The Complete Priest Black Panther vol 1 reminder

The collected edition of Black Panther #1-17 is hitting stores August 12, in case any of you don’t have the comics already (or want something more shelf-friendly).ย  Figured I’d plug this so Priest wouldn’t have to.ย  ๐Ÿ˜‰

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  1. Trev Trev says:

    I’ll check it out. Thanks, DVD.

  2. Ralf Haring says:

    There is also a a complete Cap and Falcon book up for preorder now.

  3. ireactions says:

    It starts out well, but issues #7 – 12 are *extremely* awkward. The switch in artists is positively bizarre. Marvel Knights editorial apparently asked for a more humour-oriented tone with DC ADVENTURES style art and then lost the artist within a few issues, meaning a huge mismatch in tone between the writing and the art that MD Bright provided later on. The closing issues of #11 – 12 feature an *absurd* amount of text crammed into the pages.

    #13 and onward feature a much stronger sense of clarity, renewing the focus on the series’ political intrigue within a superhero universe. The colouring, however, is *awful* — Marvel at the time had contracted colour separations to a bunch of hacks called Graphic Color Works (I think that’s their name) meaning that colour guide artists would do beautiful stuff that would see print in flat, uncoordinated, artless colours. It was like the comics went back in time to 1975 to be coloured. Thankfully, the contract with this pathetic studio expired within a few months of Quesada becoming EIC at Marvel.

    I’ve never quite understood why Marvel Knights ditched BLACK PANTHER or why Marvel editorial picked up this castoff, but I’ve always been pleased that it did. Priest’s writing and the work from artists Sal Velluto and Bob Almond were able to transcend the limitations and do some Sorkin-esque stories.

    The great shame, however, is that BLACK PANTHER was somewhat impenetrable for new readers without having been there since #1. It took me a few years to gather a complete collection; I’d start at various arcs and be totally lost until I had the full set.

    I also really think that the BLACK AND WHITE series, despite Priest’s dismissal of that run, is utterly brilliant in reimagining the BLACK PANTHER concept with a street-cop impersonator. B&W ended terrifically but with a few loose ends that sadly weren’t ever wrapped up due to the end of the series and the reboot fro Reggie Hudlin.

    I would say that the best follow-up to Priest’s work was the brilliant work from Davis Liss on BLACK PANTHER: THE MAN WITHOUT FEAR / THE MOST DANGEROUS MAN ALIVE. Liss captured T’Challa’s brilliance, cunning, compassion, nobility and purpose while setting him in Hell’s Kitchen without his tech or throne. And he had some decent colourists and a consistent art team throughout his run. But that run was only possible because of the sterling work Priest carried out in his time on the series.

    • Priest Priest says:

      I actually don’t remember why BP moved from MK but it wasn’t “dumped.” I’d actually assumed the series had been cancelled with #12 until Editor Ruben Diaz called to harass me about being late on the script for #13. “Am I still writing that book?” I asked him. I mean, nobody told me. Mark Texeira was struggling with deadlines, which was understandable considering the complex faux-painting job he’d been doing. Painter (and former NYPD cop and my pal) Joe Jusko stepped in for a couple issues, but sans JoeQ’s dynamic layouts). The animation-style art on “Enemy Of The State” was MK’s idea, an experiment that seemed a little out of place given the complex political machinations of that arc, including BP’s revelation of his motives for having joined the Avengers. Sal Velutto’s arrival with #13 calmed the seas quite a bit, but it took him and inker Bob Almond several issues to settle in to what became their signature BP style. The early issues have lots of extraneous lines, and Sal was drawing Queen Divine Justice to look too tall and older than the cherubic adolescent she ultimately became. It’s interesting to watch that evolution, as Sal and Bob just got better with every issue, ultimately becoming a kind of Neal Adams-ne-Nick Cardy-esque “Classic Coke” photorealism that clicked big time with the 22-page brawl between Panther and Killmonger, the avengers/Deadpool crossover (#23), and story arcs “The Seduction of The Innocent,” “Enemy of The State II,” and “The Death of The Black Panther.” Oh, and Marvel Uber editor Tom Brevoort was helming most of that run. The consistency of the work–including mine–is evident from Tom’s run.

      I liked the story in Vin Diesel Panther, “Black and White,” but again we had musical chairs with the art, much of it supplied by artists from abroad who didn’t always understand the script and who had no real feel for the urban hip-hop theme Marvel had imposed upon the book. It was like directing us to remake the film “Dangerous Liaisons” and then casting Samuel L. Jackson as Le Chevalier Raphael Danceny. No offense to anybody working there at the time, but changing the book was their idea. I suppose they lost Denys Cowan’s phone number, along with Dwyane Turner, ChrisCross, Trevor Von Eden, Ron Wilson, or, for that matter, Joe Bennett, who drew every freaking tread on the White Tiger’s boot with authority. The artist didn’t have to be black, but some effort–I mean, *some*–should have been made to not saddle me with a mandate and then take a nap when it was time to cast the art. I mean, they could have just left Sal and Bob in place; Sal is no hip-hop guru, but he did a fine job when Queenie took the Hulk to a night club.

  4. ireactions says:

    CAP AND FALCON is also *really* strong so long as you A) read from #1 and B) make sure to read AVENGERS DISASSEMBLED. Priest does an amazing job of showing Steve Rogers’ purity of heart while questioning America’s moral position in every issue. My favourite thing about CAF was to read each issue and then go on the CAP message board at Alvaro’s and read posters raging at Priest for daring to present military personnel as anything but paragons of virtue and calling him an American turncoat.

    • Priest Priest says:

      Me? A turncoat? I don’t even own a coat! I wasn’t aware of CAF but am really happy about it. The first arc is tough to read because of Bart Sears’ beautiful and amazing art but near indecipherable storytelling (and, yes, there I go blaming my artist again). I believe Joe Bennett takes over with #5 and that run, along with Bennett’s brilliant work on THE CREW, is some of my favorite Marvel projects. The Avengers disassembled thing stepped on my Steve + Wanda romance, which was never intended to be part of that event. It was supposed to branch into a kind of scandal in Year Two (after all, Wanda is still thought of as a teenager by Pietro and she’s the Vision’s ex), but we didn;t get a Year Two, and Marvel opted not to move Joe and I onto Main Cap (I suppose because I was a turncoat).

      • David Aspmo says:

        Well, if you’re going to get passed over for a book like Cap, at least it was for a seminal run on the title that went on to be the basis for a movie that made $715 million and is considered by many to be Marvel Studio’s best.

        I mean, I guess it could have been satisfying in a schadenfreude way if the creative team they picked had crashed and burned; but I think it’s better to think of it as, “it took a creative team of THAT high quality to make them not go with us”.

        Today, though, I have to say I’d be looking forward to the new Cap book a lot more if Priest were writing it than what’s currently about to come out.

        • Priest Priest says:

          Good point, but it presumes my run on CAP would not have been movie-worthy…? I’m informed my Panther run is at least somewhat movie-worthy, and the first act of Batman Begins is based in part on my Batman writing. I am at least marginally movie-worthy ๐Ÿ™‚

          I don’t begrudge anybody who got a gig. Tom Brevoort, the editor, remains a good friend. He made the call that was right for Marvel at the time, I’m not embittered about it. I’m justg saying Joe and I were doing good work and, in my opinion, we’d earned our shot. Looking at sales figures from a second-banana Cap book really isn’t fair. Giving us a year on the main Cap book, then looking at *those* numbers would have made more sense to me. The market really would not support two Cap books, then or now.

  5. Priest Priest says:

    DVD: thanks. Actually, I didn’t know when this was coming out. ๐Ÿ™‚

  6. Penni Fuzzbox says:

    I’m preordering every BP and CAF book Marvel is willing to put out. Not least because I’m dying for a collection of the Crew. Who knew what kind of characters Junta and Kasper would turn into?

    Also, Marvel really lost something when Joe Bennett bolted for DC. And I’ve been continually saddened by the absence of any Priest books on the shelves. Hope Marvel keeps putting your books out.

    • Priest Priest says:

      Penni: thanks for the *very* kind words. I can’t predict when or even if I’ll be doing new comics work, but there’ll be an announcement toward the end of the month about some other things I’m up to. ๐Ÿ™‚

      Wow… Joe’s at DC? Very smart on DC’s part, very puzzling on Marvel’s: Joe’s an amazing talent. Every month I was thrilled, I mean, I was a comics fan again (no offense intended), giddy to see what Joe had come up with. Very intuitive stroyteller, detail-oriented. This stuff with Cap and Wanda just floored me: And Falcon “firing” the Anti-Cap, was pitch-perfect. With storytelling *this* strong, you don;t need words–it’s all there on the page. The more I saw what Joe was capable of, the more i trusted him to deliver without needing me to scribble all over it or have the characters talk too much. Bennett really got Steve and Sam and created great resonances between them. Trivia: for a minute, there was consideration to renaming the book Falcon and Captain America, teaming Falc with the young Anti-Cap (a functin now being filled in the movie universe by the Winter Soldier), and Falc teaching him the ropes. “And, not to put too fine a point on it… but I’m a NAVAL captain. I outrank you.” –Anti-Cap to Cap. Hah!

      With much affection to (I believe) Steve Englehart and the amazing Sal Buscema for their “Cap of the 50’s” SA arc. Man, I loved that book. I really felt Joe and I had earned our shot at the main Cap book. I understand marketing concerns and all of that, but there was, I thought, enormous potential in our take on Cap and Falc, and I was deeply disappointed that we weren’t given a shot at the main title.

  7. Trev Trev says:

    Preist: “With much affection to (I believe) Steve Englehart and the amazing Sal Buscema for their โ€œCap of the 50โ€™sโ€ SA arc. Man, I loved that book. I really felt Joe and I had earned our shot at the main Cap book. I understand marketing concerns and all of that, but there was, I thought, enormous potential in our take on Cap and Falc, and I was deeply disappointed that we werenโ€™t given a shot at the main title.”

    Trev: Oh, the writers sell books not the writing. Marvel have got it all wrong.

    I look forward to your return to writing comics if the opportunity presents itself.

    • Priest Priest says:

      I don’t think Marvel has it all wrong; I think they’re dealing with the reality of the market they themselves (or, more accurately: previous generations of Marvel) created. You gotta dance with the one that brung ya. Comics fans look at the cover, look at the credits, and decide whether or not to buy.

      Now, Thrillbent is only four bucks a month and read ’till your eyeballs fall out. That’s a steal. Wondering if Marvel offers something like that. The first installment of “1999” will be 99 cents. If everything was 99 cents, we’d all likely be reading a lot more comic books ๐Ÿ™‚ If we were all reading a lot more comics, the market would slowly move back to where it used to be; where I’d read Spider-Man because Spider-Man was in it, not because John Doe was the writer. As a fan, I relied on Marvel, not John, to guarantee the consistency and quality of the product. It mattered less to me whether it was Marv Wolfman or Len Wein; it was *MARVEL.* That was the mark of quality. And I loved Spider-Man. I don’t think I even bothered looking to see who wrote it.

      • Dave Van Domelen says:

        So, Priest reminded me of Thrillbent the other day and I went back. When it launched, there wasn’t anything that interested me, but now there is, so I subscribed and archive-trawled.

        • Priest Priest says:

          There’s actually a great deal of good stuff up there. I’m very late to the party, of course, because I live in a cave. But, read all you want for four bucks a month?!? C’mon, you can’t beat that with a stick. If Marvel were doing that, what’d it be… more like $25 a month…? Is there a “Netflix” model for DC or Marvel?

          • Dave Van Domelen says:

            Marvel tried something like that for $10 a month a few years ago, but I recall people complaining about the content not always being up to date, funky interface issues, and the fact you lost all access once your subscription ran out. (Thrillbent says “read forever,” although I haven’t checked into how that works, exactly. Flagging expired accounts to be able to access any content from before the expiration?)

          • Ralf Haring says:

            They do have that. $10 a month for everything old all the way up to 6 months ago.

      • Ralf Haring says:

        That sounds … undesirable. I want to read books because you have earned my loyalty, not because of the character or the company. It was a long and painful process to learn that the creative personnel are a far better barometer of my possible enjoyment than anything else and I have no desire to go back to the bad old days.

  8. Just picked up my copy of Volume One today. Glad to do it.

    Will be recommending it again to my local library.

  9. Very cool. It will be worth checking out and picking up. Say Priest, has Marvel expressed interest in having you translate your “Panther” arcs into traditional prose novels? Or maybe an original series of novels based on other Marvel characters youโ€™re interested in? If Marvel is serious about going further with the traditional sci-fi/action-book market (but hopefully not marketed/promoted to just the fanboy contingent), they should consider this and have you as one of its main writers, for sure.

    • Priest Priest says:

      Christopher: I actually inquired about doing a Panther novel; I’d actually be interested in doing that. I don;t actually know specifically who to direct such an inquiry to, so I spoke to one of the bosses who said he’d pass it on, but that’s been, maybe, a year now.

  10. Volume 2 (issues 18-35, plus Deadpool 44) is solicited in the new Previews.

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