This Summer, the Black Panther will return with a new book, a bold new direction–and an awesome new costume. It’s been a rough year for the Black Panther: not only is he no longer ruler of Wakanda, but he has been exiled from his homeland–but he is not about to leave it unprotected, so he adopts a new costume and undertakes a bold new mission in June’s Black Panther #1.
Marvel has revealed new details behind the book (with a special The Today Show segment), already announced to be written by Eve L. Ewing, a Chicago-based scholar and author who has made a name for herself on titles such as Champions and Photon; Ewing will be the first Black woman to writer Black Panther‘s adventures. Marvel also revealed the character’s new costume, designed by Chris Allen, as well as the first issue’s cover, illustrated by Taurin Clarke. In describing the Black Panther’s new costume, Ewing explained that in this new book, Black Panther will be working incognito and attempting to avoid recognition–hence the new outfit.
Ewing describes it as “edgy and kind of homespun. It’s not so sleek and slick.” Indeed, the Black Panther’s new costume is markedly different from his previous look. The Black Panther has worn a cape on occasions, and a new cape design is part of his new look. The Panther is also sporting weapons, something he has shied away from in the past, and his new outfit also has a crest–another first.
As stated earlier, Black Panther has faced tragedy in his latest comic adventures. This recent chapter started well enough, with T’Challa elected Chair of the Avengers, and leading the team with distinction. However, his paranoia got the best of him. Years prior, he sent out a number of sleeper agents abroad, to safeguard Wakandan interests. When one of them turned up dead, a massive conspiracy was exposed. At the same time, Wakanda shifted from monarchy to a representative democracy, meaning Black Panther is no longer king as he had been for most of his adult life. His membership in the Avengers was revoked, and Black Panther was exiled from his homeland; yet, Black Panther is not done with Wakanda.
A New Era is Beginning for the Black Panther
The Black Panther is heading into a bold new era this June, and to mark it, he has received a new costume–his first since his debut nearly 60 years ago. Ewing described the new look as not “sleek” and not “slick,” which is a stark contrast from the Panther’s previous lean and streamlined outfits. The new costume also features a bold, colorful crest on the upper left shoulder; in the past, the Panther has eschewed bright colors. The spear he carries is a new flourish as well, as the Black Panther’s previous looks have not involved weapons. Finally, he is sporting an impressive cloak, one that reinforces the aura of royalty he projects.
The Black Panther is a trailblazing character, and will soon celebrate his 60th anniversary. In that time, his costume has changed very little; any alterations have been minor at best. Now, as the Black Panther heads in a new direction, with a new mission and villains, he is getting a new costume to go with it.
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