Marvel's Black Panther (2016-Present) Issue #6 - #7 Review
On the last issue which can be read about here, we saw this political thriller unfold even more as Zeke Stane, son of Obadiah Stane and enemy of Iron Man, Tetu the revolutionary shaman and Zenzi frame T'Challa. They achieved this by leaking a video of a known strongman who attended a meeting earlier in the day with the Black Panther on advice on how to quell uprisings. The video was leaked to the public to destroy T'Challa's image and not the part where the dictator said T'Challa declined. Now things have gotten worse!
Changamire, former friend of the now deceased Queen Mother, has taken to the streets with his pro-democratic voice and has even gone to the United Nations seeking help against the Black Panther. Wakandans are demanding an end to the rule of the Panther and are calling for democracy. Akili of the Hatut Zeraze, who is always at these debriefings, thinks the demands of the people are rubbish. He thinks the Panther God named Bast that empowers T'Challa is the ultimate wisdom, not the people. It's interesting watching the inner workings of the Wakandan throne play out. One wouldn't expect a member of the Wakandan secret police, which the Hatut Zeraze are, to be pro-democracy. At the end of of all of this discussion about the next move to make, the Black Panther greenlights a strike against the Midnight Angels in the Jabari-lands.
In the Jabari-lands, Aneka and Ayo rally their sisters for the impending fight. In mere moments after this, the Hatut Zeraze descend from Wakandan dropships hovering high in the air. A fire fight begins between the two forces. The Hatut Zeraze have always been an interesting force within the Black Panther comics, they're like the Wakandan version of Seal Team 6 but with vibranium technology. Ayo and Aneka save a few of their sisters, but cannot save them all as it begins to look as if the forces of the Midnight Angels are getting over-matched. Suddenly as Aneka and Ayo give one last rallying cry in the name of the Goddess and of the Dora Milaje in what seems like their impending death, Tetu and Zenzi appear out of nowhere and come to the aid of the Midnight Angels and Dora Milaje! Zenzi uses her psychic ability (an ability that still has not been really fleshed out) to get into the minds of the Hatut Zeraze; completely ending the strike that T'Challa just greenlit.
At the end of end of this issue, the Black Panther appears at the Base of The People. The People is basically the name of the group led by Tetu and Zenzi whose men wear the green turbans. While T'Challa is dispatching the first few soldiers we learn that he has in fact been one step ahead the whole time. He has been using deception to reveal the face of the true conspirators. T'Challa allows himself to be captured and he is taken to Zeke Stane. Stane lets T'Challa in on a little secret thinking he's caught the Black Panther; he let's him know that Tetu put out a contract to every alien, mutant or other that whoever brings in T'Challa would get a piece of the future Wakandan land after he is disposed. The biggest surprise to be revealed so far this volume comes to light as we find out that Akili and Hodari were in on the conspiracy and plotting against T'Challa the entire time! Hodari tells Akili to prepare the state media for the breaking news that they're about to reveal themselves as the face of the revolution; he tells Zeke Stane to end T'Challa quietly. However this is when T'Challa's true agenda is brought to our attention as the reader, like I said...he allowed himself to be caught. Knowing that he could send his allies to the face off against the true conspirators in person...backup has arrived!
It seems like we're reaching the climax of what was started way back in Issue #1. The conspirators have been exposed and the nation of Wakanda hangs in the balance!
At the base of The People, Ezekiel "Zeke" Stane kicks T'Challa to the ground teasing him about how much he'd love to be King and how he has all the wrong attributes to do the job. T'Challa tells Stane that he is no longer useful to him and suddenly Manifold teleports Luke Cage, Storm and Misty Knight into the base and what ensues for several pages is nothing short of Marvel Black superhero magic. Some of my favorites such as Luke Cage, who I've written about before, and Storm debate the use of the word 'thug' with Misty Knight as they whoop The People's butt's like they owed them money. Some of the powered enemies that Zeke Stane brought with him attempt to put up a fight, but of course they are fairly easily handled as Luke Cage destroys a platform they were standing on, causing them to crash to the ground far below. While Misty and Luke continue debating the use of words, Stane uses the opening to attempt to get a blast off at Misty Knight who's back is turned. Before that happens however, T'Challa chops away at Stane's legs cutting them out from underneath him.
Just as it looks like Stane and the Black Panther are about to go at it (a fight that the Black Panther can win with an arm tied behind his back), we cut away to Changamire being escorted through a jungle in Wakanda. While he's following the followers of The People, we get into his head a little bit more and learn his backstory about how he used to fight for a different Wakanda. Changamire is an idealist, an idealist who is getting caught up with people who don't share his ideals...they want power. Changamire is finally led to Tetu and Zenzi deep in the jungle and they share a brief discussion about how Changamire believes the "brutal" power of T'Challa needs to be opposed...and he's clearly not talking about politically-opposed. We cut away once again back to the Black Panther vs. Zeke Stane...
The Black Panther is handling Stane pretty easily. He's literally beating him with both hands tied behind his back. Suddenly, Stane calls for backup from one of the powered individuals he brought with him, well actually there are two of them - called the Fenris Twins. One of the twins appears and disappears in a split second...taking Stane away with them to escape to safety.
After a segment in the Djalia with Shuri, the story comes back to Changamire in the forest with Tetu and Zenzi. Zenzi says that Changamire can come with them, but all of a sudden Changamire gets cold feet and says he not only fears the future that T'Challa will bring, but also the future she and Tetu will bring. Changamire tells Tetu that he came into the jungle to tell him that he knows what he has done...that he is behind many of the recent murder of Wakandans. Zenzi seems to become angry and looks like she's about to attack him and she does attack him slightly before Tetu screams for her to stop. Once she stops we see the final panel of the issue below. Changamire says that Tetu says he opposes kings, but his methods are no different from theirs. That Tetu claims he brings the power of life, but his name is equated with death. Tetu answers a philosophical question that Changamire asked him when he was once his pupil..."What is our remedy against the robber, who so broke into our house?" Tetu answers that you burn down the house...with the robber inside!
That's the end of Issue #7 and the series is only getting better and more interesting. Be on the lookout for the review of Issue #8. We are now back on track!