Thanks to the recent events in Shadowland, Daredevil has gone crazy and it looks he might not last much longer as the protector of Hell’s Kitchen. That means someone else needs to step in for him while he’s being “reborn,” so T’Challa of Wakanda, aka the Black Panther, is due for a return to the United States. Above, Simone Bianchi draws the new “man without fear.”
And here’s Francesco Francavilla‘s cover for the new title, which is actually the old Daredevil title with the same numbering and a new header (much like Incredible Hulk became Incredible Hercules for a while). If you haven’t checked out Francesco’s blogs you are missing out on some amazing storytelling! I get lost on his site for hours at a time and I think I’ve unearthed only half of the amazing art on display there! I’m glad he’s getting a high profile Marvel gig (he will be providing interiors for the series) and I hope it leads to many more for him.
As for Black Panther bouncing around the rooftops of New York City, I’m all for it. What is the impetus behind this sudden change? Series writer David Liss says:
“T’Challa is no longer the king of Wakanda, and he has no more vibranium,” says Liss, touching on recent changes to the life of his new leading man. “After the trials of DoomWar, he’s looking to figure out who he is; what it means to be T’Challa without all the roles, responsibilities and powers that have defined him for so long. When an opportunity arises to relocate to Hell’s Kitchen, it seems like exactly the kind of test he’s looking for.”
It appears that T’Challa’s wife Storm will be hanging with the X-Men while T’Challa does his soul searching.
“Storm is with the X-Men in Utopia,” reveals the writer. “[Her and T’Challa’s] relationship has not changed; they are still married, in love and committed to each other. At the same time, they have their own things they have to do. Storm not only accepts that T’Challa has to be alone right now, she insists on it because she understands that is what he needs. T’Challa is out to test his limits and see what he’s made of; that would be hard to do if every time he got in trouble Storm came flying in and zapped his enemies.”
Interesting. I think this new role for T’Challa might be actually pretty good for him and Storm’s relationship. He’s lost all of his toys and his playset, so he does need to regroup and reconfigure his identity. A bit of back to basics might be good for him and I love the idea of T’Challa prowling around New York City. X-Men fans are most likely happy to have Storm back full time for a while. I hope we get some on panel time between the married couple as they deal with the strain of a long distance relationship, but if we don’t I can just pretend it happened off panel. Hopefully, the time apart will build Ororo and T’Challa up, showing them as awesome individuals, so when they reunite fans of both characters will rejoice.