#BlackComicsMonth Throwback Thursday: Marvel’s Black Panther Issue 3 (1976)

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BlackPantherIssue3

Black Panther issue 3 begins with the trio of Black Panther, Mister Little and Princess Zanda in a multi plane on their way to return the brass frog to King Solomon’s tomb and hopefully the strange visitor back to his period in time. While Panther and Mister Little are patting themselves on the back for figuring out how to fly the multi plane, Princess Zanda sits nervously behind them as she can’t stop thinking about the dangerous cargo on board with them. Mister Little, however, views this as the perfect opportunity to remind the Princess that it was her greed and meddling that got them into this situation. It takes a stern warning from always moral and righteous Panther to remind them of the task at hand, when suddenly the clouds part and the only thing they can see in front of them is a giant wall of granite and they’re heading right for it. Mister Little, whose acting as navigator, however, is positive that they’re on the right path and advises Panther to stay the course, because (as he reminds them often), he’s never wrong. Even though the Panther wants to change course, its too late. If Mister Little is wrong it’ll mean not only the end of their mission, but the end of their lives.

Right when they think its all coming to an end, the wall suddenly opens and the crew finds themselves in the entrance to King Solomon’s Tomb. As they step off the plane they take in the moment and marvel at how vast the entrance is. What else could be in there? After all, the people who built it also built a time machine. The moment however, like most of their moments is ruined by a large blast that leaves their multi-plane dissolved. Its the strange visitor. Even though he’s been tranquilized and hasn’t completely come out of his slumber, he is still far more powerful than they can imagine and the more he awakens the more powerful he gets. Panther realizes they’re in over their heads, grabs his friend Mister Little and takes off while Princess Zanda follows closely behind them. Guided by Mister Little’s map and his massive intellect, they locate a large door with an extremely complex lock on it. When the Panther reaches out to open the door he’s met with a powerful jolt of electricity. Had it not been for the protective gloves of his suit, it could have spelled doom for the Panther.

Mister Little and Panther are out of ideas, but luckily, Princess Zanda has seen one of these locks before. She informs them that she has one in her vast collection of ancient artifacts, and knows exactly how to open it. With a few motions of her hand, the door unlocks and they’re very carefully making their way through it. Its a good thing they were careful upon entry, because on the other side of the door there’s a giant warrior waiting to attack them. Luckily, the Panthers amazing agility allowed him to avoid the warriors initial strike but still ends up covered in a pile of bricks. At this moment, he realizes the severity of the moment and dons the mask of the savage beast and fight as the Black Panther. He vows to put the behemoth down and sends a thundering punch to its face. Mister Little and Princess Zanda can do nothing but watch the battle between their friend and the Ogre, who was created for the sole purpose of guarding the Kings tomb.

Once Mister Little realizes that if the Panther loses this fight, it’ll not only mean the loss of his friend but also being trapped in the tomb he decides to take a huge risk and takes off down a corridor towards their powerful, big headed foe. He’s running so recklessly that he practically collides with him. The being, still light headed from the tranquilizer, almost immediately lashes out at Mister Little, shooting beams right at him. Meanwhile, The Black Panther is putting a formidable fight against the Ogre. Even though he’s winning, its not long before the Ogre gains the upper hand in the battle and the Panther finds himself on the losing end of things and being hit with everything the Ogre has. Suddenly, the Ogre rips a brick pillar from the ground and moves it towards the Panther when out of nowhere, Mister Little comes running in telling the Panther to “get down!”. Its a good thing he obliges, because those beams meant for Mister Little hit the Ogre full blast, leaving nothing but its smoking boots. Apparently this was all part of Little’s plan. What he lacks in size and morals he makes up in smarts and chutzpah.

Princess Zanda, however, isn’t impressed by Mister Little’s antics. She realizes they’ve simply traded one problem for an even bigger one as the visitor turns his attention towards Panther and Mister Little, Princess Zanda picks up a rock and aims it towards his big head. The rock however, is no match for the disintegration ray on the back of its head, which he fires directly into the rock the Princess is holding. The ray not only destroys the rock, but it also destroys the wall directly behind them. The giant hole created by the ray reveals a room filled with beautiful treasures and ancient artifacts. The team immediately takes off into the room. Briefly, they forget why they’ve come and can’t help but marvel at the jewels. It takes a gentle reminder from the Panther to remind them that their lives are in danger and they’re there for one reason: To get the other brass frog and return the visitor back to his period in time.

But sadly, their greed has cost them precious time. The visitor follows them into the room and appears at almost the exact moment the Panther finds the matching brass frog. While backed into a corner, with no way out, the Panther desperately puts the 2 frogs together and hopes for a miracle. Will they make it out? You’ll have to wait until next week to find out what happens.

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