Marvel: Black Panther – The Ultimate Guide (2018) – Stephen Wiacek

On February 16, 2018, Marvel will launch the next film in it’s cinematic universe, Black Panther, starring Chadwick Boseman, first seen in the role in Captain America: Civil War.

And as always, DK Canada has me covered in learning everything I need to about the character before I travel to the mythical African country of Wakanda to join T’Challa in his solo big screen adventure.

The character of Black Panther aka T’Challa first made his appearance in the summer of 1966, at the height of one of the most turbulent periods (until know) in American history. His character gave voice to an under-represented minority, and brought a fantastic new hero into the Marvel fold.

One of my favourite features of these guides from DK Books is that they not only break down the characters, allies, enemies and the like, giving broad strokes of story arcs, they also highlight key issues that shaped and affect T’Challa, and his kingdom, Wakanda, and their place in the Marvel-verse.

As a matter of fact, when it comes to covering off the key issues, perhaps you’ll indulge this tangent for a moment. Like the book, comic covers are filled with both pop images as well as some fantastic art, and while the art on covers these days tends to be gorgeous and impressive, there is something I have always enjoyed about the art of the covers from the 50s through to the 80s. There are often dialogue bubbles as well as descriptors of the amazing things that the reader would find inside.

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And there are amazing things aplenty in this book, not the least of which is the fantastic art featured in the book gathering images from the 60s through to the 21st century, and serves as a solid primer for those who want to learn more about the character before seeing him take over movie screens next month.

We get an in-depth look at Wakanda, its people and those who would threaten it also lets us see how things differ from page to screen, which is something I always love discovering. I also take no particular umbrage with that fact either, film and panel are two different things and what may work in a comic won’t always play on the screen.

The book takes us through his connections to his homeland, as well as his work with the Avengers. It also had some surprises for me, I had no idea that T’Challa was once married to Ororo, also known by her more popular nom de plume, Storm.

There are all manner of stunning revelations (and art) within these pages, as it shows readers how essential Black Panther has come to be in the pages of Marvel comics, and now in the MCU.

Every one of the DK Guides have proven themselves to be a necessity for comic and film fans and makes for a fantastic collection, with Black Panther deserving a pride of place. Pick one up today from DK Books, and get in the know about Black Panther!

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