At The Bottom*
I jumped into this issue as a Black Panther fan ready and raring to go. In this issue we get to see how the King of Wakanda is dealing with the small matter of having a rebellion in his kingdom. He is not handling it well with such terrible decisions in advisors it made me think that he was trying to get dethroned. Though, this is the next to last issue in this ark I have no idea how he is going to deal with the current situation. I am left more confused by this situation and how he deals with it then intrigued but enough with the summary let us get to the blow by blow.
We start off with T’Challa apologizing to Manifold for bringing him to Wakanda during a civil war. Then, we go into the mandatory introduction where T’Challa introduces himself for new readers. He gets weirdly preachy to the terrorists he is fighting and continues a long monologue in his head which is more like a bond villain than a hero.
We then get to see a group of suicide bombers who are using arc reactors as bombs. Why suicide bombs? This is Wakanda, they would be more like the IRA and this "modern world" allegory that the author is trying to make, falls flat.
Next, we move on to a meeting that T’Challa has called. He calls in the heads of 5 country's secret police to ask them what they would do in his situation. The answers they give just show what pieces of crap they are, but heh, what would you expect from...pieces of crap?. There are 2 problems with this scene, though. One is formatting... T’Challa’s thoughts become almost unrelated to what the people are talking about on the page. I had to read T’Challa’s thoughts first, then go back and read what the advisors were saying to understand what was going on. The second problem I had was with T’Challa’s character. He is a smart man...maybe a bit emotional, but a smart man. So why is he asking these people for advice? He knows what they would say already. This is at BEST a waste of time and at worst meeting with these people would only fan the flames of rebellion more. Of course, it does by the end.
This whole scene is just to set up for the end of the issue and falls so far from what Black Panther would do. He is a good man and a good king. Anyway this scene ends with nothing more than what you would expect to happen.
Then, we get to see Shuri in the Djalia being taught basically what a good king/leader is by the visual form of Ramonda. This part was actually entertaining, if a bit heavy handed. The art was great, giving this whole scene a dreamlike feeling which fit well with what was going on with Shuri. We also get a bit of Wakunda History from when what looks like Romans tried to invade which makes any person who digs history happy.
We then get T’Challa interrogating a suicide bomber. This scene is weird where I can not tell if he is interrogating the bomber or trying to flip him and use him as a inside man. This whole scene again was entertaining if not a bit weird.
The final scene shows the reader the former secret police leader of Genosha telling Tetu and Zenzi what he told T’Challa. Monstrous words, describing monstrous deeds, from a monstrous man. Really, this is what the meeting scene was setting up...all of Wakanda and the World (including a Storm cameo) can hear what T’Challa “plans” to do. It is filler because we literally get him giving the same speech twice. Once to Tetu and Zenzi and then we get it again in the broadcast. This could have been done way better but i guess the author ran out of story and need to fill space. Of course, this shocks everyone and we are left with an unhappy cliffhanger.
Bits and Pieces:
Overall, I came into this ready to see some awesome Black Panther story and was hit by bad allegory. I would only recommend someone read this if they like reading bad stories. The art was really good, but there is that old saying about turning stuff like this into shinola.