The Top 10 Black Panther Comics

The Top 10 Black Panther Comics

You might have seen the movie, but have your read these Black Panther classics?

With the release of Black Panther on February 16th, I figured it was time to return to the first series I started with the Odyssey. Just like the Thor list, this book will be judged on the following criteria: writing, art, creativity, impact, and legacy. Unlike the first time around, I'm not going to list the scores, but I will explain my choices.

I'm also going to try and keep this list shorter than the Thor one because, while it is an interesting read, it took about the length of a movie to read everything. This time there should be little need to skim, but you won't want to anyways.

So without any further ado, "The Top 10 Black Panther Comics"

10. Infinity

I wanted an image from the Infinity comic, but the Infinity War movie has made it almost impossible to find (thanks, Marvel), so this will suffice.

infinity was a really good crossover comic in 2013, and some of the parts of it will be used in Infinity War, especially the parts related to Black Panther and Wakanda. This book ranks so low on this list because Black Panther had a relatively small role to play in this series. Still, it was written and drawn well, and its impact and legacy are reflected in Infinity War.

9. Introducing the Sensational Black Panther

The Black Panther got a two-part debut in a Fantastic Four book, but he certainly made the most of it. A far cry from what his character would become down the road, he is the first black superhero, so the fact that he debuted at all is important. The birth of the original black comic book superhero deserves a place on this list, but T'Challa had many more adventures ahead that would take him from the first to the greatest.

8. Jungle Action #5-24

The first solo run for Black Panther, Jungle Action #5-24 took the foundation that was set for the character over the years following the last entry and fleshed out the character. Beginning with a reprint of Avengers #62 and running through issue 24, the story took Black Panther into the mainstream. I'm putting the Jungle Action run here, but there will be an entry on this list that includes almost this entire run, but there is a reason they will be separate entries.

7. Secret Wars

Secret Wars (2016) was simply epic. This crossover may not have been the best written or the most liked comic book event, but it had a grand scale that created some many amazing moments. We got to see the great kings of Marvel square off in Doctor Doom and Black Panther, and it was something special that any fan of either character should read.

6. Panther's Rage

So Panther's Rage essentially is just entries eight and nine combined, with the only thing missing being Jungle Action #5, but the fact that this is a collected volume with special artwork warrants it being a separate entry. Panther's Rage is greater than the sum of its parts, and the parts that make it up are iconic on there own. This collection of the early Black Panther stories tell you everything you need to know about his origins, and the special artwork included by Gil Kane is just beautiful.

5. New Avengers Vol. 1 (Everything Dies)

Part of the lead up to Secret Wars, Everything Dies sets up the end of the Marvel multiverse as a spectacle, and Black Panther gets to be one of the stars. Minor spoilers for the event and the lead up to it, but the Black Panther and the rest of the Illuminati (a collection of the greatest minds and leaders in the main Marvel Universe) try and stop the end of reality. The tension is high in this series for the Illuminati, and since it is finished, you can feed the whole thing instead of waiting LITERALLY YEARS for it to be released as individual issues.

4. Who is Black Panther? (2006)

The 2005 run of Black Panther took the origin of the King of Wakanda, and made it darker, more violent, and more spectacular. Who is Black Panther? is a collection of the first six issues of the 2005 series, and it feels so cinematic that it could have made a good enough movie on its own, although for what I have seen of the actual movie, I am glad they did not just set this comic to film. Plus, they have already turned this comic into an animated movie that you can watch (if you don't want to read).

3. Black Panther: Secret Invasion

Jason Aaron is one, if not the, best comic book writer of the millennium, and it shows in his time writing Black Panther books. Black Panther: Secret Invasion shows the King of Wakanda defending his people from the "Secret Invasion" that was occurring in Marvel at the time, and it doesn't go too well for the invading forces. I could spoil more this book and Secret Invasion as a whole, but it's honestly an amazing series that is worth a read, but I would recommend either starting with something else or watching a video of someone telling the story who actually knows about continuity, such as this one (Warning! it's a little long).

2. Black Panther by Christopher Priest:

The Complete Collection

I'm going to level with you here, I could have done entries ten through two of comics from this run by Christopher Priest. He wrote both Enemy of the State arcs which were stories that defined the character of Black Panther for years. While this book is only part one of four of the works of Christopher Priest, if you want to get started reading Black Panther, this is a logical starting point, especially since it is free with Amazon Prime.

1. A Nation Under Our Feet

I find it a bit weird that the best run of Black Panther is the most recent/current one, but it's honestly true thanks to in large part to T-Nehisi Coates, who may be the best pure writer to ever write Black Panther (Jason Aaron and Christopher Priest are great comic book writers, but they are limited to comics more so than Coates). From what I have seen in the trailers, this run seems to be a large catalyst for the upcoming Black Panther movie, along with Panther's Rage. T'Challa meets his match in this series, and this comic is amazing, plus it is a good jumping on point for people because it is similar enough to what the movie will be like, and it is ongoing so if you like it, you can keep reading new stories.

Black Panther is an iconic superhero, and the upcoming movie is going to show what fans of the character already know, he is a bad-ass. If you somehow don't believe me or the movie, check out one of these, and see for yourself.

Cover Image Credit: Facebook

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The Top 5 Most Adorable TV Characters

They Have Ruled Our Hearts, Gave us Tears of Joy, as well as Hysterical Fits of Laughter with their Charming Screen Presence

Well, they have ruled our hearts, gave us tears of joy and hysterical laughter with their wit and charm, so let's take a look at some of the most lovable TV characters.

1.) Stewie Griffin ("Family Guy"):

He's a baby, everybody loves babies, you might think that but it's not that simple. He's got the IQ of a rocket scientist, devilish designs, and his heartiest wish is to kill his mother, so he's nothing like a baby. He shares a beautiful bond with his dog which is heartwarming to watch. There are so many interesting angles to his personality which makes it worth it to root for him despite his primal instinct - kill his mother and world domination.

2.) Jake Harper ("Two and a Half Men"):

We have another kid, but he's completely from another dimension. This one can win a contest for the dumbest yet cutest kid. He was the half man from the title but had an equal share in making this show what it was - watchable. He was the butt of many jokes in the show due to his general lack of smarts, understanding of words, and self-confidence, as well as being oblivious to the fact he was being made fun of.

3.) Sheldon Cooper ("The Big Bang Theory"):

You have to give it to the 22-year-old theoretical physicist who played this character to perfection. He is freakishly genius and he knows it, but most importantly he doesn't mind letting others know even if its a cop, a judge, or his friends who suffer the most by his quirky mannerisms including his love for "his spot", details, and trains. His devotion to science is so deep that he is oblivious to social cues, women, and even sarcasm. Although these traits make him intolerable for his friends, strangers or even anyone who crosses paths with him, the same faults make him the reason to watch this show.

4.) Barney Stinson ("How I Met Your Mother"):

We have the man himself - Barney Stinson, the guy who eases "awesomeness" and "legendary" into his character and the show like butter onto bread. He's not just a man- he's a religion, he has his own set of rules, codes, costumes, and theories... about getting laid. He's a God to every loser who sees himself dominating/ pretending to be an Alpha male of society- the man that every girl desires to be with. He is immune to disease, fashion disasters, and even a bad photograph. He has crazy theories that he backs up with fake history tales lied to perfection. His concept of lie is something which defines how awesome he is- "A lie is just a great story ruined by truth."

5.) Joey Tribbiani ("F.R.I.E.N.D.S"):

It wouldn't serve justice to this listicle or to the word adorable if I didn't include Joey Tribbiani- the man who made " How you doin'?" what it is. He is the only person who can be dumb, cute, and funny all at the same time. He was the only character out of the six who had a smile on his face no matter what the situation was. He also senses the emotional needs of his friends and does everything possible to fulfill that need. He is the best character to be with when the chips are down, he can cheer up even Droopie. Joey is funny and he doesn't have to put in any effort to be just that. Maybe the fact that he owns an array of expressions which spill out humor and pour directly into our hearts, is the reason he doesn't have to try to be our favorite.

Cover Image Credit: Photo by Toa Heftiba on Unsplash

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Everything To Love About "Love, Simon"

"Everyone deserves a great love story."

Love, Simon, a film based on the book, “Simon vs. the Homo Sapiens Agenda” by Becky Albertalli came out on March 16th. Since then, it has received an overwhelming amount of positive reviews from movie goers. I went to see the movie last week and was extremely impressed. This movie is exactly what our society needs.

Years ago, the concept of being gay was a taboo and anything involving homosexuality carried a strong stigma. Many creative closeted individuals did not have the freedom to write stories or screenplays with queer characters. After members of the LGBT community became more normalized in society, we started to see the slow rise of films with characters reflecting different sexualities. I have watched multiple movies with queer characters, and ALL of the other ones I’ve seen have been tragedies.

While it is true that the process of coming out and living an authentic life can be difficult for queer people, it is not always tragic. Watching these movies makes people feel like non-heterosexual people cannot have happy endings. Imagine being a 14 year old kid in the closet and watching all these films that end with suicide, depression, or murder. It is easy to see why someone would not want to come out after being exposed to such horrific things. LGBT movies have also always been highly sexualized. Most of them center around the sexual relationships and lack substance. I feel like the writers think that the only appeal LGBT movies can have has to be sex.

The beauty in Love, Simon comes from the fact that none of the things I mentioned above were in the movie. Instead, it was hilarious, emotional and real. The story was raw and relatable for so many people. Simon was a normal high schooler, with best friends, a loving family, and homework to do. He did not fit the “gay” stereotype at all. His clothes were masculine, his voice was deep, and he didn’t love shopping. Simon was not the “Gay best friend” he was just the best friend. Simon was fortunate enough to have all these positive things in his life, which not everyone has. I think that this presentation of his life shows people that their coming out does not have to be tragic.

Simon’s coming out could not have been more realistic. He was outed to his school on an online platform, something that can happen easily in our technological age. He was very affected by this and knew he had to come clean to his family. His sister asked him if he wanted to deny it and he said he was tired of hiding.

His announcement shifted his family for a bit, something completely normal. Some movies have kids come out and show the parents instantly start a pride parade. This is usually not the case, especially when loved ones do not suspect anything. Love, Simon showed his parents trying to adjust to the news. They did not love him any less, but they needed some time to process the information, so that they could do their best for their son. There were days of silence in the family, but the silence was broken in memorable ways.

Simon’s talk with his mom had me in tears. His mom told him that for the past few years, she had felt like he was holding his breath, and tells him, “You can exhale now, Simon.” He could finally breathe and she was letting him know that she wants him to be happy and himself. His father apologized to him for making a lot of gay jokes before his coming out. He did not realize that his words may have been hurting his son, and he tears himself down for not realizing his son was gay. Simon tells him that he has nothing to be sorry about, because his coming out was something that could not be assumed.

Simon’s friends did not treat him any differently after his coming out, meaning that they did not give him any special treatment. They were upset with him for things, and worked it out later. His sexuality was not the issue.

At school, he was bullied by idiots, but he stood up for himself. I think that is something so important for the youth to see. Movies typically show gay kids cowering in a corner while being made fun of. Simon and the other out gay kid (a black character) in his school both stood up for themselves repeatedly, throwing out witty remarks and comments on occasion.

Simon’s online relationship with the other closeted kid in his school exemplified many relationships today. Kids will go online to search for people who they can relate to. With the touch of a button, they can connect with millions going through the same things they are. When Simon meets the person behind the screen, everyone is overjoyed.

The entire film was a masterpiece. Two LGBT characters were people of color. The rest of the cast was diverse as well. The movie did not feature an array of white people, like most movies do. Although there were many serious scenes that had me in tears, there was plenty of levity. The humor was current and made the entire theater laugh.

The representation for queer people in this movie is superb. Multiple members actually came out during the filming of this movie. If that doesn’t show you how positive and powerful this movie is, I don’t know what will. This movie is exactly what LGBT kids needed and I applaud the talented cast, the writers, and everyone else who had anything to do with the creation of this life changing movie.

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