Black Panther: A Nation Under Our Feet (Folio Society Edition)

The Folio Society is a London publisher of upscale books that’s celebrating its 75th anniversary this year. (I found out about them because they put out a slipcased set of very attractive hardcovers for Dorothy L. Sayers’ Lord Peter Wimsey mysteries.) They aim to release beautiful collector’s editions of classics; they succeed, based on the ones I’ve seen, although their books are limited, can be tricky to find if you don’t buy them when they’re released, and expensive. But that sounds like a nifty gift, right? If you can afford them?

They have, it turns out, a Marvel Comics line. There are three era-based anthologies for the Golden, Silver, and Bronze Ages, and four volumes dedicated to key heroes (Captain America, Thor, Hulk, and Spider-Man), all with contents selected and introduced by Roy Thomas.

Black Panther: A Nation Under Our Feet (Folio Society Edition)

Their newest release is a bit of a departure. Black Panther: A Nation Under Our Feet is a slipcased hardcover reprinting the first 12 issues of the 2016 Black Panther run written by Ta-Nehisi Coates. Art is by Brian Stelfreeze, Chris Sprouse, Karl Story, and others, and this volume has an introduction by Walter Mosley.

It’s a little odd opening such a classically handsome volume and seeing brightly colored comic pages, and I know that sounds snobbish, but it’s also a reminder of how much the comic medium, even the superhero genre, has ben accepted and embraced. Given the writer’s pedigree, this version is an excellent artifact bridging the historical literary/comic divide.

Black Panther: A Nation Under Our Feet is a gorgeous book, with the embossed cover and the slipcase traced in metallic purple. I haven’t had a chance to read the story myself, but presenting it so attractively certainly makes me want to do so. (The publisher provided a review copy.)

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