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Jocelyn Saddler Presents:

Under That Mask

I’m reading the new Black Panther and Batman: Fight for the Cowl. These two series have the question: who is under the mask? I pick up Black Panther because I do not really read Marvel and I thought it was someplace to start. I’m reading Fight for the Cowl because I always read DC and want to see what is going to be done with Batman’s “death” and subsequent return. I like stuff like this. It creates conversation and debate.

First Richard “Nightwing” Grayson is by all means the heir to the mantle of Batman. He’s been groomed for it for most of his life and is known as the first born “son,” the “golden bat boy.” Too easy and not complicated enough for him to take over the role of Batman and he is now very much his own hero, not a sidekick or hero in training any more. Plus it has already been done, with all his reasons for wanting to carry on the mantle of Batman or being upset for being passed over to carry the mantle, and actually being Batman for a bit. As of right now he is being written as whiny and pissy when it comes to who is going to take over the Batman mantle idea. I guess this is Tony Daniel’s idea of grieving.

I think Jason Todd is going to be under the Batman cowl. Why? Because no one likes him and he needs something to do. He was thrown in for Nightwing, Countdown, and the Robin series. Now what else is there for him to do? Nothing, really, and he should of stayed dead instead of becoming a cheap go-to when a writer needs a character for a storyline. Plus- no one likes him and he needs a moment in the sun. Also, if no one likes him and no one liked Final Crisis, maybe they’ll cancel each other out and it will make a good story.

Now for the Black Panther: the big theory is that Storm will be taking over for T’Challa. She is his wife and no stranger to the hero/adventurer world. Plus, when I looked at the art, maybe that isn’t white fur added to the costume; maybe Storm couldn’t get all of her hair under the mask. In one picture it looks like the female Black Panther has blue eyes. Storm has blue eyes. Then someone said that the artist could be misleading you. That is true. WAIT! Picture it, you’re a criminal/villain you see the Black Panther and ready yourself for a close combat hand-to-hand fight and all of sudden a lightning bolt comes from the sky and strikes you. You’ve just lost the fight, and as you lay there half-dead trying to figure out what happened, you see the Black Panther fly off. That’s just silly. I don’t see Storm being under that mask.

More than likely it will be T’Challa’s sister. She is doing a *poof* “I’m here” thing. For the time being, a rebooted Black Panther really builds buzz for the new animated series if it ever airs, and she is supposed to be featured in it. Anyway, a female Black Panther adds another black female hero to the world and to the mainstream a bit by press coverage received. This makes me happy.

Jocelyn Saddler 

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