King In Black: Black Panther # 1 reveals that King T’Challa has already created a weapon to kill the Phoenix, but can he defeat Knull as well?
This article contains spoilers for King in Black: Black Panther # 1, by Geoffrey Thorne and German Peralta.
Black Panther has officially created a weapon capable of destroying the Phoenix Force. King T’Challa has always prided himself on being ready for anything. Over the years, he’s been willing to take on threats as diverse as Galactus, the Skrulls, and even the Avengers, who haven’t always gotten along particularly well with the reclusive nation of Wakanda.
But now even Black Panther may be out of reach. The King in Black has come to Earth and has successfully conquered the entire planet. Earth is covered with a symbiote dome that cuts off the precious light and heat generated by the sun. Knull’s goal is to destroy all life, and it seems that even the Avengers can’t stop him. Fortunately, while Black Panther is nowhere near preparing for the King in Black (I had no idea Knull existed until recently), some of his other weapons might still be useful.
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King in Black: Black Panther # 1, by Geoffrey Thorne and German Peralta, sees Black Panther wield some of Wakanda’s most fearsome weapons against invading symbiotes. The most intriguing of all is something called “Hand of Bast”. The comic doesn’t reveal exactly how this works, but it does appear to manifest as a gigantic spectral panther. According to T’Challa, Bast’s Hand was built to kill the Phoenix Force. It appears to be controlled by a single Wakanda, General Okoye, who buys T’Challa time to further develop his strategies.
This is the first time that even Black Panther has shown himself ready to take on the Phoenix Force. In fact, it had no such technology during the Avengers vs X-Men event in 2012. That would have been quite useful at the time, given that Tony Stark’s failed attempt to destroy the Phoenix Force automatically led to it splitting between five hosts – the so-called Five Phoenix. This would also be quite useful in the current version of Jason Aaaron. Avengers Run, where the Phoenix has returned to Earth in search of a new host, and is forcing various heroes and villains to compete in a brutal tournament for his power.
Unfortunately, the mere fact that T’Challa did not display Bast’s Hand at Aaron’s Avengers run suggests that this weapon can only be used once. It is enough to push back the king in black and his forces, giving Black Panther the opportunity to do what seemed impossible before: use sonic transmissions to open a barrier in the symbiote dome that covers the planet. A large part of Africa is exposed to sunlight once again, and the success of Wakanda brings hope to the entire world. It remains to be seen if this victory can be extended, and the King in black can be rejected at last.
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