Written by Reginald Hudlin
Drawn by Trevor Hairsine
Inked by John Dell
Published by Marvel Comics
Previously: Black Panther Vol. 1: Who Is The Black Panther?
“SOUL POWER IN HOUSE OF M”
After the opening 6-issue arc of this series came this issue, which tied in with Marvel’s big HOUSE OF M crossover event. In House of M, Magneto’s daughter The Scarlet Witch used her powers to temporarily warp reality and created an alternate timeline where mutants were the dominate species on Earth, and Magneto was the leader of most of the world, and this issue took place in that new world. I wasn’t reading House of M at the time (& still haven’t) nor any of the other crossover tie-in’s, yet I was easily able to follow along with the story in this issue. Black Panther and Storm are co-rulers of most of the continent of Africa, except for Egypt which is run by Apocalypse, although they are not married. BP rules from Wakanda and Storm rules from Kenya. When Magneto took over the world he allowed BP to remain in power because he considered Africa to be too much trouble. But in the past 10 years BP and Storm have united the continent and created a thriving economy. Now Magneto considers Africa a threat, because a continent still run mostly by humans sets a bad example for his ideals of mutant supremacy, plus there’s the fact that Storm is an outspoken advocate not only for humans but for Mutants who don’t fit the ideal of “a White person with human appearance”.
So first Magneto sends Sabretooth to Wakanda to assassinate Black Panther but (SPOILER ALERT) that doesn’t work. Aware that a bigger takeover plan will follow, Black Panther enlists the aid of some of his fellow independent monarchs, including Namor and Sunfire (Doom declines to join them) to set up a plan to counter Magneto’s invasion of Wakanda, which includes Apocalypse, Ice Man, Angel, and Nightcrawler. It all leads to a showdown between Apocalypse and Black Panther in BP’s Wakandan palace. But of course BP has one more secret weapon up his sleeve (NO SPOILERS).
There are a few other interesting little subplots in this issue. Quicksilver is in love with Storm but she somewhat reluctantly rejects his romantic gestures. She also rejects BP’s advances on that grounds that he’s a womanizer (there’s a funny bit where Monica Lynne and Shanna The She-Devil confront each other in BP’s palace). And when we see Apocalypse in Egypt he’s got enslaved humans building a pyramid for him. Even the letters page in this issue is part of the storyline, with fake letters written as if they take place in the House of M world, so you have human fans praising the series for it’s awesome portrayal of an “oppressed minority” (ie HUMAN) superhero, while one letter criticizes the series for it’s “obvious anti-mutant bias”.
As I said, Hudlin writes this story totally self-contained so that no other knowledge of the rest of the House of M crossover is necessary. I also really enjoy Hairsine’s artwork here, I wish he had taken over the series as regular penciller after John Romita Jr. A great single-issue overall.