An Unhealthy Dose Of Paranoia: Reviewing ‘Black Panther’ #4

by Scott Redmond


T’Challa’s descent into paranoia and the realm of spy thrillers continues, as the former King makes a choice that could greatly change the direction of his mission and the overall future of Wakanda. Black Panther’s latest series hits all the right notes as a political spy thriller meets a superhero series.


Secrets, lies, and paranoia are quite a volatile mix, which T’Challa is becoming intimately familiar with as his sleeper agent quest continues.

T’Challa has always been one of those characters who carries the weight of the world upon his shoulders, especially when he has been King of his people, but that weight is beginning to put a lot more cracks into the carefully constructed exterior he’s cultivated.

John Ridley has pieced together a good spy thriller story that has a lot of twists and turns, but also just a ton of good action pieces and some pretty good character beats. The scheming and planning of others takes some spotlight here, as Shuri gets deeper into the investigation while Prime Minister Folasade makes some moves to try and safeguard Wakanda’s newborn democracy.

One aspect that works well is the paranoia that T’Challa displays on one hand could be seen as understandable, but when compared to the amount of lies, deceptions, and fakery the man is going to in all other aspects lessens that. We see him accuse Omolola of being a traitor, yet her defenses of the things he claims as evidence are very honest and human-like, and logical. This whole issue is of T’Challa’s own making, born out of his overall mistrust of everything and everyone, and it’s tearing him and his world apart piece by piece.

The switch of art between Juann Cabal and Ibrahim Moustafa happens again and just like the last issue, it works with the scene breaks making natural places to have the change occur. None of the cinematic spy thriller paneling choices and smooth action are lost, and all the emotional depth can still be felt on each page. There are a ton of bright but fitting colors from Matt Milla, which still embrace the shadows and make it all work.

All the character energy and personality is captured in the letters thanks to Joe Sabino, with little choices here or there making it feel realistic on all counts. Differences in font help with the types of vocalization on display and we get quite a few really smooth and colorful stylish SFX to bring more to various moments.

Black Panther #4 is now on sale in print and digitally from Marvel Comics.

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