The Hairball

I was looking through some old comics the other day, came across the Panther/Storm two-fer, started reading and couldn’t understand a word of it. I mean it.

There was this kid, Vibraxas, and his back-s tory, there was a bunch of business with Lord Gaur and the Eternals, whoever they were, and a pot-bellied SHIELD agent about

to start World War III by hunting these folks down.

The White Wolf, whom I liked quite a bit, was using Vibraxas to resurrect Klaw, so I needed to explain who the White Wolf was (The Panther’s adopted brother, his Reverse Flash) and who Klaw was (the man who created The Black Panther when he murdered Panther’s father, T’Chaka—wait, now I have to explain who T’Chaka was). Then there were all of these side characters running around—Queen Divine Justice and Panther’s staff. There was so much plot, the brilliant Sal Velluto’s art was routinely suffocated by having been constricted to six panels on a page, which I covered with Ross’s chattering (explain who Ross is). I couldn’ t read i

It was a mess.

I flopped down on my sofa and thought, “What the hell was I thinking?”

Full Essay Is Here


  1. Ewuare says:

    Hello Mr. Priest.
    Welcome back. It’s nice reading your work again. I really enjoyed the insight regarding the changes at the twilight of your Black Panther run.

    I still enjoy your run on Panther and I think your current impression about that issue reflects growth.
    An enchantment with work more than a decade old and the inability to recognize areas that could have been improved betrays stagnation and stunted development.
    So kudos.
    Reading the old comics reminds me of less complicated, possibly happier times and that nostalgia forbids criticism.

    As for credit, you’re the reason I still buy some Black Panther material -dvd’s, comics – hoping for a reflection of the character I was introduced to in the late nineties. That was your influence and you deserve all the credit for that.

    Jason Aaron’s short stint was reminiscent of those heady days.

    Again, welcome back!

  2. priest says:

    Ewuare: thanks so much. Jason Aaron? I’ll have to check him out. Which issues were those? Sorry, been in the cave for awhile…

  3. Ewuare says:

    Hello, Mr.Priest.
    Perfectly understandable. Solitude is underrated. I have never seen a harried monk.
    The Jason Aaron issues were Black Panther 39 and 40 -“See Wakanda and Die.”

  4. Umbra says:

    Jason Aaron’s Secret Invasion issues also included Black Panther 41.

    Mr. Priest, It’s awesome to see you blogging again. You are the reason I read comics and the reason Black Panther *is* my favorite character. Thank you.

  5. priest says:

    Ewuare: Are Aaron’s issues in a trade? Umbra: Thanks! But consider me *extremely* unreliable so far as blogging goes. Sometimes I get snowed under and vanish.

  6. Ewuare says:

    Priest: The Aaron issues are in trade paperback form (Secret Invasion Black Panther) for about eleven dollars on

    Umbra: Thanks. Memory recalled two issues.

    Why are veritable comic anthologies called trades?

  7. Jason says:

    I want to echo everyone else here by saying that it’s good to see you writing again.

    I’ve never understood why BP didn’t catch on while you wrote. It felt like the only comic out there where big things actually happened. I actually think you were ahead of your time.

    Geoff Johns short stint on the Avengers, especially on the Red Zone arc, was the only comic I remember carrying your vision of T’Challa. He included the animosity between T’Challa and Stark that you created. It wasn’t about the armada in NY harbor, but it highlighted Stark’s anger with T’Challa. Good stuff.

  8. Thelmon Baggett says:

    Everything Marval has done with the Black Panther since Mr. Priest left has been strongly influenced by his run on the book.