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February 19, 2018

Go, Read: Two Lengthy Articles On Panther's Rage

imageAbraham Riesman at Vulture; David Brothers and Tucker Stone at TCJ. The thing that connects all three writers is none of them were old enough to read that serial on the stands.

I've never read anyone make the "first graphic novel" claim for Panther's Rage until Riesman, although that gets claimed for everything more than 20 pages that came out before 1980 so it makes sense that someone would. My memory is that it wasn't much different than the standard long serials of its day except unlike the Steve Englehart model there was no overt foreshadowing of future plot lines. Another thing that has in common with its time is how Killmonger's spiked straps represented a keener and more aggressive take on violence, a raising of the stakes that nearly every Marvel noodled with back then (Wolverine, ninjas, Punisher).

I still like how talky and weird Panther's Rage reads, especially today after a decade and a half of Mamet-style dialogue, and I like those ornate formal art flourishes that everyone else digs. I like that there were comic relief characters, and I like that the whole plot came out of people thinking through the narrative consequences in place. I also think it had dinosaurs, and I like dinosaurs, too.
posted 8:55 am PST | Permalink

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