King in Black: Black Panther #1 Review

by Nick Devonald on February 14, 2021

Writer: Geoffrey Thorne
Artist: Germán Peralta
Colours: Jesus Aburtov
Letters: VC’s Joe Sabino

King in Black: Black Panther shows readers exactly what happens when Knulls seemingly invincible army of symbiotes meets the technologically advanced country of Wakanda. This one-shot reads very different from the rest of the typical tie-ins to this event have, while Knull and his forces are powerful and overwhelming this is one of the few times where it feels like our heroes have a fighting chance and are playing on a slightly more level playing field. This works really well for a couple of different reasons, not least of which is the way it immediately distinguishes itself from the other tie-ins where the symbiote army appears to be unstoppable. While there is a certain expectation of the tone from reading the main King in Black storyline it’s refreshing for the story not to be quite as one sided. None of which is to suggest the Knull’s army loses some of its threat, they’re still incredibly powerfully and dangerous, and there are losses to Wakanda’s forces almost from the get go, but it isn’t quite as hopeless.

One of the other strengths of the comic is this story feels completely self contained and separate from the rest of the event, but it’s also an important chapter in the overall King in Black storyline. It doesn’t feel like it’s been thrown in for the sake of it and is a fun and entertaining story. It’s also easy to pick up and follow along with no prior knowledge of the Black Panther comics, and that accessibility will make it appeal to readers who’ve not been following along with Black Panthers adventures. Geoffrey Thorne’s script is fantastic, really capturing what works well about Black Panther, through the strength of flashback really defines the character of Black Panther and Wakanda, whilst telling an excellent chapter in the King in Black saga.

Germán Peralta’s art is stunning, watching Wakanda’s futuristic tech vs Knulls symbiote army is a delight. But the praise for Peralta’s art doesn’t end there, the symbiote designs are some of the best in the entire King in Black event, they are positively brimming with menace and he manages to capture the threat that they pose individually as well as with overwhelming numbers. Then the final page is one which will stay with readers after they’ve finished the story, it really captures the Black Panther vibe. Then there are Jesus Aburtov’s colours which look incredible when pitching the purple Wakandan weapons against the symbiotes red and blacks.

An excellent chapter in the King in Black event, not essential reading but fans of King in Black won’t want to miss this tale, a corner of the world which has so far been overlooked in the rest of the event. Thorne understands what works well about Black Panther and manages to tell a story which really captures the vibe of Wakanda, and answers the question of how well Wakanda would fare against a symbiote army. It manages to stand apart from the other tie-ins as well, no mean feat. The art is really good, the action scenes are incredible and the symbiote designs really capture the sinister horror vibe better than most of the other one-shots in the event. If you’re not planning on picking up all the tie-ins to the event this is one of the issues you should definitely consider picking up.

Our Score:


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