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  1. #7621
    Ultimate Member MindofShadow's Avatar
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    This What If stuff is failing to peak my interest lol
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  2. #7622
    Extraordinary Member Mike_Murdock's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Pulp Fiction View Post
    Stelfreeze's t'challa is so ugly lmao
    You know, I never thought about that, but you're not wrong. I think the art overall is very beautiful. I don't think Stelfreeze can do action, but he manages OK so far. I've read the first four issues at the moment since it's marketed as it's own arc. I wanted to judge it both on its own literary merits and as part of the whole.

    I think the first three issues actually are quite good. I think the fourth issue drags and is somehow more talky than the first three. The dialogue in the first three is quite good, each issue reads differently, there's something new and interesting presented. There's a relative lack of action, but not no action as issue two introduces Zenzi and issue three introduces Tetu. Weirdly, the biggest thing I didn't buy in issue four is that T'Challa is winning the fight. The first three issues set up the stakes by having T'Challa either lose or win pyrrhic victories. Issue four has Zeke Stane say T'Challa is winning and they need to up the stakes. It makes the escalation that follows seem forced.

    I do think Tetu and Zenzi are interesting so far. Zenzi's powers are explained quite well, imo. It's basically mind control, but it's not mind control from a vacuum. It takes the smallest of existing thoughts and emotions and amplifies them in the direction she wants to control everything else. If you find your brother occasionally annoying, she could make you hate him with a passion and try to kill him, for example. I also think the character design works quite well.

    That being said, obviously, these issues can't be judged entirely in isolation. They are making big statements about the nature of a monarchy. They are commenting on the beliefs of T'Challa. They are commenting on Wakanda as a whole. Here, I do think Coates is trying to have his cake and eat it too. This is supposed to be a Wakanda in crisis - a Wakanda that has been shaken by past events. Whether someone buys that argument is a personal decision, but he isn't trying to say that Wakanda is always like this. Now I do think he's doing that deliberately because that's not a Wakanda he feels comfortable talking about. He can make points about the nature of Monarchy and how it inherently oppresses when people are suffering and someone has the power to make soldiers massacre people when they otherwise wouldn't. That's definitely a cheat. Whether it's an acceptable cheat entirely affects whether you can accept this story.

    I would be remiss if I didn't talk about the rape camps. Once again, I think Coates is cheating here. There is no doubt that the second camp was in an area of society that had collapsed and royal authority was non-existent due to the destruction from the previous invasions. Whatever was happening after that was in the Jabari lands controlled by Mandala - once again outside royal authority. The first one is the toughest to figure out. It says the chieftain's deprivations were well-known and nothing was done about it. It also says that the Dora Milaje took the law into their own hands to murder him. It doesn't say that she could have arrested him and had him tried. It doesn't say that she couldn't have. I think it leaves the situation unclear whether this is something that happened while royal authority was weakened, whether this is a chieftain who could always flaunt the law, or if it's something that presumably could have been addressed legally if Aneka (or Ayo, I can't remember which) hadn't broken the law herself to commit an extra-judicial killing. It's clear her crime is breaking the law while being an upholder of it - it isn't who she specifically killed, but I also think Coates is deliberately keeping that vague so he can make criticisms of monarchies and their inherent corruption. Ultimately, this was a big issue for most readers that tainted what followed. I'm not going to suggest that it wasn't rightfully upsetting. I will say, judged on the story's own merits, it has hits and misses, but it really seemed to have no dramatic impact after issue two. It's an inciting incident for the Midnight Angels far more so than an attack on the integrity of Wakanda.

    ETA: I forgot to say that his "have his cake and eat it too" applies to writing a T'Challa who isn't on his A-game either. It's very deliberate that he's distracted by his sister and trying to rescue her. He really isn't thinking or focusing at the moment. FWIW, I've criticized Brian Michael Bendis a lot when he did this for Daredevil, which I thought he wrote horribly out of character. I thought it worked for the story that was being written and I generally enjoy his run, but I emphasized that I hated it when others took inspiration from his Matt Murdock as the baseline for the character. I feel the same way for the most part about Coates's T'Challa. I'm fine with it as long as it's isolated to this story and isn't followed in a story removed from this context. A stable Wakanda with a breathing Shuri shouldn't have this characterization. I'll comment further the extent to which I think his characterization changes after this or if he keeps writing this version.

    Two additional thoughts: Can someone remind me whether we saw T'Challa get back on the throne or if the status quo at the end of Hickman's Avengers still had Shuri in charge? I honestly can't remember. The story plays up T'Challa working with the enemies of Wakanda, but it seems that it should also be playing up not only a crisis of faith in the monarchy but that they could be specifically preferring Shuri over T'Challa under the circumstances.

    My second thought is related to Coates's thoughts on the character. This is one I can't excuse as related to this crisis. It's basically the comment from T'Challa's mother that he isn't very kingly. That he doesn't gladly wear the crown. The latter I don't have strong feelings on. It'll come up again related to his reasons for joining the Avengers so I'll probably comment then. But she basically criticized him for not acting like a King in the sense of awing people with his presence and compassion. There's that iconic moment from Reginald Hudlin's run where he takes off his mask and talks to a small boy. To me, that scene entirely rebuts this point. It's meant to be a nice moment that follows because he does listen to his mom and walk among his people, but it's just hard to not look at that and go "he's done that plenty of times before." He's been criticized for not being there for Wakanda before, but he certainly plays the part correctly when he is there.
    Last edited by Mike_Murdock; 06-18-2021 at 07:04 AM.
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  3. #7623
    Ultimate Life Form BlackClaw's Avatar
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    Wow, What if actually has a dumber premise than Star Lord T’Challa. Just please let the episode about Black Panther proper have an interesting premise.
    T'Challa
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  4. #7624
    Ultimate Member Ezyo1000's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by MindofShadow View Post
    This What If stuff is failing to peak my interest lol
    You know what the what if should of been? What if T'Challa met with the Avengers before/during the events of the first avengers movie. What if T'Challa actually got to interact with any of these heroes before they ride off into the sunset. Basically take comic book interaction that didn't happen due to building the MCU and timing and throw that together. What of Thor, Hulk CM were apart of CW as well? Ya know isht that wasn't possible but still relevant or interesting. Not lolblack star lord.

  5. #7625
    Ultimate Member MindofShadow's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mike_Murdock View Post

    Two additional thoughts: Can someone remind me whether we saw T'Challa get back on the throne or if the status quo at the end of Hickman's Avengers still had Shuri in charge? I honestly can't remember. The story plays up T'Challa working with the enemies of Wakanda, but it seems that it should also be playing up not only a crisis of faith in the monarchy but that they could be specifically preferring Shuri over T'Challa under the circumstances.
    .
    Hickman implied it was T'challa's throne after Shuri gave him the never before seen ceremonial dagger and kamikazi'd herself at the beginning of Time Runs Out.

    When T'challa resets the world with the reality stone at the end of Secret Wars, it goes back to New Avengers #1 time period. And this time, when the Kid addresses him as "My King", T'challa says "Yes" instead of saying "nope im not king here" like he originally did.

    It was weird and vague.
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  6. #7626
    Ultimate Member Ezyo1000's Avatar
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    I commend you Mike for taking on that task.
    YessT'Challa is king in Hickman's NA as Shuri relinquishes the throne before she commits essentially suicide, and when addressed by the young Wakandan the second time, he doesn't correct him that he isn't King

    The problem with Zenzis power is that it's kinda defined earlier on (atleast enough to say "okay so it's emotional control" but then it starts to get muddied after the initial issues because then she starts doing things that don't make sense. This happens in the Zenzi mini where she is seemingly able to mind control even though she states that is not how it works.

    The issue with the rape camp with the first comes directly from BP wow and what really drives home the stupidity of that whole reasoning behind the MA and why it ultimately makes them the bad guys while simultaneously throwing all blame on T'Challa to excuse it and him just accepting it.

    In WoW, it's clearly stated that the MA knew about it and they WILLINGLY decided on their own to not report it to the Royal family and they would handle it themselves and Aneka (the one who was arrested) was told to arrest the chieftain and when she found him he was unarmed and she should of been able easily arrest/overpower him. She kills him instead, turns herself in, says she did nothing wrong and blames the monarch being flawed for how she is being "wronged".

    Coates said in tweets that the MA are essentially analogues for cops who used excessive force but are ultimately supposed to be good and calling out corruption.

    What he actually ends up doing is making them into cops who essentially kill a unarmed criminal who they had under control instead of due process and then explain away their actions by saying the system is corrupt (while they are playing a part in that corruption) and are no better because they didn't follow proper protocol, withheld information, went vigilante, and then try to cover it up by lying and saying that the monarch knew about it but did nothing, forcing their hand. Which ISN'T what is shown.

    In the end, ironically enough, Coates created the perfect villains by the MA by having them "win" in the end by getting everything they wanted and having "legion's" perish fighting them, and they have zero consequence
    Last edited by Ezyo1000; 06-18-2021 at 07:36 AM.

  7. #7627
    Ultimate Member MindofShadow's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by BlackClaw View Post
    Wow, What if actually has a dumber premise than Star Lord T’Challa. Just please let the episode about Black Panther proper have an interesting premise.
    My problem with the what ifs is that they are so "out there" that it doesn't really fit the premise.

    To me, "what if's" should be minor changes in the original story (mcu) that lead to big changes later in the story.

    For example, show me "What If Thor Became King as Planned." So, what if Loki interrupting the ceremony didn't work, Thor becomes king, and wages war on Jotunheim. Show me that story. THAT is interesting to me. That is taking the characters I knew, changing the status quo, and showing me what happened when a pivotal moment in their life was changed.

    For black panther, you could do:

    - What If T'chaka brought Eric home.
    - What If T'chaka never died in Civil War.
    - What if T'challa killed Zemo
    - What if T'challa killed Bucky only to find out he was innocent
    - What if Killmonger killed T'challa in the tribal fight
    - What if M'baku beat T'challa in tribal combat
    - What if T'challa killed Klaw in the street in Korea

    ect

    "What if T'chalal is Starlord" might as well be a whole new character. Might as well just call him David the African in space. Who gives a shit lol?
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  8. #7628
    Extraordinary Member Mike_Murdock's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by MindofShadow View Post
    Hickman implied it was T'challa's throne after Shuri gave him the never before seen ceremonial dagger and kamikazi'd herself at the beginning of Time Runs Out.

    When T'challa resets the world with the reality stone at the end of Secret Wars, it goes back to New Avengers #1 time period. And this time, when the Kid addresses him as "My King", T'challa says "Yes" instead of saying "nope im not king here" like he originally did.

    It was weird and vague.
    Thanks, that helps clear things up a bit. Of course, the rest of Marvel ignored Hickman's reset because it would have involved resetting books that ended up tying in with it and screwing everything else up, but it makes sense as far as intent and as far as T'Challa being King at the end of the story.

    Quote Originally Posted by Ezyo1000 View Post

    The problem with Zenzis power is that it's kinda defined earlier on (atleast enough to say "okay so it's emotional control" but then it starts to get muddied after the initial issues because then she starts doing things that don't make sense. This happens in the Zenzi mini where she is seemingly able to mind control even though she states that is not how it works.
    So my take on this is that it is basically mind control but that it's mind control based on at least a little bit of something there. I used the example of turning mild annoyance into absolute hatred. I'll cover everything so I'll definitely point out if it becomes inconsistent. For the Zenzi mini, are you talking about The Crew?

    The issue with the rape camp with the first comes directly from BP wow and what really drives home the stupidity of that whole reasoning behind the MA and why it ultimately makes them the bad guys while simultaneously throwing all blame on T'Challa to excuse it and him just accepting it.
    So I'll comment on World of Wakanda when I get to it. I've only read the first and last issues and barely remember the first so we'll see (I'm not looking forward to reading that story). I wanted to make sure I commented on the intent as presented in this story as well as the context. This is a shared universe so context absolutely matters. You can't get away with just writing this story without consideration of repercussions. But I also don't want to use what was written later to retroactively change what was written here.

    I would love to read those tweets. I remember he was commenting quite a lot on his intent as the story went along and then I think he deleted his twitter or something. I wasn't really following it, though, because I wasn't here for the drama. But, obviously, his statements of authorial intent are relevant in the big picture of what I'm doing.

    Next story arc:

    A Sword for Lions is marketed as the second arc. It's two issues so I can be more brief. It's not really a full arc anyway, but it does seem to mark a transition. The cliffhanger of Ramonda's injuries is probably why the last arc "ended" but the cliffhanger of the Crew showing up seems to be a bigger transition.

    I think there are three main thrusts of this part of the story as T'Challa is hunting down Stane. The first is T'Challa's story. T'Challa is more ruthless but more effective. I do think this is closer to the T'Challa of Priest's reign. He is kicking ass physically while, at the same time, is able to use his intelligence to reach people like that terrorist to get him to convert back to the good side. He is able to trick Stane at the end in a way that benefits his plan to turn the people to his side. On the other hand, he is shown to be enraged by his mother's injuries and listens to bad advice (I'll get to that in a minute) that leads to the Midnight Angels allying with Tetu and Zenzi. It's noteworthy that the Hatut Zeraze seem likely to have won that battle if it wasn't for Zenzi's mind control powers.

    The second story is Shuri in the Djalia. She's been in it before, but it's essentially the start of the arc now. So far, I like this story a lot. You definitely get the sense of the people of Wakanda being special. This reminds me a lot of Hudlin's run and it's nice to see. It can, however, feel somewhat opaque. The messages are either really simple or really deep and I can't tell if I don't fully get it or if there's a bit of an Emperor's New Clothes thing going on. But I do like these brief asides.

    The third part is the Council of Tinpot Dictators. It's very clear that T'Challa did this because the situation wasn't under control and he was pressured into it by Akili. It's also very clear that he rejected the idea by the end of the issue. But I do think on a literary level judged in a vacuum that it can explore the side of oppression that comes from absolute rule. Dictatorships can rarely survive entirely as a benign institution even when they are the best intentioned. I also think it does say something about Wakandan history. This meeting was suggested by the Hatut Zeraze. The Hatut Zeraze were a secret police. In Priest's run it was explicit that they engaged in the types of practices talked about by these other dictators. The difference is that this was done by previous Wakandan Kings and T'Challa stopped that. The question is whether he would follow in the footsteps of his father and Uncle and use brutality as a part of his rule. Ultimately, the answer is clearly no but it shows the problem with autocracy. I wonder if a slightly different route could have made this clearer. Rather than bring in Marvel's motly crew of dictators, I wonder if they could have shown T'Challa in desperation turning to his brother Hunter. Essentially, all these ideas are ones that Hunter felt T'Challa should have done. It would give the story a tighter Wakandan feel without compromising the message.

    The last thing to comment on his the retcon of Priest's retcon of why T'Challa joined the Avengers. I do think the suggestion that he did it solely as a spy to benefit Wakanda was never fully satisfactory. For one thing, he stayed a long time and internally agonized over whether his duty to his people outweighed his desire to make a difference for the world (and these were in thought bubbles so they would seem to be his genuine thoughts). I also think his friendships with certain characters (specifically Steve Rogers) came across as genuine and didn't want to diminish it. On the other hand, it was a really cool idea that suggested that he's always Wakanda-focused and a mastermind strategist and views others as his pawns. I think this re-retcon tries to maintain that subtlety by suggesting that there is some truth that he was spying on the Avengers because they were a threat but also suggests that it was due to the fact that he's a genius, scientist, explorer. I'm cool with that because T'Challa is those things. I think this is an example of Coates adding to the character without subtracting what came before and without having to make an excuse for why he's acting out of character.

    Anyway, that's my thoughts on these two issues. I'm breaking this down with the next two issues being "The Crew" and then the last four issues being its own arc. The solicits kind of gave up on trying to break this down into arcs after the next issue (which is really only its own arc because Marvel Now 2.0 started and they wanted to pretend it was a jumping on point), but I think the return of Brian Stelfreeze is a good place to divide it.
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  9. #7629
    New old guy Surf's Avatar
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    David. The African spaceman, wins the day sir.
    Beefing up the old home security, huh?
    You bet yer ass.

  10. #7630
    Incredible Member Klaue's Mixtape's Avatar
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    I remember being so hyped for the What If Series. So many different things they could do with Wakanda and its characters and they chose.....bland.

  11. #7631
    Incredible Member KingNomarch's Avatar
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    A Killmonger x Iron Man team up isn't what I expected to see in What if but that's the point of the series. They're doing Marvel Zombies, Steve as Iron Man, and Star-Lord T'Challa sounds like Ghost Panther in space. Don't have enough info for me to hate it or excited. Depending on how many episodes he's in I do hope we actually see T'Challa interact with the other heroes. I wouldn’t be surprised if we get a Shuri or Nakia, or Okoye as BP episode.

  12. #7632
    Extraordinary Member Mike_Murdock's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Klaue's Mixtape View Post
    I remember being so hyped for the What If Series. So many different things they could do with Wakanda and its characters and they chose.....bland.
    So I think Marvel has generally been pretty intelligent even if I've disagreed with the decision. But this decision just feels arbitrary. I know the What-If series had things like What If Daredevil was an Agent of SHIELD or whatever that was completely random, but the best were ones that examined key pivotal moments and how they could have changed.

    That being said, I wonder if it'll make some oblique reference to the T'Challa in space storyline that recently concluded. If not, it's 100% out of left field.
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  13. #7633
    The Professional Marvell2100's Avatar
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    What If T'Challa joined the Illuminati the first time?
    What If Black Panther beat the Avengers instead of The Fantastic Four?
    What If Coates never wrote Black Panther?

  14. #7634
    Astonishing Member Ekie's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by MindofShadow View Post
    My problem with the what ifs is that they are so "out there" that it doesn't really fit the premise.

    To me, "what if's" should be minor changes in the original story (mcu) that lead to big changes later in the story.

    For example, show me "What If Thor Became King as Planned." So, what if Loki interrupting the ceremony didn't work, Thor becomes king, and wages war on Jotunheim. Show me that story. THAT is interesting to me. That is taking the characters I knew, changing the status quo, and showing me what happened when a pivotal moment in their life was changed.

    For black panther, you could do:

    - What If T'chaka brought Eric home.
    - What If T'chaka never died in Civil War.
    - What if T'challa killed Zemo
    - What if T'challa killed Bucky only to find out he was innocent
    - What if Killmonger killed T'challa in the tribal fight
    - What if M'baku beat T'challa in tribal combat
    - What if T'challa killed Klaw in the street in Korea

    ect

    "What if T'chalal is Starlord" might as well be a whole new character. Might as well just call him David the African in space. Who gives a shit lol?
    Exactly. It's nonsense.
    Space abduction in Wakanda doesn't even make any sense anyway let alone getting away with stealing the prince
    Last edited by Ekie; 06-18-2021 at 11:10 AM.

  15. #7635
    Ultimate Member Ezyo1000's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by MindofShadow View Post
    My problem with the what ifs is that they are so "out there" that it doesn't really fit the premise.

    To me, "what if's" should be minor changes in the original story (mcu) that lead to big changes later in the story.

    For example, show me "What If Thor Became King as Planned." So, what if Loki interrupting the ceremony didn't work, Thor becomes king, and wages war on Jotunheim. Show me that story. THAT is interesting to me. That is taking the characters I knew, changing the status quo, and showing me what happened when a pivotal moment in their life was changed.

    For black panther, you could do:

    - What If T'chaka brought Eric home.
    - What If T'chaka never died in Civil War.
    - What if T'challa killed Zemo
    - What if T'challa killed Bucky only to find out he was innocent
    - What if Killmonger killed T'challa in the tribal fight
    - What if M'baku beat T'challa in tribal combat
    - What if T'challa killed Klaw in the street in Korea

    ect

    "What if T'chalal is Starlord" might as well be a whole new character. Might as well just call him David the African in space. Who gives a shit lol?
    I would like to see the what if Erik was brought home or what if he killed Bucky. Another I would add to that is What of Ross didn't keep his promise to T'Challa in exchange for Zemo, and revealed to the US/ world that T'Challa was the black panther?

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