Wow. Quite extensive. But I kindof disagree. I just can't imagine that the reputation of black panther is SOOO bad amongst other comic fans that they'd avoid the book even after reading the wedding issue. More likely (given that the sales more than doubled for that issue), is that people just didn't like the writing and decided not to continue after that issue. I don't care what kind of 'reputation' a book or a writer has, at the end of the day people are gonna buy or not buy based on what they find interesting or enjoyable - and apparently enough people didn't find the wedding issue enough of a hook to stay on the book. That is disappointing to me because I think the wedding was probably the best issue written in this current series.
I will add that I was one of the MANY people who didn't like the idea of Storm and Bp being married - this SOON - I thought thier whole romance was rather forced and hamfisted. Not that I didn't like the idea of the two of them together, that always struck me as interesting, just that there was little or no build-up in the relationship and a whole other mini-series had to be slapped together to explain how they had some type of deeper bond.
As far as MORE Storm, well honestly, this comic is called 'Black Panther'. And I still don't feel i know much about THAT guy after 20 issues, so I think any more focus on Storm takes away from the lead character. I think their interaction has been good and very sincere so far, it's just that - similar to what some others have said on this forum, she's a hella dynamic character - and issues like the last one where they're on the moon, she comes off as a novice, when, in all honesty Storm has travelled to more planets, dimensions and universes than T'Challa has EVER been shown to visit. And she CAN use her powers in space, solar winds, lightening etc. she did it in a few X-books, it's complicated but she can.
No, its not that his reputation is so bad, its just he has never acheived the stature of people like Spiderman, Storm, Wolverine, Iron Man and a host of other Marvel characters to be honest. I think that people just don't care about him regardless of how well the story is told. A good story has to have an audience to read it. Storm is a godsend, I think, for BP and the title. It just amazes me how people like Cienano (sorry if I mispelled your name) and others are pushing for her to become secondary character in the title. You have a character that MANY people care about and will read about if they hear something major is going to happen with the character. You use Storm as a magnet to draw people to the title while telling good stories about BP as well. People will read about Storm and consequently about him as well. If good stories are told about BP as well, they will start to like him as well. He will grow up them. This was a major reason I did my "Storm Stories!" thread. Stories like that told would draw in the STorm fans. BELIEVE me. It really would. It is something that is original. Something about STorm that we have not seen before despite the fact that the whole foundation for a story like that has been long established in continuity. People read the book to see Storm do something awesome and meanwhile get to see BP as well. They are happy with what they read about Storm and decide to stick with the title feeling that Hudlin is really going to deliver with the character. At the same time, he writes very good BP stories and people will read that to read about Ororo as well and he will grow on them.
As far as this whole marriage rush thing, they are merely blaming him because he is the writer on the BP title now. Fans would have been VERY unhappy about it regardless of who the writer is because of the way it was done. The marriage felt forced and rushed. Storm's character suffered and was written down in the Dickey mini and all and you had black writers at the time of this event. Naturally, feeling that the marriage did not make sense, they got the idea it happened because the writer(s) were black, the characters were black and the mini started in Black History Month. So they feel that race was the motivation for the marriage. So some people made some evil comments out of a spirit of racism. Totally inexcusable on their part, however, you also had many black fans saying the same thing. They did not say it out of a spirit of racism (and I don't think all whites who were against it and said the same things as well were all racist though some really were in their hearts, I believe). It would not have gone *as far* down that road with an caucasion writer for obvious reasons Storm and BP are both black and the writer would have been white. However, it still would have earned a very allergic reaction from the readership if executed in the same fashion and they still would have screamed that the marriage was allowed to happen because both characters are black.
Personally, I am glad that you have a strong black union. Its rare to find in comics. The marriage is done and the two are a couple. All of this other stuff is in the past. I say now lets look to the future and see what can be done about increasing readership. For me, the obvious thing is to do something big with Storm. I am not saying neglect the BP by any means. Give him stuff to do in the story as well, but definately give Storm her moment to shine.
There are two reasons why issue 18 spiked up in sales. 1) Storm fans, regardless how they felt about the marriage, were not going to miss her marriage. 2) It was a tie-in to Civil War and people want to have the whole series.