Adulthood and power

Black Panther #3

I have little to no basis for reviewing this particular comic. I’m 41. I’m white. I’m not really a comic book reader. So why, then, do it?

Because this series about Black Panther, written by Ta-Nehisi Coates, has things to say. It has things to say about power, about what happens when those in power don’t pay enough attention to those they have power over, about how complicated it is to be an adult. Most of the time, from what I can tell, the Black Panther is an adult. Tony Stark? Nope. Steve Rogers? In a particular way, maybe. Captain America is uncomplicated, even if he’s put into complicated situations. Thor? No. Just… no.

These are interesting themes to me. I like exploring them. For that purpose, the main character happens to be black. That said, I know there is more to this story and character to black people and black culture – that is what I’m not in any way comfortable talking about. There’s a history I don’t know enough about (eg Black Panther is named after the organization) and it’s just not appropriate.

That said, it turns out that I’m terrible at reading serialized stories. I can’t remember what’s happened from one issue to the next; I’m considering just buying the full set in book form once the run is finished.


The One and Only

What’s it about?
Shea Walker loves football. LOVES it. She lives in small-town Texas, where she grew up, best friends with the college football coach’s daughter, Lucy. When Lucy’s mother dies (right at the beginning of the book) Shea starts to look at her easy life. She gets kicks in the pants along the way from her loving family and friends, too. It’s not just her.

Why should you read it? 
Emily Giffin writes books that take a romantic structure (Shea has three different boyfriends through the novel) and turns it into the protagonist figuring out who she is. It’s a thing that’s shared with some of the better YA books, even though the main character in this one is 33. She’s living in an extended adolescence – it’s time for her to grow up. The One and Only is Shea figuring out how to grow up, and who she is as an adult.