Previously in Black Panther #8
Although the ninth chapter of A Nation Under Our Feet wasn’t rife with hyper-stylized action panels only Brian Stelfreeze could create (welcome back, by the way!), it was a poignant issue that addressed the ramifications of war, namely the cruel, generally intolerable actions that are given exception if they ensure victory. After The Crew made swift work of Ezekiel Stane’s cabal, and Shuri made her triumphant return to the land of the living soon after, Coates is reloading for the next big showdown between every faction. Not without each of their most dynamic players facing considerable strain in knowing their next act could possibly draw their glorious nation into further ruin.
Outside of the Taifa Ngao and Ramonda’s medical staff, no one appears to known Shuri has been restored and eager to appease the growing tensions among her countrymen. After flying across the Golden City, Shuri realizes the catalyst for Wakanda’s sweeping unrest is Changamire, a man who constantly encouraged his students to question authority and not be afraid to the occasion (cultural) revolution. Now that one of his pupils – Tetu, the leader of The People – has sullied Changamire’s vision with the blood of innocents, the teacher is mired in a moral quagmire.
In the first four pages of issue 9, Changamire confides with his wife Khadijah what Ramonda told him not so long ago: he had no idea of the suffering that would be endured once his agenda was put in motion. Changamire had always come off as a hopeless idealist; a man who wanted change but never had the fortitude required to enact it, and couldn’t accept the certainty of loss. Compared to his revolutionary “brethren”, Changamire is the only one who has nothing at stake. Yet his words have easily stoked the flames of destruction.
Thankfully for Wakanda’s sake Shuri is determined to quell the rage that builds across the nation, beginning with her brother and his trusted advisers. The lessons of the griot have manifest a calming resolve within Shuri. She doesn’t recognize Changamire as an adversary but a heedless patriot that only wants the best for Wakanda. Before she can “console” her wayward brother, Shuri must assure her blood, her King, that the future of their country resides in the rich history of their past. The modern myths created about Wakanda’s prominence in the world, its dominion over surrounding countries, their intellectual and technological arrogance… all must pass if they’re to fully heal as a people.
At the moment Tetu and Zenzi are reveling in the disorder as they have amassed their army at the Nigandan border and continue to perturb the Midnight Angels with their disturbing actions. Like the Taifa Ngao, the once-unwavering solidarity between Aneka and Ayo has been shook now that they may potentially make irredeemable choices. Still unaware of Tetu’s association with Ezekiel Stane, Ayo and Aneka must decide whether to align themselves with The People in spite of their distasteful practices on women. The weight of responsibility has affected Aneka deeply; the infighting between her and the council about the imprisoned Hetut Zeraze and Haramu-Fal (“Orphan King”) may spell the end for the Angels and the safety of their occupied lands.
If one recalls, Aneka was the most loyal of all Dora Milaje; her dedication to T’Challa was absolute. After Thanos, Namor and Doom as well as the internal strife that occurred within Wakanda’s leaders, like so many other Wakandans, the King had lost their favor and their love. Now that civil war is only a stone’s throw away, Aneka and Ayo finally realized that Damisa-Sarki isn’t exactly the cut-throat and hypocrite they believed. A leader must make decisions they occasionally goes against his own ideology for the betterment of his people. Granted, T’Challa has made some questionable choices in volumes past, however with the influence and powers at the disposal of these amateurs, they could do far more damage to Wakanda than the old establishment would ever dare.
Black Panther #9
"A Nation Under Our Feet" Part 9
Black Panther #9 | Writer: Ta-Nehisi Coates | Artist: Brian Stelfreeze | Color Artist: Laura Martin | Letterer: VC’s Joe Sabino | Design: Manny Mederos | Publisher: Marvel