Sunday, February 12, 2017

Black Panther - The Collectors!

Following the end of the threat of the Six-Million Year Old Man the heroes must find an escape from King Solomon's Tomb in the fourth issue of Black Panther. The collectors Mr. Little and Princess Zanda are overcome by their greed and it's up to the Black Panther to use reason and speed to get them out of the treasure trove which is quickly self-destructing after having its secrets discovered.

They escape in a fiery chariot which explodes in an atomic feast of self-destruction and head home. But we find that home is not where the Panther goes, but instead he is confronted with even more greedy Collectors when in addition to Mr. Little and Princess Zanda we meet Count Zorga, Colonel Pigman and Silas Mourner. This cabal of avaricious collectors want the Panther to find the secret of immorality.

By threatening Wakanda the Collectors are able to get the Panther to work for them and in the fifth Black Panther issue he and Mr. Little head out in a sleek ship to find the Sacred Water-Skin which is hidden in a secret city of Samurai.

In their quest they encounter a ferocious Yeti, but they survive and then discover a Samurai guard waiting for them.

To start Black Panther six the Panther defeats the warrior and uses his bonds of honor to gain access to the secret underground citadel where a noble race of Samurais live immortal lives.

But the Panther eventually has to battle for his honor and his life while the small Mr. Little actually finds the sacred waters. This leads to fighting for their lives and eventually they are able to broker a deal.

In the seventh issue we have a transition story but part of it deals with the Panther and Little getting out of the Samurai city and returning to the Collectors but without the immortal water, save a smidge which Little stole. The Collectors fight one another for it and the Panther takes that opportunity to escape their madness and begin his journey home to Wakanda where a new threat has emerged.

This trip to city of the Samurai is adventurous but lacks the vital creativity of the earlier issues, the mission the Panther is on seems to lack a real point since he himself is so dead set against it. To waste time searching for something you will not take when you find it seemed a bit stupid to me and while it shows the Panther to be a noble creature, it shows also that he lacks any urgency to return home. Which is a bit ironic given his problems in earlies Panther stories. When that urgency suddenly strikes him, it seems contrived. The battle with the Yeti is easily the highlight of this story line.

More to come next week as the Panther heads home.

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