Waiting for the movie, waiting for the movie

Black Panther: A Nation Under Our Feet Book 1 - Ta-Nehisi Coates, Brian Stelfreeze

Note: I got this for free via an Amazon Marvel Comics' Offer. I "purchased" a FCBD comic about Rocket for nothing, and then recieved an email coupon saying I could get a free comic collection. I chose this one because I was lucky enough to see Coates speak shortly after it was announced he was writing this.

Years ago, I was a huge Marvel fan, until they screwed one too many of thier female characters over. So I stopped reading. I kept up a bit because you know how it is. You get attached to characters and want to know. I was never a Black Panther fan. Sorry, just wasn't, mostly because I didn't read the Avengers. But Storm, Storm and Firestar are my two favorite Marvel characters. When Storm and Panther married I was like cool even though I shipped Storm/Forge, but why did you retconned it the way you did? Why couldn't the story of Storm saving Panther be kept? Why did it have to be reversed? But I understand the importance of the, this, power couple, but this begs the question why break them up?

So that's my mind set when I picked this up. As someone who has not read Marvel in recent years, I was slightly confused on the outset, though the summery at the start helped with this. And honestly, if Marvel had been producing this when I stopped reading, I would not have stopped reading.

First, the art. Comic books are known for women with skinny waists, big boobs, and really strange outfits. Well, the strange outfits are here and some navels get flashed, but the women are actually drawn as women with real waists and bust sizes. So wow. Awesome. Women in power too. 

Second, the plot. Coates' storyline seems to be on the nature of rule, which is a rather interesting take. Coates explored not only the idea and cost of ruling, but what happens when that pact is broken. It is a really adult look at power and government that mirrors some the politcal situations in some African countries. Really well done writing.

On the representaton issue, this book is great. Two of the leading female characters are in a romantic realtionship where they truly care for each other. They are not demonized. Additionally, there are hints of a relationship between two older adults. There is only one white person who has a small role, and the book therefore balances the predominately white casts of the other comics. Honestly, there was a time when the Avengers seemed to be nothing but blonde men. Representation does matter, everyone should realize this.