Out of a Field So Far Left That It's In Wakanda...

So, the Panther's out of the bag, and the new Man Without Fear is going to be T'Challa, picking up where Matt Murdock left off with issue #513.

Be honest: Who saw that one coming?

With Daredevil going to be Reborn (again) and all of those "Who'll be the new Man Without Fear?" teasers from the last couple of months, we knew something like this was coming, but I don't think anyone really expected that it was going to be the Black Panther, given that the character's recent home has been thousands of miles from Hell's Kitchen and that he hasn't been involved in Shadowland (well, as of yet- I've only read through issue 2).

I still think there's something funny going on here- why not just relaunch the Black Panther in his own title? My best guess is that Marvel is trying to build a Daredevil "family", like what they've been doing with the Hulk (as Kevin Melrose points out in the article linked above, there is some precedent for this in the launch of Incredible Hercules a few years back). This announcement, plus Fred Van Lente's Power Man and Iron Fist mini (also starting in December) combined with these teasers, which suggest a new Heroes For Hire series, indicate that something's cooking in the Kitchen. Perhaps Shadowland is the start of something bigger than we really know just yet, and perhaps this welcome focus on street level heroes isn't going to ride off into the sunset once that mini finishes.

Black Panther: The Man Without Fear #513 ships in December from creative team David Liss and Francesco Francavilla: I've never heard of either, but since Francavilla is the guy who drew all of the Man Without Fear teasers, there's at least something definite to be excited about.

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