Marvel Comics Presents (1st series) #148

Issue Date: 
February 1994
Story Title: 
(1st story) Black Panther in “Triumph of the Hunter”

(1st story) Don Hillsman (plot and artist), David DeVries (script), Ul Higgins (letterer), Marianne Lightle (colorist)
Richard Ashford (editor), Michael Kraiger (assistant editor), Tom DeFalco (editor in chief), Colin McNeil (Black Panther and Sabretooth cover art), Phil Hugh Felix (Vengeance cover art)

Brief Description: 

(1st story)

While running through the jungles of Wakanda, Black Panther happens upon a burnt-out campfire and decides to investigate. Eventually, he discovers three mercenaries and their three captives. After seeing one of the mercenaries slapping one of their female captives, Panther leaps into action. During the fracas, Panther is attacked by Sabretooth. When Panther fights back, however, he is able to defeat him with ease, due to the fact that Sabretooth is actually a life model decoy. While he ponders whether this was a S.H.I.E.L.D. operation, the three captives deem the Sabretooth mimic a failure and destroy its head with a remote control.

Full Summary: 

(1st story)

The hunter always triumphs. He knows… he feels… he overcomes. His powers may be copied… his strengths matched. But the magic, the essence, the spirit of the hunter must come from within. Mere power does not a hunter make. And the mimic seldom wins.

In Wakanda, Black Panther runs through the jungle side by side with a panther. Happening upon a clearing, he sees a burnt-out campfire. He knows this area is restricted. Poachers? Sloppy. Very sloppy. As if they expected to be found. Their vandalism will not be suffered. The jungle must be protected, the hunter’s game preserved. Its life is his life. Its heart beat his. To cut one is to blood the other. The jungle and the hunter are as one.

Leaping from a cliff into the water below, Panther knows that the poachers must soon rest. The jungle sucks the strength from its invaders, just as it enriches its own. He will follow. Observe. Wait. Until they tire, until the advantage is his.

In due time, Panther observes a boat making its way to shore carrying five people. Two of them have guns; the other three are bound. Sneaking onto the shore nearby, Panther notices that they’re kidnappers and wonders what he has stumbled in on.

On the shore, they are joined by another man who mentions to the kidnappers that they took their time. One of the kidnappers asks him if he found it. The new man quips “does it look like?” The third man turns to their captives and asks them where it is. Where’ve they got it stashed? One of the captives, a young man replies he must be joking. His compatriots, both young women, say as if they’d tell them. Mercenaries… hah! Bunch of amateurs. At that moment, one of the kidnappers slaps the young woman across the face.

Upon seeing the man slap the woman, Panther leaps into action. He recognizes that this is getting out of hand and can’t risk waiting. He has to strike now. In short time, Panther takes out two of the mercenaries. Pointing his rifle at Panther, the third mercenary remarks that they said he’d be fast. Well, let’s see if he can outrun a bullet.

Jumping at the man, Panther notices that he fires too quick, he’s too confident. He’s not taking the danger seriously. Why? What does he know that he doesn’t? Perched on the man’s chest, Panther asks him who hired him and his friends. What are they looking for? The man asks what? He means he’s not the one? Panther asks the one? Which one?

Just then, Sabretooth appears behind Panther, grabs him by the shoulder and proceeds to fling him into a nearby tree. After slamming his face into the ground, Sabretooth picks up Panther by the neck, choking him. Defiantly, Panther fights back and kicks Sabretooth in the head. When he does, however, Sabretooth’s head pops off, revealing the fact that he is an L.M.D. (life model decoy). Panther begins to wonder if this is a S.H.I.E.L.D. operation.

Free from their bonds, the captives remark that they’d say this search and rescue test is over. The Sabretooth mimic failed. Its personality and enhanced powers prototype chip mustn’t be discovered. After pressing a button, Sabretooth’s head explodes. Standing triumphant, Black Panther remarks the mimic fails… the hunter always triumphs.

Characters Involved: 

(1st story)

Black Panther

A Sabretooth L.M.D. (Life Model Decoy)

Six unnamed individuals – three researchers and three mercenaries

Story Notes: 

This issue also includes:

2nd story – American Eagle in “500 Guns”

3rd story – Vengeance in Tower of Blood: Part 2 of 2 – “Vengeance Forsaken!”

4th story – Captain Universe in “Hearts and Minds”

Issue Information: 
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