Writer Jonathan Maberry has put the Black Panther through the wringer lately and things aren’t getting any easier for him now in Doomwar #1. Being a king in addition to a super-hero, the Black Panther has always been in a unique situation for political drama, in addition to the usual woes that accompany heroes. While not equaling the excellence of Christopher Priest’s run on the title, Maberry has done a solid job of weaving political intrigue into the standard super-hero fare.
It’s been a rough few months for the Black Panther. Since the relaunch of his Marvel Comics series, he was nearly assassinated, forced to pass the throne of Wakanda to his younger sister, his wife (Storm of the X-Men) has been imprisoned and he’s had to flee the country to avoid a violent insurrection. After months of scheming and planning, the person responsible for all of these woes has been revealed: Dr. Doom. Doom has gone through all this trouble to attempt to gain access to Wakanda’s unique natural resource, the super-metal Vibranium.
Now I’ve always been a big fan of Doom. Ever since I was a kid and he managed to steal the power of the Beyonder during the first Secret War, I’ve been impressed by him. Most villains are content to menace one, maybe two super-heroes or perhaps a whole team if they get ambitious. Doom, on the other hand, is a constant threat to everyone in the Marvel Universe. He’ll have simultaneous plots going against the Fantastic Four, Dr. Strange, The Avengers, Nick Fury and S.H.I.E.L.D. So the over-achieving Doom going toe-to-toe with one of the smartest heroes out there, the Black Panther, is certain to be a sight to see.
As great a tactician as he is, the Black Panther knows better than to try and take on Doom alone. So in this issue we see him out recruiting help in taking back his country. His first stop is with the X-Men. It’s been shown in the previews that the Fantastic Four are also in the mix. The FF, X-Men and Black Panther teaming up against Dr. Doom? How can any comic book fan pass on that? I know I certainly can’t!
While the art by Scot Eaton is merely serviceable, Maberry keeps things moving at a brisk pace and ends the book on a “WHOA!” moment that reminds everyone that the Panther operates on a unique moral level from most of the capes and tights set.