Sunday, September 29, 2013

Black Panther pages by the amazing Sandy Plunkett

It was the late 80's. Moore and Miller had left mainstream comic companies behind for the brighter and freer prospects of the independent publishing movement. Long time editor-in-chief Jim Shooter was no longer spearheading Marvel comics. Todd MacFarlane was the hot new artist on the Amazing Spider-Man. And Mark Gruenwald was editing all the Avengers titles including the Might Avengers, The West Coast Avengers and even Solo Avengers, a book Hawkeye shared with other past and present Avengers alumni. A little known artist who was doing some spectacular covers for various Marvel books at the time finally got around to doing some interior art, and BOY did he pull out all of the stops. Sandy Plunkett stunned me when he wrote and drew an 11 page back up feature for Solo Avengers #19, June 1989.

In it he not only shows off his exquisite Frazetta-esque drawing ability but he also writes one mean story. He picks the Black Panther to write about, a totally cool character that was criminally under used and mostly poorly written at the time. Plunkett sets the story in the Black Panther's African back yard and even adds to the whole Black Panther mythos by giving him the role of having to dispose of the "supernatural incarnation of all that suffering manifests on this material plane". But more importantly Plunkett gives us some stunning images to soak in. I'm just in awe of his ability to create incredibly dynamic poses with stunning lighting and detail. Fortunately the hugely talented Scott Hampton was available to ink these pages as only he could with his delicately feathered lines. So go ahead and check out "The Vanities of Philip Whitehead" featuring our favorite king of Wakanda, T'Challa, the Black Panther!

It's pretty cool that Sandy Plunkett actually comments on what he thinks about being an artist in this comic. Philip Whitehead represented the artist in us and Plunkett says that perhaps all artists suffer the distance between the perfection of their ideals and the imperfection of their being. So this is what he himself thought about creating this here strip, that he suffered between the perfection of his ideals and the imperfection of his being. Well his being wasn't too far from perfect in my opinion. I guess all artists are their own harshest critics.

I'm always surprised at the cool stuff you can find on the internet. Here are some really cool copies of the original artwork!



  1. Wow, I own that copy and have admired it for a long time. Thanks for posting.

  2. I also have a copy of this comic! I bought it very cheap here in Chile, South America, in 2007, and I was blown away by the high quality of the story. The script it's superb and the art is just gorgeous. You can never get enough of it. This comic is a real treasure. The Hawkeye story, on the other hand, is ridicule, and not in a good way. Thanks for posting it!