To promote the 2018 Lexus LC, Lexus partnered with Marvel to create a graphic novel incorporating the new car into the mythical Black Panther world. On Tuesday, October 24, the first four chapters of the exclusive graphic novel Black Panther: Soul of a Machine were released online.
In Soul of a Machine, the city of Wakanda has had all of its systems infiltrated by the man-turned-artificial-intelligence evildoer Machinesmith, threatening to model civilization into his idea of perfection. Working with Wakanda king, T’Challa — better known as Black Panther — and his sister Shuri, six Wakandan science apprentices and six Takumi Masters try to engineer a way to thwart Machinesmith’s plan, and somehow a Lexus car is the answer.
The first four chapters are a breeze to get through, with each chapter being 10 pages long. Former Marvel Comics writers Fabian Nicieza, Chuck Brown, Geoffrey Thorne each wrote one of the chapters, with Nicieza helming chapters 1 and 4. Comic book artists Andrea Di Vito, José Luis García-López, J.L. Giles, and Mike Bowden were responsible for bringing the stories to life on the digital pages. Together, these creatives have worked on iconic Marvel comic book titles such as X-Men, Civil War II, and World War Hulk: X-Men.
In chapter one of Soul of a Machine, the evil Machinesmith gains access to Wakanda’s data center after infiltrating shareware headsets which allow everyone wearing one to have their thoughts and beings connected to one another. Chapter 2 finds Black Panther stalling Machinesmith’s plan by presenting the apocalyptic A.I. with a logic question it could not answer, thus locking it out of Wakanda’s system. The remaining two chapters deal with the team of scientists infiltrating Machinesmith’s inner thoughts and designing a version of the 2018 Lexus LC car meant to be the answer to their problems.
Outside of the pages, Lexus also created a Black Panther-inspired version of its 2018 Lexus LC car. The car is tricked out with side-view mirrors resembling Black Panther’s signature claws, the Black Panther mask slapped on the hood, and what Lexus describes as “vibranium-infused self-healing paint treatment.” No need to save up your coins for this beauty, because the car is simply a concept project and will not be available for purchase. But, you will be able to get up, close and personal with it at the Specialty Equipment Market Association Show (SEMA) in Las Vegas on October 31.
The website indicates the next four chapters will be available on November 12. The full novel is expected to be released in December. It will surely get people in the Wakanda mood for the upcoming Black Panther film set to hit theaters February 16, 2018.