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Black Panther, Vol. 1: A Nation Under Our Feet, Book 1

(Black Panther by Ta-Nehisi Coates #1)

3.75  ·  Rating details ·  12,105 ratings  ·  1,264 reviews
A new era begins for the Black Panther! MacArthur Genius and National Book Award-winning writer T-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 that calls itself The People sparks a violent uprising, the l ...more
Paperback, 144 pages
Published September 13th 2016 by Marvel
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Average rating 3.75  · 
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 ·  12,105 ratings  ·  1,264 reviews

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Start your review of Black Panther, Vol. 1: A Nation Under Our Feet, Book 1
Oct 15, 2016 rated it liked it
Depending on how well you know Black Panther -- and I mean not just the character, but every run on the character and every time he appears in another Marvel comic and, in fact, every time a reference has been made to any element of the character's world, forever -- A Nation Under Our Feet is either subversive and brilliant, or an unfathomable mess.

I know nothing about Black Panther. I, like most left-leaning white comics nerds who like Batman, was just super-pumped to get a monthly comic drawn
Dec 14, 2016 rated it it was ok


I wanted to like this so much, but it was a snooze-fest that took me several days to read. The art was beautiful, lush, and vibrant...which was in stark contrast to the flaky, boring, dried out dialogue.
Too much talky, not enough action.


You know what?
I've been sitting here for about 30 minutes, scrolling through Facebook posts (mostly checking out cat videos), looking at Instagram pictures (why do my friends take so many pictures of food?), reading other Goodreads reviews (sadly, they'
Feb 24, 2018 rated it liked it
Shelves: marvel, 2018, superhero, comics
Guess why I read this one?

Like the rest of the world I’ve gone Black Panther crazy after seeing the new movie, but aside from thinking he was pretty cool as a kid in the late ‘70s reading Avengers comics I wasn't all that familiar with T’Challa or Wakanda. So this seemed like a good place to start.

Sadly, it isn’t.

Getting an acclaimed writer like Ta-Nehesi Coates to do your funny book shows yet again that comics aren’t just for kids any more, and there’s a lot of interesting stuff that draws on A
Jul 31, 2016 rated it it was ok
The people of Wakanda are restless. They've been stirred up by a group called The People and some of them have become dangerous.
T'Challa has been doubting himself and whether he can do the right thing to protect Wakanda.
Meanwhile one of the Black Panther's Dora Milaje is sentenced to death for doing the right thing because of growing corruption in Wakanda. Her fellow Dora Milaje and lover will not allow her to be killed and steals experimental armor to free her.

I was really excited about a new B
Sam Quixote
Jan 05, 2017 rated it it was ok
I’ve read some Black Panther comics before this but I’m definitely not that familiar with the character and I’m guessing almost 100% of readers coming to this book are gonna be in the same boat. He’s a relatively obscure character who occasionally pops up in ensemble stories with bigger readerships than his own books and that’s mainly where I know him from.

Following his much-touted and well-received appearance in Captain America: Civil War last year, his forthcoming solo movie, and Marvel’s tra
Jan Philipzig
With its critical, abstract, ambitious reflections on the history and ideology of Black Panther comics, Black Panther: A Nation under Our Feet might have worked as an academic essay. As the superhero title it is, however, the book makes for a rather difficult, frustrating, slow and ultimately boring read. 1.5 stars, I’d say.
Matthew Quann
After being highly impressed with Between the World and Me, the last thing I expected was Ta-Nehisi Coates to headline a Marvel comic. But Black Panther is a great fit as Coates' digs into some headier themes than I am used to in my tights & capes comics. Coates asks an excellent question: why is the most technologically advanced country in the world ruled as a monarchy? This question forces T'Challa to reconsider his position as king of Wakanada and Black Panther while he is beset on all sides ...more
Dave Schaafsma
I read the individual issues of this volume (the best-selling comic of the year?) as they came out. Why? Because I loved Between the World and Me and because he had just been awarded a MacArthur and--with the whole world now watching--chose to work on a Marvel comic series about a minor character he wanted to elevate in the Marvel universe.

I haven't been very engaged thus far. It's far too talky and philosophical for the beginning of a comic book series. True, many comics do use the first few i
James DeSantis
Jan 11, 2018 rated it it was ok
Love the character but couldn't get in to this one at all. Normally I'd write a full review but short on time so for now it's a nice looking book, but very very very long dialog boxes that really feel like the author wanted to write a book more than a comic. ...more
Tori (InToriLex)
Find this and other Reviews at In Tori Lex

These four issues introduce us to Wakanda in chaos, while T'challa struggles to be a leader who has to balance the use of his sword with the use of his intellect.  Right away in issue one we're introduced to hard choices, T'challa's step-mother decides to punish a fierce warrior for killing despite her having just reasons why. The comic draws parallels to the issues that plaque African countries in unrest. Trigger warning, this comic does show sexual vio
Apr 19, 2017 rated it it was ok
Coates may be a celebrated nonfiction author but the only thing I'd celebrate after reading this is when he leaves the book. You would think that this being the first new Black Panther book in a while, this would be a good jumping on point for new readers. You would be wrong. You need to have read all of Black Panther's appearances across the Marvel U in the last 30+ years to know what's going on. I've been reading Marvel books since the 80's and I still didn't get some of the references.

This was so underwhelming.
Dec 27, 2019 rated it really liked it
I read this because it was penned by Coates. I figured I might get something *special* out of it because I'm a fan of his non-fiction and fiction... but now that I've read it?

I think the art is really pretty.

Okay, so, yes, there is a couple of deep themes I can point at that makes me think, "Hey! Having something to hang your hat on beyond spears is pretty cool and very Coates. Drums and memory are much more powerful than weapons! All right!"

But that's about it. I kinda wanted to see Wakanda ha
Sep 30, 2016 rated it liked it
Shelves: comics, superhumans
Super expositiony, yet largely compelling.
Nov 24, 2016 rated it really liked it
Recommends it for: People Who Were T'Chall-ing for This
Shelves: marvel
This one took me forever to get through in spite of being only 4 issues, and not for the usual excuses/reasons of helping take care of a 1 year while working 2 jobs.

It was so...wordy, which I guess is no big surprise when a Serious Author is the scribe, but once I gave it more time and a chance to breathe and grow on me I started digging it more and more.

And who would've guessed that the most riveting scene in a Marvel superhero comic would be an argument about political philosophy between two g
Paul E. Morph
Jan 31, 2017 rated it liked it
I'll be honest, this story didn't really grab me. I felt there was too much set-up and too little payoff. Maybe the next volume will get the balance right; I'm certainly going to give it the chance.

Story aside, I really liked the artwork in this one. Brian Stelfreeze is creating some really striking visuals here and Laura Martin's excellent colour art is enhancing it even further. Art me some more, folks.
Sep 11, 2016 rated it really liked it
This is not a superhero story - and that's a good thing. We have some of the obligatory butt kicking, but it is mostly about a divided, suffering people and their king. The nation is terrorized, lawless, in pain, people are blaming their king for not being able to protect them. He also blames himself. There is a revolution brewing, fostered by a shaman and a witch using ancient nature magic to flame people's rage. Members of the elite female guard have taken upon themselves to protect suffering ...more
Mar 22, 2017 rated it liked it
Shelves: 2017, africa
The headlines were "Ta-Nehisi Coates writes a comic book," but they should have been "Ta-Nehisi Coates writes fiction." Coates is famous for nonfiction. I assume he's working on a novel - who isn't? - so this might be seen as sortof a test run.

Comic books are different from novels, though, and they're harder then they look. They're a team effort, for one thing - the artist is responsible for a lot of the storytelling. By tradition, writers don't interfere much with how the artists choose to tell
If you have any interest in starting to read about the Black Panther, do not start with the first volume of Ta-Nehisi Coates' Black Panther run. In fact, even though it's still ongoing, you may want to avoid Ta-Nehisi Coates' entire (contracted) 12-issue run entirely. I don't care if Captain America: Civil War made you really eager to read something about T'Challa. I don't care if you're a big fan of Coates and his writing. Ignore the praise his run has so far garnered.

I say all this because th
2017 Hugo nominee for Best Graphic Novel. I got so excited when I first heard that Ta-Nehisi Coates was writing the new Black Panther series, and so I expected to love this, but...

Reading it makes you feel like you've missed about 20 issues somewhere along the way. It jumps right into mid-conflict, with Wakanda falling apart and its people hating Black Panther for reasons that I'm unsure of, and his sister being in stasis for reasons I'm unsure of, and a lesbian couple originally from T'Challa's
Wakanda is recovering from various turmoils as their king tries to get a grip against the revolutionaries.

There's a great deal of rich potential in this setting but it isn't fully realized.

OVERALL GRADE: B minus to B.
Feb 20, 2018 rated it really liked it
Pretty gorgeous art by Brian Stelfreeze, rendered in heavy stylised shadows (not the hyper/realistic ink spills of Mike Deodato) and vibrant colours by Laura Martin:

There’s a whole lot of terminology and Wakandan history that’s going over my head: Niganda (border region), “the auras”, Haramu-fal, Damisa-sarki, Hatut Zeraze, Jambazi, Mobutu, Amal Sharriff, Mandla, N’Cada Sarki... I’m just charging ahead and hoping the details emerge as the story unfolds, but from what I’ve heard this book is supe
Very talky which made it difficult to get into. It's pretty dense for a comic book. The art work is gorgeous and interesting though I do think they are shading characters too much. A lot of gr friends seem disappointed. I'm not because comics in general are not my thing so, I'm not sure I'd recognize a bad one. I think the story is interesting. I'd like to see where it goes. Read in preparation to see the movie.

3.5 Stars rounded up

Read on my kindle (computer with a large screen).
Feb 03, 2019 rated it really liked it
I never read comics, so this was a read out of my comfort zone. And it paid off so well! I am going to try and get the bind up of this story and read it all the way through.

I loved the Black Panther movie but this was a bit different. When we delve in we are introduced to a fractured, chaotic Wakanda. D'Challa is busy trying to find out how to defeat the villains but also how to runite and repair a fractured country.

I loved the artwork, and all the image of strong women in the comic resounded
Dec 10, 2018 rated it it was ok
This feels like Coates had an idea for a story, got the job to write Black Panther, and then begrudgingly shoved his story into the Black Panther universe. In other words, this didn't really have much to do with Black Panther. Most of the time, we are following other characters around. When Black Panther does suit up and fight, it is extremely brief-almost like the action is an afterthought to the political thriller that Coates really wants to tell.

Coates is also setting up a lot of dominoes her
Lauren Stoolfire
Jan 16, 2018 rated it it was ok
I'll admit it, I'm only really familiar with the Blank Panther from his fantastic onscreen appearance in Captain America: Civil War and I know as good as nothing about the character in the comics. I can't wait to see Black Panther at the movies and I was hoping that this graphic novel could give me some more insight on his story. Although, this is book one of a new run for the character I felt completely out of the loop throughout the entire story. It seems like I'm in the middle of a well estab ...more
Apr 27, 2017 rated it liked it
This isn't an intro text - there is a lot of assumed knowledge here, and it is a bit jumbled. However, things begin to form and coalesce in time. I re-read some sections and that helped in my understanding of the whole. ...more
Apr 26, 2016 rated it did not like it
So sue me. I hated it.

How this came about: I (along with a lot of the country) read and loved Coates' Between the World and Me. I liked it so much, that I asked if any other teachers at school wanted to read it and discuss it with me - something I've never done before. ...And then I read it again.

And then, the group (who didn't universally love the book) wanted to read and discuss The Case for Reparations, by Coates, which I also loved.

So, one of the guys in the group saw this was coming out and
Nov 26, 2017 rated it liked it
This is clearly the prologue to a larger story, but while it succeeds in creating a sense of intrigue and drama, it doesn't quite manage to give the reader a sense of what was going on. Were there things I was missing because I'm only familiar with the Black Panther character from the Marvel movies? Because I was missing a specific story arc from the comics? Or because Ta-Nehisi Coates was deliberately trying to drop the reader in to an ongoing sweep of narrative but didn't quite manage to pull ...more
Stewart Tame
Sep 30, 2016 rated it liked it
This was rather ... sedate. It's good stuff and all, just very much talking heads. Even the action scenes are done with voice over captions on them, which makes them feel distant. Wakanda is undergoing a civil war, despite--or because of--the Panther's efforts to prevent it. I haven't been following the Black Panther's adventures closely over the years, so I may be at a disadvantage here. There may be nuances tied back to previous runs that I'm not picking up on. And Ta-Nehisi Coates isn't known ...more
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Ta-Nehisi Coates is the author of the #1 New York Times bestseller Between the World and Me, a finalist for the National Book Award. A MacArthur "Genius Grant" fellow, Coates has received the National Magazine Award, the Hillman Prize for Opinion and Analysis Journalism, and the George Polk Award for his Atlantic cover story "The Case for Reparations." He lives in New York with his wife and son. ...more

Other books in the series

Black Panther by Ta-Nehisi Coates (9 books)
  • Black Panther, Vol. 2: A Nation Under Our Feet, Book 2
  • Black Panther, Vol. 3: A Nation Under Our Feet, Book 3
  • Black Panther, Vol. 4: Avengers of the New World, Part One
  • Black Panther, Vol. 5: Avengers of the New World, Part Two
  • Black Panther, Vol. 6: The Intergalactic Empire of Wakanda, Part One
  • Black Panther, Vol. 7: The Intergalactic Empire of Wakanda, Part Two
  • Black Panther, Vol. 8: The Intergalactic Empire of Wakanda, Part Three
  • Black Panther, Vol. 9: The Intergalactic Empire of Wakanda, Part Four

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