With heroes and gods alike on his side, T’Challa The Black Panther prepares to face the Intergalactic Empire of Wakanda for the last time…  one way or another.  Your Major Spoilers review of Black Panther #25 from Marvel Comics awaits!

BLACK PANTHER #25

Writer: Ta-Nehisi Coates/Kaash Paige/Danny Lore
Artist: Daniel Acuña/Brian Stelfreeze/Alitha E. Martinez
Colorist: Daniel Acuña/Laura Martin/Rachelle Rosenberg
Letterer: VC’s Joe Sabino
Editor: Wil Moss
Publisher: Marvel Comics
Cover Price: $5.99
Release Date: May 26, 2021

Previously in Black Panther: This is the story of a king who sought to be a hero, a hero who was reduced to a slave, a slave who advanced into legend…and the man who has struggled to hold up an empire in his bare hands. The journey will conclude, but the legend remains.

IN BATTLE WITH A SYMBIOTE

Thanks to #TimeTravelShenanigans, The Black Panther sent a party of Wakandans through a time portal, where they founded a second Wakanda, but somehow forgot all the ideals of the original.  Now led by Emperor N’Jadaka (who has the memories of the dead Killmonger combined with the powers of a symbiote and those of the Panther’s god, Bast) has made his way to Earth.  Black Panther has assembled an army of heroes, bringing them all to defend Wakanda and even calling upon his gods for support, but the battle is not going as well as it might have.  While he fights the composite being, Bast herself moves in the proverbial mysterious ways, proceeding with her own agenda allied with the mysterious Zenzi.  Black Panther is forced to draw the sacred Spear of Bashenga, throwing it through N’Jadaka’s chest…

…only to have the Emperor catch it, breaking it in two with his bare hands.

“HOW CAN AN ENTITY BE BOTH MOTHER AND CHILD?”

Black Panther #25 is complex, finally wrapping up the five-year run that Ta-Nehisi Coates has been building towards, with Bast finally making her move and ending with T’Challa as the new Emperor of the Intergalactic Wakanda Empire, which feels like a real game-changer for The Black Panther.  The art in this issue’s lead story is split between Acuña and Stelfreeze, with both artists delivering stellar visuals.  I really enjoy how Acuña draws Monica Rambeau and Storm, and the symbiote-enhanced locs worn by N’Jadaka are just amazing.  I also like the story’s use of Storm, T’Challa’s ex-wife, to prod him into doing the right thing at the end, as she’s one of the few people who can get away with chiding the King of Wakanda.  The story also uses characters like Vibraxas, Thunderball of the Wrecking Crew and Eden Fesi in impressive ways, ending with a tribute to those lost along the path.

BOTTOM LINE: THIS IS PRETTY GREAT

In short, Black Panther #25 is the capstone to an excellent run of comics, taking what seemed like an impossible premise and giving it time to develop and unfold, accompanied by art that makes every panel memorable, earning a well-deserve 4.5 out of 5 stars overall.  Whatever happens next, Coates’ run on Black Panther changed the rules and made for stories equal to the MCU version of T’Challa, a development that is as surprising as it is pleasant.  This is a good issue, and I’m looking forward to what this creative team and The Black Panther get up to next.


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BLACK PANTHER #25

93%
93%
All Good Things

An impressive ending to Coates' run, setting up a wild new status quo for Wakanda, one that I hope doesn't get immediately unraveled by the next writer. Either way, it's a lovely ending for a lovely ride.

  • Writing
    9
  • Art
    10
  • Coloring
    9
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Once upon a time, there was a young nerd from the Midwest, who loved Matter-Eater Lad and the McKenzie Brothers... If pop culture were a maze, Matthew would be the Minotaur at its center. Were it a mall, he'd be the Food Court. Were it a parking lot, he’d be the distant Cart Corral where the weird kids gather to smoke, but that’s not important right now... Matthew enjoys body surfing (so long as the bodies are fresh), writing in the third person, and dark-eyed women. Amongst his weaponry are such diverse elements as: Fear! Surprise! Ruthless efficiency! An almost fanatical devotion to pop culture! And a nice red uniform.

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