Written by: John Ridley
Art by: Stefano Landini
Colors by: Matt Milla
Letters by: VC’s Joe Sabino
Cover art by: Alex Ross
Cover price: $3.99
Release date: July 6, 2022
Black Panther #7 puts T’Challa on the hot seat as the true mastermind behind Wakanda’s blossoming coup is revealed. When T’Challa asks for help, he finds there’s nobody left to turn to that hasn’t been burned by his past decisions. If Wakanda is to survive, Wakanda must do it without Black Panther.
Was It Good?
Black Panther #7 is the penultimate issue in John Ridley’s first turn on the title, and it’s an odd one. Ridley crafted a scenario where Wakanda undergoes irreparable civil and governmental damage by T’Challa’s decisions, leading to an outcome where T’Challa is no longer King of Wakanda and possibly no longer Black Panther.
On the one hand, the story follows a logical flow and makes sense for the scenario Ridley set up in issue #1. On the other hand, the direction heading into the finale portends the end of Black Panther as we know him. In effect, the critique of this issue comes down to acknowledging good technical execution versus disagreeing with the creative decisions.
The technical execution is solid. Landini creates strong character designs to keep everyone memorable in a crowded issue. The colors from Milla are vibrant. And Sabino’s lettering is perfect.
Ridley’s writing executes the story he intended to tell well. The dialog feels natural for the situations each player is in, the pacing is strong, the reveal of the “true” villain is handled well, albeit not as definitively as it could have, and the plot generates momentum towards the finale in the next issue.
As for the creative decisions, that’s up to you. If you agree that T’Challa was an arrogant King on the verge of becoming a despot who would take over the world if he felt it was the right thing to do, then this is the right outcome. If you feel Ridley invented a dark side to T’Challa to justify being brought low and whatever comes next, this issue will probably leave a sour taste in your mouth.
About The Reviewer: Gabriel Hernandez is the Publisher & EIC of ComicalOpinions.com, a comics review site dedicated to indie, small, and mid-sized publishers.
Bits and Pieces
Black Panther #7 will be a bitter pill to swallow for T’Challa fans as Ridley brings the character to his lowest point. If this penultimate issue is any indication, T’Challa’s future in any role is in doubt, and that may have been Ridley’s plan all along. Whether or not you agree with the creative directions of the story, the technical execution of the art and writing is solid.