From the House of Ideas: ‘Wakanda #1’ and ‘Namor The Sub-Mariner: Conquered Shores #1’ are Perfect Primers for ‘Wakanda Forever’

Expect to see a lot of Black Panther related titles pop up in this column over the next few weeks, as we get primed and prepped for Black Panther: Wakanda Forever, which arrives in theatres on November 11th. Unsurprisingly, Marvel has got some new titles that were released this past week that are perfect tie-ins to the big movie of the season.

First up is the anthology series Wakanda #1, which is divided into two sections. The first, written by Stephanie Phillips and illustrated by Paco Medina, focuses on the character of Shuri, who is working to live in a Wakanda where her brother is no longer ruler (he’s an outcast, as per recent issues of the ongoing Black Panther series). The second part is titled “History of the Black Panthers Part One,” which is pretty much as described. Written by Evan Narcisse and drawn by Natacha Bustos, this story, which will run through this limited series, traces the history of Wakanda’s protector, beginning with its earliest incarnation. Consider it a testament to both writers that they managed to capture the voices and tone of the familiar Wakandans that are featured in this book and who have become cultural touchstones thanks to Ryan Coogler’s 2018 film. Even if you haven’t been following T’Challa’s exploits in his own book, Wakanda #1 is an easy to pick up issue that isn’t reliant on too much continuity.

Also out this past week is Namor The Sub Mariner: Conquered Shores #1, written by Christopher Cantwell and illustrated by Pasqual Ferry. As someone who has had little interest or affinity for Namor over my comic reading life, I have to say that I really enjoyed this book a lot. While not set in the same world as Old Man Logan, it definitely carries that vibe with it, as we meet an older and weathered Namor, living in a world that’s been ravaged by climate destruction and a war with the Kree. Humans and heroes painfully try to live above the sea while the underwater world of Atlantis covers the majority of Earth. Cantwell’s Namor struggles to find a middle ground between his subjects and the humans, and by the end of this first issue, he’s thrust into conflict between the two worlds. I loved Ferry’s depiction of Namor, regal and aged, and I was also a fan of how this book is outside current continuity so I could just pick it up and not have to know Namor’s current standing in the 616 Marvel world.

Comics like Wakanda #1 and Namor The Sub-Mariner: Conquered Shores #1 are no doubt timed to coincide with a big event film, but that doesn’t lessen their value at all. Instead, they serve as good reading as we count the weeks until we return to cinemas to experience Wakanda in all its moving picture glory.

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