The Best Three Starting Points For Black Panther Comics

SPOILERS FOR WHAT IF AHEAD, SAVE THIS PAGE AND COME BACK TO IT ONCE YOU’VE SEEN THE EPISODE.

T’Challa has joined What If…? following the question – What If T’Challa Became Star Lord? And my God did things change for the universe! Did anyone guess that Thanos of all people would become a Ravager?!

Now that I’ve watched the episode, I want to read all the Black Panther comics I can get my hands on, and I’m sure you’re feeling the same way!

But where to start with Black Panther? What’s the best comic to dive into? I have the best three starting points for Black Panther comics right here!

Fantastic Four by Stan Lee

Multiple Marvel Milestones await in the second FF Omnibus! The wedding of Mister Fantastic and the Invisible Girl! The origin of Doctor Doom! The return of the original Human Torch! The FF’s first trip to another galaxy, the introduction of the Inhumans and the coming of Galactus! Plus: Skrulls, Atlanteans, Subterraneans and more! Guest-starring the Silver Surfer, the Black Panther and Daredevil!

Obviously, Black Panther has now been running in the Marvel Universe for the last fifty years, so there’s a lot of history to get through. So, if you want to go right back to the beginning and see T’Challa’s story from inception onwards, then Fantastic Four is the place to go. This see’s T’Challa’s introduction, as well as Wakanda’s, and gives the origins to the Black Panther. There is literally no better place to start!

And, quick word of advice – the collection pictured is the second omnibus, so you’ll need to read volume 1 first, for context!

Rise Of The Black Panther by Ta-Naheisi Coates

The secret origin of T’Challa, the Black Panther! Wakanda has always kept itself isolated from Western society, but that’s about to change. Young T’Challa knows he’s destined to become king, but when his father is murdered by outsiders, he finds himself taking up a mantle he may not be ready for. Experience the troubled reign of King T’Chaka! Discover the mother T’Challa never knew! And see how the world first learns of the wondrous nation of Wakanda — including Namor, King of Atlantis; the Winter Soldier; and the ruler of Latveria, Doctor Doom! Plus: As Erik Killmonger makes a devastating move, a missing chapter of T’Challa and Storm’s lifelong romance comes to light — and the Black Panther must decide his unique role in a world full of super heroes!

But, if you don’t have a lot of time, money or resources, there is a quicker, ‘cliff notes’ version of T’Challa’s earliest stories. Rise Of The Black Panther gives you a quick overview of five big Black Panther runs – it’s not incredibly detailed, but it does give you enough knowledge of the world of Wakanda and it’s protector to get you going.

Black Panther by Christopher Priest

Black Panther reinvented as a sharp and witty political satire? Believe it! T’Challa is the man with the plan as Christopher Priest puts the emphasis on the Wakandan king’s reputation as the ultimate statesman, as seen through the eyes of the U.S. government’s Everett K. Ross. As the Panther investigates a murder in New York, Ross plays Devil’s Advocate in an encounter with Mephisto, and a new regime seizes control in Wakanda. When the truth behind the coup becomes clear, T’Challa finds himself an enemy of the state — and a major revelation threatens to destroy his relationship with the Avengers! Plus: Meet Queen Divine Justice — is she ready to join T’Challa’s deadly crew of female bodyguards, the Dora Milaje? Are they ready for her? Hold onto your pants, because Ross sure can’t!

Christopher Priest’s run is considered by many to be the definitive run on Black Panther, and gives new readers a great jumping off point for the character.

And then as a quick bonus recommendation:

Black Panther by Reginald Hudlin

Hollywood heavyweight Reginald Hudlin takes on the Black Panther – and he’s brought the blockbuster visuals of John Romita Jr.! Together, they go back to the beginning to present T’Challa’s origin in cinematic scope! Who is the Black Panther – and what is the secret history of Wakanda? Social satire meets all-out action as T’Challa’s adventures continue! The Panther enters the House of M! An outbreak of strange, mutated animals brings Storm and the X-Men to Africa! The Panther teams up with Luke Cage, Blade, Brother Voodoo and Monica Rambeau to take on the undead! But every king needs a queen – and so T’Challa embarks on his most dangerous quest yet…to wed the love of his life! Which of the world’s greatest super hero women will say “I do”?

This is a more marmite run for fans, but it does at the very least give you an imagining of Wakanda that is closer to what you see in the Marvel Cinematic Universe, as well as the wedding of T’Challa and Storm of the X-Men. One word of warning for this run though – it does also tie into Civil War, House Of M and Dark Reign, so you’ll probably want to check those out while you’re reading this, to keep up with what’s going on.

And that’s my best three starting points for Black Panther! If you have any questions, please leave them down below!

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