Black Panther: The Hand of Doom

Writer Reginald Hudlin explains the ins and outs of taking on Doctor Doom, Black Panther-style

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BLACK PANTHER
#2 preview art
by Ken Lashley

By Jim Beard Questions swirl about the new BLACK PANTHER series like colorful jungle birds, questions that'll begin to be answered in March 4's issue #2. Be prepared, though, as Doctor Doom's determined to make everyone pay for the asking. "In this issue we find out what happened to T'Challa to put him in a coma, and the plan of action that the royal family has to take to respond," says writer Reginald Hudlin. "And other threats that arise because of this crisis." Whoever she may be, the nascent Black Panther seems to be taking a personal interest in the massive world of hurt delivered to T'Challa, her predecessor. Could this interest lead her face-to-mask with the cold steel evil that operates under the name of Doom? "Oh yes, there will be head-to-head confrontation, and it won't be pretty," Hudlin assures. "I guess you could call it the end of the beginning of the new Panther saga."

BLACK PANTHER
#2 preview art
by Ken Lashley

Also rest assured that BLACK PANTHER #2 and the action therein will impact the series for the immediate future and beyond, perhaps forever altering this rich, vibrant corner of the Marvel Universe. "Yes, the events seen in issue # 2 will reverberate over [not only]the next year of Panther stories, but realistically, the next two years," reveals Hudlin. "It sets in motion events that will forever change T'Challa [and] the Panther [as well as] Wakanda and its relationship to the world." Both the Black Panther and Doctor Doom made their debuts in the legendary pages of FANTASTIC FOUR, as did their respective far-flung homelands, Wakanda and Latveria. That said, it's fitting that these two supremely regal Stan Lee & Jack Kirby characters clash with such monarchal fury here in the 21st century. "I read a good line recently from a fan: Doom is who T'Challa would be with no moral compass; T'Challa is who Doom would be if he had a moral compass," Hudlin notes of the two kings. "The similarities and the profound difference between the two keep putting them in conflict with each other."

BLACK PANTHER
#2 preview art
by Ken Lashley

The BLACK PANTHER series serves to illuminate the wider worlds of the Panther and Doom, drawing Latveria and Wakanda and their peoples into the type of conflict Hudlin describes. The writer intends to spotlight the dichotomy between these countries like never before. "The big disadvantage of Latveria is that it's a one-trick pony," he says. It's all about Doom. Because Panther believes in his people, supports his people, [Wakanda] is a richer, more powerful country. "Doom is obviously a lot more aggressive, and Wakanda takes a pretty isolationist view of the world, but that may change…" BLACK PANTHER #2 rumbles into stores on March 4, but you can relive T'Challa and Doom's last encounter on Marvel Digital Comics Unlimited! Check out the official Marvel Shop for your favorite Marvel Heroes! Download episodes of "X-Men: Evolution" now on iTunes!

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