A review by dozmuttz
Black Panther: Who Is the Black Panther? by Reginald Hudlin

adventurous inspiring medium-paced
  • Plot- or character-driven? A mix
  • Strong character development? It's complicated
  • Loveable characters? Yes
  • Diverse cast of characters? Yes
  • Flaws of characters a main focus? No



2005 saw a new series and #1 issue for the famous king of Wakanda. Reggie Hudlin was the new writer and partnered with him was John Romita Jr, and Klaus Janson on pencil and inks, with Dean White doing the colors. This new series’s first arc served as a sort of reintroduction into the world of Black Panther. The story starts back in time showing the early years of Wakanda and the failed attempts of other people trying to invade their borders. The other tribes were defeated with ease and even when the American colonists came with their heavy artillery, they were no match for the people of Wakanda and their protector, The Black Panther. The story then shows how T’Challa took the title of Black Panther from his uncle and the start of his turn being the protector of Wakanda. After catching us up on some history the simultaneous plot during present time is the U.S. discussing how they can get into Wakanda as they worry about the mysterious nation being so powerful. And although they’ve never been an offensive threat to anyone they’re scared that it could all change as the years go by. They aren’t the only ones trying to get in however, as Ulysses Klaw is recruited by a group of mercenaries to invade Wakanda, and seek revenge for what they did to their colonial ancestors. Now Wakanda faces its toughest challenge because the group of mercenaries consists of Klaw, The Rhino, The Radioactive Man, Batroc the leaper, and The Cannibal. All powerful villains with an unstoppable plan. 

This was my introduction to Reggie Hudlin and I gotta say he writes a hell of a story. This first arc has gone down as probably the best character defining story for The Black Panther. These first 6 issues were just the start to the new run he was put on, but it became something so big on its own that it’s mostly marketed as a sort of original graphic novel. Hudlin gives such great detail to all the characters he writes and it all feels cinematic (probably cause he’s an actual hollywood writer). His dialogue is super engaging and his storytelling between different time periods is flawless. Hudlin is telling you who Black Panther is without it feeling so gimmicky or boring. He takes his time but still manages to fill so much context and content in only 6 issues. There’s great action, awesome character interactions, a captivating premise, and a satisfying ending. All thanks to what I would call the perfect work of Reggie Hudlin. 

The art team are also no scrubs, as the team of John Romita Jr and Klaus Janson are always a delight to see. Partnered with them in the colors department is Dean White, and he too does a really solid job to make this not only a well written book but a good looking one too. JRJR excels for the action packed scenes and even though people are very back and forth with his 2000s work, I’ve always found JRJR to be a consistent blast with the pencils. All that with the polished inks of the legendary Klaus Janson and it’s a perfect pairing for such an awesome story. 

Overall; This was an absolute classic and a story I can see myself visiting over and over. I honestly want to read it again right now ! It makes me excited to see what else Hudlin has in store as he goes on to write Black Panther for another 30+ issues. If you haven’t before, please read this and treat yourself!