Throwback Thursday: Marvel’s Black Panther #1 (1976) Review

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In Black Panther Issue 1, titled “King Soloman’s Frog” begins with The Black Panther and his sidekick (an extremely loveable and smart Little Person) Mister Little approaching one of their foes, a man named Queely. Upon entering the room, The Black Panther and Mister Little are surprised to see that Queely doesnt seem surprised they’ve entered uninvited. But thats probably because Queely is dead, as they’ll soon discover. While prying the object they’ve come for, a brass frog from Queely’s lifeless hands they’re attacked by an armored warrior. Fortunately for them, the Panther’s heightened sense of his surroundings helped him feel the warrior before he could harm them. After punching the armed warrior in the face, it realizes it’s in over its head and crashes through the wall to escape. Rather than following him, The Black Panther lets him go. He explains to Mister Little that he let him go because the armed warriors capture was imminent. It’s one of the first glimpses we get of The Black Panthers morals, which are a big part of this story. His morals are extremely strong, he doesn’t believe in injuring or harming anyone who doesn’t present an imminent threat on his life. While that’s an remarkably admirable trait, its one that gets him in trouble later in the issue.

After the armed warrior leaves, Mister Little and The Black Panther set their sights on their own escape. They hop in a helicopter and head to Mister Littles lair with the Brass Frog in tow. There isn’t much time for conversation though, as a more advanced aircraft appears with the intent of shooting them from the sky. They however quickly evade the threat after Mister Little flips a switch and shoots 2 missiles at the aircraft. At this point, The Black Panther takes a few minutes to ask Mister Little about the origins of The Brass Frog and where it came from. While Mister Little isn’t sure where it came from or how it operates, he is sure that trouble seems to follow the artifact. He also reveals that despite his love of collecting things, his intent is to return the Brass Frog to its rightful place, King Soloman’s Tomb. Unfortunately, their conversation is short lived as they’re attacked by soldiers wearing jetpacks.

After they see that they’re outnumbered, Mister Little, who always seems to have the answers flips a switch and the duo shoot away at warp speeds, evading the soldiers and arriving in a mountain where his lair is hidden. But while stepping off the helicopter, The Black Panther senses that they aren’t alone. Mister Little informs his partner that thats impossible because he’s taken every precaution possible to secure the place. He says that no one but someone named Princess Zanda would have the resources to break in. Carefully they make their way further into the building when suddenly they’re blindsided by bullets. Mister Little is hit. While he’s falling to the ground The Black Panther punches and kicks his way through the attackers but is shot with a laser by a woman with a slender finger and strong voice.

It’s Princess Zanda and she’s there to take the brass frog. While the Panther is injured and semi conscious Princess Zanda reveals the the Brass Frog holds the doorway to time itself, but she needs the other frog in order to control it. She realizes that she cant get into King Soloman’s tomb by herself and tries to reason with the Black Panther and asks him to assist her in retrieving it. He won’t do it, but does gain the strength to make one last attempt at taking the artifact back from Princess Zanda by kicking it out of her hand. While diving towards the frog they realize the frog has levitated, light starts shooting from it and a strange being with a big head appears. The doorway to time has opened.

Next week we’ll learn who or what walked through the door.

Stay tuned.

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