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MY TAKE: BLACK PANTHER (COMICS ONLY)

So, I think it's been long enough (three years or more) since I and several other writers were asked to pitch their arcs for the, then, upcoming Black Panther reboot comic. David Walker, myself and some dude named Coates were up for the gig along with two others, maybe, whose names I never got. We know who got the gig and it's been long enough that I thought it would be fun to post my first pitch for the comic series. I won't be posting the second pitch which is QUITE different from this one and has multiple elements I might want to use later or elsewhere. As always, this is not a criticism against what is being done in the comics. The best gladiator won and that's the end of that. But some people have asked me about what I would have done and if the Black Panther's Quest show is similar. It is not. Anyway, here's what I would've done.. BLACK PANTHER: THE RULE OF FIVE

After the many recent upheavals in his life– the loss of Wakanda’s vibranium, the devastation of his country, the betrayal of his wife/annulment of his marriage and the loss of his throne– T’Challa is juggling a lot of inner conflict and doubt. So he returns home to reconnect with his spiritual roots, hoping to find a path forward.

In the past many have asked, “Who is the Black Panther?” Now T’Challa is asking, not “Who?” but “What?” Ruler? Scientist? Spy?

It’s a big question. The Panther God isn’t answering prayers. His people have their hands full rebuilding the nation. For the first time in his life, T’Challa has no answers. For the first time he is truly on his own.

One of the things that gets lost sometimes in all the intrigue of T’Challa’s story is he spends a significant amount of his time as a ruler not ruling, not being at home, not looking after his people and only his people. Sure, his sister’s the Queen now but, with a nation like Wakanda– whose hereditary rulers span back thousands of years in an unbroken line– not being King feels like a massive betrayal of everything T’Challa was raised to be.

Wakandans are navel gazers, something T’Challa has never been. Which path is the right one?

THE RULE OF FIVE

ARC 1: DUTY

Duty. Knowledge. Honor. Loyalty. Justice. These are the claws of the Panther Clan.

For its ruling family they form the pedestal upon which all action, all thought, is built. Let's begin.

HAMMER BAY, Genosha, Southern Africa. In the wee hours of a dark night, three terrified people are stalked through the city streets. Their cells do not work. There are no cops available.

Whatever it is that’s hunting them brutally kills two of the runners before it’s zapped unconscious by more of their comrades. The rescuers (and victims) are operatives of a private agency equipped with high‐end weapons akin to those used by SHEILD.

They drag the unconscious hunter– a man in strange circuit‐laced, clothing– home, where they argue about what to do next.

The debate is shut down when their boss, JENNIFER SWENSON, arrives.

Jen’s livid. The Genosha office was meant to be the expansion of her company, an NGO that provides “advance relief” to people on the brink of some disaster.

Now two of her people are dead and, instead of calling the cops, the survivors chose to bring the killer here?! WTH!

They point out that there’s a problem. She should take a look at the prisoner and see for herself. Whe