Episode 1604 Talkback - Spotlight on the Black Panther

Adam_MurdoughAdam_Murdough Posts: 366
edited May 2016 in CGS Episodes & Spin-Offs
Fifty years after his daring debut, T'Challa, warrior-king of Wakanda, known throughout the Marvel Universe as the Black Panther, receives the royal treatment from CGS! Prof. Chris Eberle, holder of the T'Chaka Chair in History at Wakanda Polytechnic, outdoes himself in this episode, providing exhaustive background on the Panther's friends and foes, the culture and geography of his realm, and the narrative highlights of the past half-century of his adventures. Long Live the King! (3:30:45)

Listen here.

...Or, watch the video-enhanced version here!
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Comments

  • matchkitJOHNmatchkitJOHN Posts: 973
    Time to pack my provisions, kiss the wife and kids goodbye and dive into a CGS Spotlight!
  • Mr_CosmicMr_Cosmic Posts: 3,068
    edited May 2016

    (3:30:45)

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  • i_am_scifii_am_scifi Posts: 521
    I hope there's at least a passing mention of this "animated" adaptation of Reginald Hudlin's first story arc. Today Marvel will call it a motion comic, but when it came out it wasn't that at all. Shock of shocks that Hudlin was the Executive Producer on this adaptation of his own work.

  • luke52luke52 Posts: 1,313
    3hours, 30minutes!!!! Woo hoo!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
  • matchkitJOHNmatchkitJOHN Posts: 973
    And they did the video version?!?! So we can see Chris geek out?!?!
  • Look forward to listening to this one! I'm sure I'll enjoy it, given my love for these spotlights and some of the runs that are sure to be highlighted.
  • Chris and Murd: Outstanding Gentlemen!!!! -Thanks for enthusiastic and eloquent historians. You always make make my drudging train ride home a joy. About to go find Black Panther #35.......
  • Chris and Murd: Outstanding Gentlemen!!!! -Thanks for being enthusiastic and eloquent historians. You always make make my drudging train ride home a joy. About to go find Black Panther #35.......
  • hornheadhornhead Posts: 137
    Have been long-awaiting this one. I'm 2 hours in. What an outstanding setup and breakdown of the background and history of this character.

    I don't have too much BP experience- but I've enjoyed some of his appearances a lot over the years. I stuck with his takeover of the DD book when that happened, and I do have his notable appearances in the Daredevil title (including his first in DD #52), which are all issues I really enjoy. I have long wanted to dive in further because the concept is so important, and the supporting ideas with Wakanda being unconquered, largely isolationist, and technologically superior, the politics of the different tribes, the costume, the herb granting BP heightened abilities & senses.. All totally awesome ideas.

    I have heard so much praise for Priest's run that I finally picked it up digitally and I'm about 20 issues into it. I am actually a really big fan of some of Priest's work back when he was known as Jim Owsley- I have said on the forums before how awesome his run on Conan The Barbarian is. I really think that he's a bit overlooked in comics history. If it's still online, his website is fascinating- he has several entries where he candidly tells a lot of the inside scoop on several chapters in his career. His Marvel work from the 80s- Conan, his short run on ASM, his run on Power Man & Iron Fist- all awesome stuff. He filled in on other Marvel books as well and those are even good (DD 224 comes to mind and there were others).

    That said, I haven't loved his Black Panther run so far on my first reading of it, especially the art. But @wildpigcomics ' enthusiasm is infectious, and I am really looking forward to hearing you guys dig into the Priest volume in the final hour of this episode, so I can go back to dig in again. I am on board with the new series too- wow is that Brian Stelfreeze art something.

    Anyway, another awesome spotlight episode, and I'm not even done with it yet. Bravo.
  • alienalalienal Posts: 458
    Alright! I've been waiting for this! Thanks Chris, et al! Anyway, MY first exposure to the Panther was in FF King-size Special (Annual) #5. I guess I was maybe 11 or 12 at the time and I got that issue as a result of sending 50 cents to Marvel to get both the Avengers special and the FF one. I don't think I recognized that he was "black (like me") when I read that issue, but I knew that for sure when I read Avengers 52 (volume 1) when he had the more revealing mask. So, with both him and the Falcon, I became quite proud to be a Marvel reader. I'd say that I relate more to T'challa than to the Falcon or Luke Cage, because in general, I don't talk like the Falc and Luke 70's versions. Anyway, I'm so happy to see them both in the new Cap film and Luke Cage in Jessica Jones. I do agree that McGregor and Priest magnified or added to the character a great deal, but I fondly look back at the early Lee/Kirby version because at that time he was considered equal to both Reed and Black Bolt of the Inhumans. I also agree that the Panther appearances in the Avengers written by Thomas also add layers of detail to the character. Loved that stuff in my teenage years....LOL! I loved the spoilage. Poor Pants!... It makes sense that BP wouldn't have a large rogue's gallery because he's not really a super-hero anyway.... I do have some sporadic issues of the Jungle Action run, but after hearing Chris' description I feel the need to search out more. I also have some of Kirby's 70's Panther run and, yeah, it is quite fun. Oh, I missed out on Panther's quest and a lot of the Priest run. I agree that the Priest run is really hard to find. I have many of them, but need to find more. Yeah, the Romita stuff is good, but it was a lot lighter than the Priest stuff and easy to forget. Y'know, I can't wait until you guys see the movie. I'm looking forward to hearing your comments about the Panther.
  • nweathingtonnweathington Posts: 5,168
    edited May 2016
    @Adam_Murdough, no one caught your inadvertent pun when you said Klaw was “defeated ‘soundly’ by the Black Panther” in FF #53, but I had a good chuckle.

    I first encountered T’Challa, I think, with Black Panther #13—the first issue after Kirby’s run back in late 1978 (though it’s possible I'd seen him in a Marvel Triple Action reprint before then). So I never read the Kirby stories until after I started working for TwoMorrows back in 2000. And I read those issues in pencil form as I scanned the photocopies of Kirby’s pencils, which I think only added to the energy packed into that run. I have no evidence to back this up, but I like to think that Kirby’s Black Panther stories directly influenced Terry Gilliam in his creation of Time Bandits.

    I pretty much agree with @wildpigcomics regarding Don McGregor and Billy Graham (and others) on Jungle Action. I bought all the back issues back in the early ’90s, and it had held up pretty well—particularly in its artwork, plots, and characterizations. McGregor was very good at dialogue, but his captions were wordy even by Chris Claremont standards, to the point of distraction for me. I don't mind a wordy comic, but at times McGregor went a bit overboard. Still, it was a high water mark for the era in which it was produced and well worth tracking down.

    I bought the Panther’s Prey mini as it came out, and I was mildly disappointed with it. It had its moments, but it got a bit bogged down as neared the finale. The art was nice for the most part, but got a bit sloppy in places—perhaps Turner was having to rush to meet deadlines. Worth getting from the dollar boxes, but otherwise...

    You pronounced Denys Cowan correctly.

    Jusko is pronounced “JEW-skoh.”

    And now we get to the Hudlin era. I completely agree with Chris as far as the artwork goes. It's probably my favorite thing JR’s ever done. That first issue was easily my favorite single issue of that year, and most of that was down to JR’s visual storytelling.

    But I think Chris is letting his devotion to the Priest run taint his view of Hudlin’s run, despite his attempts to give it fair and due process. First of all, Hudlin didn’t write “six issues or how many ever,” he wrote 38 issues—a three-year-plus run. How many writers these days stick on a book for more than three years? At the same time he also wrote several issues of Marvel Knights Spider-Man, and later a four-issue Cap/Panther miniseries, and a Django Unchained miniseries. So let’s not dismiss him simply as some mere “dilettante.”

    Personally I liked his run for the first year or so. After that it suffered the fate of many other low-selling books in that there were too many crossovers and guest-appearances, presumably to keep sales up. Was it the greatest comic series I've ever read? No. But it was better than most of the Marvel books at the time, particularly the first arc (which was all he was initially hired to write). Hudlin’s T’Challa was a man with flaws—especially when compared with Priest’s take—but I didn’t mind that. And I thought the interactions between T’Challa and Storm were generally well done.

    I dropped the book during the Marvel Zombies crossover, which went on way too long for me. If not for the forced crossovers, I likely would have kept going with the book.

    All that being said, I was never a devoted follower of the Priest run. I tried it at a couple of points, but I must have come in at the wrong times, because it didn’t really grab me (though I like Priest as a writer overall). And I’ve never read the backmatter essay Hudlin wrote for the trade paperback—though from what Chris paraphrased I didn’t hear anything I would classify as insulting. If anyone could provide some longer quotes, maybe I'd change my mind on that. As I said earlier, while McGregor provided some bold, innovative stories, he also tended to overwrite at times. And, let’s be completely honest, Man-Ape is kind of lame, and it could be argued that he plays into stereotypes as well. Also, I’m not a continuity fanatic. I appreciate it when it’s applied well, but I prefer a little bit of fluidity or gray space in that area.

    But at least we can agree on the new series. Coates and Stelfreeze are off to a fine start, and I'm looking forward to seeing where they take it.
  • aquatroyaquatroy Posts: 371
    Regarding Billy Graham.
    I recently bought Giant Size, Power Man #1. I opened the book and was stunned at the beauty of the illustration.

    How is it that I've never heard of Billy Graham until now?

    I've listened to about 75% of the episode. Great job!
  • nweathingtonnweathington Posts: 5,168
    aquatroy said:

    How is it that I've never heard of Billy Graham until now?

    Because he drew relatively few comics, and the books he drew were generally second-tier or independent books. When he joined Marvel in 1972, he was already 37 years old.
  • aquatroyaquatroy Posts: 371

    aquatroy said:

    How is it that I've never heard of Billy Graham until now?

    Because he drew relatively few comics, and the books he drew were generally second-tier or independent books. When he joined Marvel in 1972, he was already 37 years old.
    True, but you would like to think that talent would win out and the artist would receive recognition for it.
  • nweathingtonnweathington Posts: 5,168
    aquatroy said:

    aquatroy said:

    How is it that I've never heard of Billy Graham until now?

    Because he drew relatively few comics, and the books he drew were generally second-tier or independent books. When he joined Marvel in 1972, he was already 37 years old.
    True, but you would like to think that talent would win out and the artist would receive recognition for it.
    Maybe if he had pushed to make it a career, that would have been the case. But talent alone has never been a guarantee of popularity or recognition in comics. And sometimes you don't even need much in the way of talent to get the accolades.
  • deadpooldeadpool Posts: 56
    Great episode guys. I do hope you go back and do a spotlight souly on CP's run and really get indeepth into the stories there.

  • BrackBrack Posts: 525


    I'll also bring up that near the end of Hudlin's run, during The Initiative, Black Panther and Storm filled in for Reed and Sue for a while in The Fantastic Four, and moved the US Wakandan Embassy to The Baxter Building. Fantastic Dwayne McDuffie work that often gets overlooked, even if there was also Hudlin stuff alongside it in the main Black Panther title.

    That Fantastic Four run was short but excellent. Al Ewing's current Ultimates is obviously acting as the Fantastic Four in the current Marvel Universe, but it has echoes of McDuffie's FF in particular that go beyond simply the presence of the Black Panther.

  • Mr_CosmicMr_Cosmic Posts: 3,068
    Brack said:


    I'll also bring up that near the end of Hudlin's run, during The Initiative, Black Panther and Storm filled in for Reed and Sue for a while in The Fantastic Four, and moved the US Wakandan Embassy to The Baxter Building. Fantastic Dwayne McDuffie work that often gets overlooked, even if there was also Hudlin stuff alongside it in the main Black Panther title.

    That Fantastic Four run was short but excellent. Al Ewing's current Ultimates is obviously acting as the Fantastic Four in the current Marvel Universe, but it has echoes of McDuffie's FF in particular that go beyond simply the presence of the Black Panther.

    I agree that it was a good but overlooked run. It was sandwiched between some pretty high profile runs.

  • Great spotlight episode guys. Wonderful work Chris, I know, first hand, just how long it takes to prepare such an in-depth spotlight on a character. A few years ago I read EVERY Harley Quinn appearance, in order to do a spotlight on her. Took me weeks longer than anticipated. This was the perfect time for this spotlight though, with Civil War coming out. I HIGHLY anticipate hearing everyone's thoughts on the film, especially Chris's insight into the Panther as he was portrayed on the big screen. Although I have been reading comics for over 35 years now I admit I wasn't that familiar with the Black Panther. For whatever reason, the character just never appealed to me. This spotlight has me planning on seeking out the Priest run if nothing else. So kudos gentlemen!
  • Mr_CosmicMr_Cosmic Posts: 3,068
    On a side note the spotlight helped me get into the Priest run. I had bought the first volume but found it a bit off putting with the non linear story(something that usually doesn't bother me) and I didn't get the Ross character. Hearing Shane talk about it some and Chris' explanation of Ross really encouraged me to keep going and I've enjoyed it since.
  • hornheadhornhead Posts: 137
    edited May 2016
    Mr_Cosmic said:

    On a side note the spotlight helped me get into the Priest run. I had bought the first volume but found it a bit off putting with the non linear story(something that usually doesn't bother me) and I didn't get the Ross character. Hearing Shane talk about it some and Chris' explanation of Ross really encouraged me to keep going and I've enjoyed it since.

    Seconded- Like I said, I'm a fan of Priest's earlier work, but I too am appreciating my second run through it much more, after initially not being enthralled. Having a lot more fun with it after hearing the podcast, so again- bravo, guys.

    I'm up to #11 on my "second run" through it. IMO Tex & Jusko's art is stronger than the artists that follow, but others may disagree.
  • bralinatorbralinator Posts: 5,838
    For those that would love to read the Don McGregor run, but don't want to pay nearly $150+ for the now out-of-print Marvel Masterworks that its collected in, check out Amazon for the Black Panther Epic Collection: Panther's Rage where it's on sale (*pre-order) only $31.49 and collects it all, including the first appearance of T'Challa in FANTASTIC FOUR 52-53, along with the aforementioned JUNGLE ACTION 6-24.

    image


    *Note: That Epic collection will ship in mid-October

    FWIW: That MMW #141 was on sale for $19 back in 2010. I totally dropped the ball on that missed opportunity.
  • LibraryBoyLibraryBoy Posts: 1,803
    Stellar work, gentlemen, one of my favorite episodes in a while. I've been buying the Priest collections as they've been coming out (thanks for that sweet discount, DCBS!). I read an issue or two as they came out but it didn't click for whatever reason, but @Peter talking about it so often in years past made me want to give it a second chance and that time around I loved it... but, as was said, back issues are kind of hard to find. I tracked down the first 16 or 17 fairly easily but then the well-dried up, and then I think there are some early Deadpool appearances not long afterward that drove the prices of those issues up to ridiculous levels so I wasn't sure what I was going to do. Glad to see Marvel is finally giving this series it's due.

    Finally started in on volume one the other night, spurred on by this episode, the Captain America: Civil War movie (which I wasn't nearly as crazy about as most everyone else seems to be, but T'Challa was outstanding, as was Spidey), and finding a loose Black Panther Lego minifig of questionable legality from a Chinese seller on eBay (look, I refuse to buy a $30 when I only want one guy!). It all just seemed to come together.

    Speaking of the Lego minifig, I had a black half-cape kicking around from some other figure, so I had to put that on T'Challa... it's what he was wearing in his OHOTMU entry, and if it's good enough for OHOTMU, it's good enough for me. :smiley:

    Finally, when I was at the LCS today I found a couple issues of Jungle Action in the back issue bins, and given @wildpigcomics's passion for the MacGregor material I had to check it out. If this clicks, I'll have to get my hands on that Epic Collection when it comes out.
  • LibraryBoyLibraryBoy Posts: 1,803
    edited May 2016
    Browser fail! Double post, sorry!
  • SolitaireRoseSolitaireRose Posts: 1,445

    aquatroy said:

    How is it that I've never heard of Billy Graham until now?

    Because he drew relatively few comics, and the books he drew were generally second-tier or independent books. When he joined Marvel in 1972, he was already 37 years old.
    And he was a moderately successful stage actor.

  • nweathingtonnweathington Posts: 5,168
    edited May 2016

    aquatroy said:

    How is it that I've never heard of Billy Graham until now?

    Because he drew relatively few comics, and the books he drew were generally second-tier or independent books. When he joined Marvel in 1972, he was already 37 years old.
    And he was a moderately successful stage actor.

    Which I believe was mentioned in the episode, so I didn't feel the need to reiterate. When he left Marvel in the late ’70s, he moved to Hollywood, where I think he may have done some stunt work as well.
  • mwhitt80mwhitt80 Posts: 3,166

    aquatroy said:

    How is it that I've never heard of Billy Graham until now?

    Because he drew relatively few comics, and the books he drew were generally second-tier or independent books. When he joined Marvel in 1972, he was already 37 years old.
    And he was a moderately successful stage actor.

    Holy crap that's an official @SolitaireRose sighting. I missed you SR.
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