Black Panther: A Nation Under Our Feet Book 1

by Ta-Nehisi Coates

Other authorsBrian Stelfreeze (Illustrator)
Paperback, 2016

Call number





Marvel (2016), Edition: 1st Edition, 144 pages


Comic and Graphic Books. Fiction. HTML: Collects Black Panther (2016) #1-4, Fantastic Four (1961) #52. A new era begins for the Black Panther! MacArthur Genius and National Book Award-winning writer Ta-Nehisi Coates (Between the World and Me) takes the helm, confronting T'Challa with a dramatic upheaval in Wakanda that will make leading the African nation tougher than ever before. When a superhuman terrorist group calling itself The People sparks a violent uprising, the land famed for its incredible technology and proud warrior traditions will be thrown into turmoil. As suicide bombers terrorize the population, T'Challa struggles to unite his citizens, and a familiar villain steps out of the shadows. If Wakanda is to survive, it must adapt �?? but can its monarch, one in a long line of Black Panthers, survive the necessary change? Heavy lies the head that wears the cowl!… (more)

User reviews

LibraryThing member Ron18
One half of this trade paperback is comics, the rest is reprints of alternate covers. None of the issues contains a complete or compelling story, the trade itself doesn't contain a complete story. I can't tell who this book is for - perhaps fans of the geopolitics from the Star Wars prequels. Kirby
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LibraryThing member nicolewbrown
As Ayo, King T'Challa's sister puts it "Wakanda is in chaos...roads are infested with robbers. Farmers are cut down in their own fields. Villainy rules. Justice is a slave. Your daughter Shuri, our Queen has vanished. Our returned King rules from a shaky throne. This house has fallen. No one is
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coming to save us. And so we must save ourselves." Ayo's lover, Aneka is being sentenced to die for killing a Chieftan who was mistreating women and girls in a village and would not stop even after she had spoken to him about it. Ayo's mother is insisting that she be put to death as that is the punishment. Ayo, however, has other plans and breaks her out of prison using a prototype called Midnight Angel that gives the wearer protection as armor. She brings the other one that they have with her too for Aneka to wear and the two go on a hunting spree to rescue the women and children from evil Chieftans.

Meanwhile, T'Challa is dealing with the fact that his countrymen are turning against him and part of this is due to a deceiver who has somehow managed to bring out the hate and anger in his people. T'Challa, the Black Panter, can track anyone down, but this deceiver is proving difficult. The deceiver is working with the Nigandians who border Wakanda and want to take over. They need to topple the King to do this. The Black Panter goes up against the deceiver and has to walk away because she fights inside his head working on his darkest fears.

T'Challa is also trying to find a way to bring his sister back. She rests in a chamber in one of the labs. While she rests, she goes on a visit to Djalia, the plane of ancient memory with the Mother of all things. In this vision, she finds out her true purpose.

This book is very complex, plot-wise. There is a lot more going on than I am listing here and so many twists and turns you'll get whiplash. It's almost too hard to follow. Almost, but not quite. The colors are very vivid and leap off of the page. They are mostly dark which suits the mood of the book. The drawing of the scene when the Black Panther faces the deceiver for the first time is stunning. Overall this is an amazing comic and I can't wait to read volume two.
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LibraryThing member shaunesay
Beautiful artwork in this one and interesting story. It also included the comic from the first time Black Panther ever appeared, my how things have changed! lol!
LibraryThing member Stevil2001
I wanted to like this, and possibly I will like this. The four issues collected here are clearly just the opening act of a larger story; A Nation under Our Feet is apparently slated to run across three volumes of Black Panther. But what's here is alienating, assuming the reader knows more about
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Blank Panther backstory than I did. What happened to Black Panther's sister, and why doesn't he have any control over his own country? Or, if this stuff isn't preexisting backstory, it's just alienating. There are definitely some neat things going on here. I liked the sense of Wakanda as a real place with factions and tensions and multiple competing histories, and I liked the two lesbian warriors who go rogue (though no one properly explains what is the organization they went rogue from), and Stelfreeze occasionally does some really arresting stuff with his visuals, and the idea that a superhero whose core identity is being a superking has to confront a popular revolution is cool, and leads to good quotations about power and leadership. But at times this book felt like epigrams strung together with imagery, not a story.
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LibraryThing member Bodagirl
It's a little hard to get into the story. There seems to be a lot that happened just before this comic begins and I had a hard time picking up everything that is going on. Even with the choppiness of the story lines and the medias res, there is enough to intrigue me and keep me going.
LibraryThing member greeniezona
Wow. There was a lot to set up in this first volume. History, emerging factions, several key characters and their motivations and relationships. It was dizzying, and several times I had to go back and search previous pages to try to figure out who or what someone was referring to.

I found aspects of
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the story interesting, but I didn't fall in love with anything here. I could see myself checking out the next volume at the library, but probably not buying. At least not until I get a better idea of where Coates is going with all of this.
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LibraryThing member ecataldi
Beautifully drawn, this collection shows T'Challa struggling to keep Wakanda together. Splinter factions, upheaval, and violence are breaking out all over the country and no matter what Black Panther does, it never seems to be enough; he's putting band aids on a gaping wounds. What can he do to
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bring peace to his Wakandan citizens? It jumps around quite a bit and can be hard to follow at moments, but the illustrations, dialogue, and coloring, make this an impressive comic.
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LibraryThing member m_mozeleski
In the comic here, T'Challa is coming off the high of beating Killmonger, but is immediately faced with the repercussions of having fought his own people to regain his power, and the People won't just stop there. Here, T'Challa must continue to lead an ever-rebellious nation, who wants more power
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and more of a say in the governance of the People, who want to help their non-Wakandan but related people (like Killmonger!) in an admittedly more peaceful manner, but T'Challa doesn't want to do the heavy work. As Ramonda, T'Challa's mother, comments, he has not "given willingly", as rulers must (page 84-85 or so).
I am looking forward to the next volume.
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LibraryThing member ASKelmore
Best for: Fans of graphic novels in the Marvel universe.

In a nutshell: I’m not entirely sure what is going on.

Line that sticks with me: N/A

Why I chose it: We are in the midst of a huge book purge because it costs an absurd amount of money to ship books overseas, and this one from my partner’s
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pile caught my eye.

Review: I think this is a situation where I needed to have more background to fully understand what was going on. I felt like I was dropped into the middle of a story that everyone else already knew. Like, starting on book three of Harry Potter without having read the first two. It’d be confusing, right? That’s how this felt, although this is the first book.

Despite having trouble understanding exactly what was going on, I still enjoyed reading it. There were interesting characters, and the story’s ending definitely made me interested enough to seek out book two when I have the chance.

This is also the 104th book I’ve read this year. I kind of can’t believe it. I’m going to do a wrap-up post about my reading over on my own website sometime in the next couple of days if you want to check that out. It was fun to set such a big goal and reach it primarily with non-fiction books (although I did have a few novels and graphic novels in there as well). I think I only did maybe one audio book this year too. Which isn’t to say that reading 104 audio books would have been any less of an achievement; it just wasn’t my focus this year.

However, I did notice that setting such a high goal meant that some longer, more involved books went unread. There’s a 500+ page book on the problems of policing that I want to dive into, for example, but every time I looked at it, I thought about my reading goal. And that’s probably not how this all should go down. So next year, it’s back to the regular 52-book cannonball read for me.
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LibraryThing member villemezbrown
The slow-building storyline of the Wakandan revolution led by former members of the Dora Milaje has some potential, but you have to wade through so much dreck to get to it. The new author seems stuck trying to clean up previous writers' storylines before he can move on to his own, and his writing
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is too muddled to move things along quickly. The Christopher Priest run does not seem in danger of being dethroned as Black Panther's peak.
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LibraryThing member asxz
I'm at least as familiar with comic books as the next chap, but this new series jumped right in with a load of back story that was all news to me. I don't mind having to catch us as we go, but this was more difficult to follow than most. Also there were only four issues. Didn't collections used to
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cover six issues? The bonus reprint of FF #52 was OK, but there wasn't enough here to get me excited and I'm not so committed that I can't just give it up. Shame.
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LibraryThing member haloedrain
I probably would have liked this better if I knew who any of these people were and what was going on. This is volume 1, but it clearly isn't the right place to start if you don't know the character already.
LibraryThing member Cail_Judy
Strong writing that delivers in the philosophy department, but not so much in action. I'm a fan of Coates from Between the World and Me, and was excited to see where he took this story. Coates is still finding his feet as a comic writer (the book gets caught up in a bit too much rhetoric) but it's
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interesting enough that I'll read the next collection.
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LibraryThing member SebastianMihail
It's not a good start for someone who saw the recent movie of Marvel's, and does know anything else about Black Panther - as I initially thought.

I read that this was supposed to be a relaunched series that’s supposedly aim to appeal to a new audience. Well, if that was the goal, they failed
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nicely. A new reader like me - I'm referring to Black Panther character - will be somehow confused about what's going on in this volume 1.
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LibraryThing member DrFuriosa
An intriguing and original Marvel comic series that subverts the typical "hero" story and instead gives us threads of a society fomenting dissatisfaction and national anxiety. There are a lot of separate storylines that I believe will converge in the end, so I am definitely willing to give this a
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few volumes to marinate.
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LibraryThing member Kavinay
Not what I was expecting. It's a bit of a muddle for the first few issues and you only see the political angle start to take shape in the last of five issues.

There's almost too much continuity to unpack. It's frustrating because it makes it hard to understand the context of T'Challa's challenges
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and goals. At best, he just seems a bit emo and boring. Comic characters shouldn't resemble Hamlet.

There's potential though as hopefully Coates can now weave everything together.
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Hugo Award (Nominee — Graphic Story — 2017)
Excelsior Award (Shortlist — 2017)
Three Stars Book Award (Nominee — 2019)




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