Black Panther Legends Captures T'Challa's Heart

Long before he became a space-faring king, T'Challa was a boy trying to find his place in the world. The future Black Panther finds himself at the center of Black Panther Legends #1, the first miniseries from the new line of all-ages Marvel Legends comics. Written by Tochi Onyebuchi with art by Setor Fiadzigbey, it explores T'Challa's childhood and his family's attempts to integrate Wakanda with the world. This heartfelt story is a fascinating revitalization of Black Panther's origin that is perfect for young readers, with enough substance to warrant a look from long-time fans.

Black Panther Legends #1 opens with T'Challa and his adoptive brother Hunter running through the plains of Wakanda. As the two play, T'Chaka and Ramonda the Queen Mother reflect on Wakanda's place in the world, debating whether or not they should allow the kingdom to integrate with other nations. The next day, the four travel to Ramonda's home country of South Africa, a nation still dealing with the effects of apartheid. After Hunter and T'Challa get into a skirmish, they return home with heavy hearts. An incoming U.N. delegation tries to convince T'Chaka to let them mine the vibranium ore that lies beneath Wakanda's feet. But, when T'Chaka refuses, the delegations' true motives reveal themselves.

RELATED: Black Panther #1 Variant Cover Recruits New York Giants' Saquon Barkley

Black Panther Legends #1 is written by Hugo Award-nominated author Tochi Onyebuchi. Though Onyebuchi previously contributed to Marvel Voices: Legacy #1, this is his first full issue credit for Marvel and is a fantastic debut. Onyebuchi makes T'Challa's character arc the center of the story, with readers watching everything unfold through his inexperienced eyes. Even when T'Challa faces adversity, he recognizes his privileges and carefully considers how he should use his talents to help those who struggle around him. Beyond that, Onyebuchi understands the importance of the Black Panther and uses the character to tackle difficult social issues, such as how to maneuver around racism without endangering lives. These are important themes that benefit readers of all ages, but it is especially rewarding to see these conveyed so effectively in a tale that is sure to wind up in the hands of so many young fans.

Joining Onyebuchi on Black Panther Legends #1 is New York Times best-selling artist Setor Fiadzigbey. As he has shown in past work like Bunheads, Fiadzigbey has a bold, expressive art style that gives energy and life to his characters. This is seen immediately in the book's opening pages, as T'Challa and Hunter enjoy their footrace. Later, this energy appears again as the boys fight a group of bullies, with Fiadzigbey leaning into stylized choreography. Fiadzigbey has a powerful grasp on the various settings of the story, which are supported by Paris Alleyne's beautiful colors. Alleyne employs a wealth of greens, yellows, and browns to depict the natural aesthetic of Africa, but uses accent colors to create subtle distinguishing features for each location. Wakanda's wonderful technology has a lively purple glow while the streets of Johannesburg are muddied by greys. With the next issue advertising an appearance from T'Challa's future bride, one can't help but be excited for how Storm's powers will play out on the page.

RELATED: Black Panther: Why T'Challa Really Reformed the Dora Milaje

It is also worth noting that Black Panther Legends #1 is not just a retread of what fans have seen on the big screen. The story has its own purpose and the inclusion of characters like White Wolf and Klaue are ripped straight out of the classic runs of Lee, Kirby, and Priest. This is nice to see, and it allows Black Panther Legends to serve as a bridge that could potentially turn moviegoers into comic book fans.

Ahead of John Ridley's new Black Panther series, Black Panther Legends #1 provides a crash course in Marvel history. Tochi Onyebuchi, Setor Fiadzigbey, Paris Alleyne, and the entire creative team craft a heartfelt adventure that captures the spirit and energy of T'Challa. It is the perfect book for readers of all ages and successfully updates the hero for modern audiences. If Black Panther Legends is an indicator of what fans can expect from the upcoming Marvel Legends titles, then we're in for a real treat.

KEEP READING: Last Annihilation: Wakanda #1 Elevates Black Panther's Closest Allies

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About The Author
Henry Varona (238 Articles Published)

Henry Varona is a writer and comic book connoisseur who never seems to take himself too seriously. He has worked with Midtown Comics, Multiversity, and ScreenRant. Along the way, he has collaborated with some of the biggest names from comics and film, but has never forgotten what truly makes entertainment special - the fans. He's passionate about wrestling, comics, action figures, and pineapple pizza. You can find him on Twitter at @HAVcomics.

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