We Gonna Go Back...Way Back
Written by: Ta-Nehisi Coates
Art by: Chris Sprouse, Karl Story, Walden Wong, Laura Martin
Cover Price: $3.99
Release Date: November 16th, 2016
Review by: Christian Faulds
*NON SPOILERS AND SCORE AT THE BOTTOM*
This run of Black Panther has not been my favorite. Coates has changed the characters to fit the narrative he wants to write. There are good ways and bad ways to go about this. He has done it the bad way, making the characters less engaging. I hope upon hope that this issue is better than previous issues and we get a good story, instead of heavy-handed revolution allegory.
The issue starts off with The Crew in the Necropolis: T’Challa is giving everyone a send off, thanking them for their help. He and Ororo have a conversation about the state of Wakanda. He explains why he brought them all there, and that he and Ororo still have feelings for each other. They say their goodbyes, and Eden takes them back to where they came from.
Eden meets up with T’Challa in his lab at Necropolis, then they go to these giant power armor machine things. Back at the Djalia, Shuri tells her mother that they are coming. She is upset because there is so much still to say. Her mother comforts her, then T’Challa and Eden get in the power armor suits, which amplify Eden’s teleportation ability so they can go to Shuri. T’Challa is tries to convince himself this is the right thing to do, and Eden comforts him. Then they are off.
While travelling through a swirling vortex, T’Challa remembers the last time he had to choose between kingdom and family. He regrets having left his sister to her current fate. He thinks about his new power set, which includes better tracking. T'Challa can track her into where she is now, but not get in; he can see a door, but not go through it. He thinks about the risk, but says he cannot part from his blood a second time.
Meanwhile, Shuri is talking to her mother, shows her the ruins she discovered, and says some weird stuff about "it is we who are discovered." Her mother says shadows have substance and are not nothing. She asks Shuri what shadow she wants to recount, and Shuri tells her the tale of Sologon. She was married to the Maghan Kanate and mocked for her bluntness. When her husband died in their third year of marriage, people plotted her exile.
Sologon persevered. She raised her son with the lesson that spirit of iron makes skin of stone. She became a trusted advisor to her father, then, in the last years of the Chiefs, Wakanda was assaulted. The other dynasties fell and the wise men of her father called for surrender. Sologon shamed these men as warriors and fathers. She vowed to fight the invaders and took off, the warriors in hot pursuit. She lead the Wakandans to victory, for they did not break. That is the end of the story.
Back to T’challa dreaming of electric sheep. He is still trying to keep his mind straight while pursuing Shuri. Shuri sees him coming and tells her mom. She begs her mom to come away with her, but her mom declines because she will always be with her...in her heart. Shuri's mom tells her to go, teach those who have forgotten what she is: the bearer of what was, what is, and what again shall be. T’challa and Eden wake up and Shuri reveals herself. She says she discovered nothing, but she remembers everything. Fin.
Bits and Pieces:
This issue I actually enjoyed. The whole dream sequence and the history lesson was good, though I am a sucker for history lessons. This was a nice departure from the revolution story line, and now that Shuri is back maybe she can bitch slap T’challa so he stops making stupid mistakes. The art in this issue is still really good.