In response to this statement, which is one of the biggest "pro TNC" arguments...
Superhero stories aren't always done to make the character look heroic..
Beware of Geek responded with this gem on the Black Panther Appreciation Thread on the CBR forums...
True. But that used to be the exception, not the rule. We've actually reached a point in the comics industry where the ONLY type of story that seems to get any given writer excited is "tearing down a character to see what makes him tick". Which is a perfectly valid story... if you haven't seen it over and over and over…
You mention Doctor Strange. I just dropped his book last month, because Aaron has chosen to not only utterly change his character, but to spend MONTHS tearing away his power base, and stripping him of the title and abilities of Sorcerer Supreme. Could it be a good story? In the end, maybe. But the problem is, this is the first ongoing Strange has had in some time, and his fans had to suffer through FIVE YEARS of him being depowered and essentially useless. He finally gets the spotlight... and he's depowered and essentially useless.
The issue with T'Challa is essentially the same. It's not that this isn't a good story to tell with the character. It's that, ever since DOOMWAR, if not earlier, the character has been written as, well, essentially useless. And Coates is continuing that trend: He tries to revive Shuri, and fails. He faces off against Zenzi, and loses. He faces off against Tetu (after a pep talk from his stepmother) and loses. Almost every thing he's done in three issues has ended up in failure.
Why would I want to read that?
"But wait!" I hear you say, "This is just a loss to set up his later victory! Heroes HAVE to look bad at the beginning."
This is true. But by teasing false hope in every issue, Coates is ruining that momentum. He suggests T'Challa will rise to the challenge... and then yanks it away. He's Lucy, we're Charlie Brown, and a heroic T'Challa is the football.
Listen, nobody is saying that you can't enjoy the book. But a comic book character does not exist in a vacuum. They have rich histories, and emotionally invested fans. And in many of their eyes, this is not a well-written Black Panther story. And they've been waiting for one for years....
Indeed, now that I think about it, you could change a few names, tweak the art a bit, and it could easily be about a creator-owned character. All he needs to be is the African king of a high-tech society. And with all the new tech and renaming, Coates has actually made it easier.
This is NOT a plus. Not in my opinion. This is not a story about T'Challa.... it's a story with T'Challa in it. And that's not good enough for me.
I'm also not convinced that Coates can stick the landing. He's clearly struggling with the medium, and some of his creative choices (like using the poem as maybe/maybe not internal monologue) show that he still has a way to go.
To be blunt, I've read better. And while I respect his talents outside the industry, I think he should have been either given a more experienced co-writer to help him out, or started on a less high-profile book. I'm not really interested in paying good money while he learns the ropes.
But that's just my opinion. Feel free to disagree.
Duded just dropped the mic on that shit.