The Overwhelming Weight Of Sins Past And Present: Reviewing ‘Black Panther’ #6

by Scott Redmond


It all comes crumbling down as T’Challa’s choices and secrets put everything he’s worked for and his very life at the greatest of risks. This continues to be an intriguing series that puts the title character and the supporting cast into interesting and very realistic positions as a nation struggles to figure out its place in the future politically and in other ways.


A simple Google search would show that there are a vast number of quotes about how too much or unfounded or misplaced pride will lead someone to a great fall/ruin, and at this point, they should have T’Challa’s picture next to them. The former king that always had a plan finds himself on the run from his own country, marked for death as a traitor, with all his pride and stubbornness leading right to this point.

The good thing for him there is a handful of black women in his life that are there to bail him out before he actually reaches the point of a full fall.

It was inevitable in this arc that we were going to witness a semi failure on the part of T’Challa because we were watching how the sins of his secrets and hidden past were coming back to bite him and everyone else in his sphere. A burgeoning democracy in Wakanda and a former king who won’t let go and had much to answer for were never going to be a match made in heaven.

In many cases, T’Challa and Bruce Wayne have much in common, especially in the sense that both are prideful stubborn men that believe (and usually actually are) they are prepared for and can handle everything. Except, when the moment comes where both are in way over their heads. Say hello to that moment now for the Black Panther.

John Ridley gives us an interesting situation here where the only plan T’Challa has and can enact is to fight harder and wilder and just not die. Pretty simple to the point type of plan. The type that barely works if not for the sudden entrance of Storm who saves his life and then zaps him as they hash out some issues. Not only do we see the Gentle/sleeper agent situation discussed, but there was a very interesting dissection of their marriage and how it was annulled and how closed off T’Challa actually is (but won’t admit) when it comes to such relationships.

Storm nails it perfectly, he’s “a liar with a good heart” which makes him the worst kind of person in her and others’ opinions. A person that tells themselves they are doing things for others’ benefit by lying to them, but ultimately, they’re lying to themselves too as they end up isolated because of this choice.

We’ve had quite a number of artistic changes and swap-outs and bow-outs in this six-issue story so far, and while much of the art is similar in many ways it does kind of mean the story lacks a sort of overall artistic direction. Stefano Landini was helping with the art in the last issue, alongside Juann Cabal who started the whole book. There is good energy to the work, but it does lack a lot of the power that Cabal’s artwork had during these more heavily action/thriller sequence issues. Landini’s artwork flows well during these action sequences and the quieter ones for sure.

It would just be nice to see some overall consistency, if possible, in this book rather than the rotation of artists that there has been since the first issue.

What has remained the same though is the great coloring from Matt Milla and lettering from Joe Sabino. Those colors are muted with just the right amount of pop, making sure to balance the lighter and the darker to fill the needs of the story. There are some great uses of brighter flashes of color like oranges and purples and others to really highlight backgrounds in some action scenes.

Sabino’s lettering work has a lot of energy of its own, flowing naturally with good bits of personality showing up here and there. There are also great indicators used to make sure it’s clear when someone is yelling (like when the Hatut Zeraze are attacking and yelling about killing him) or whispering (like T’Challa cursing to himself).

Black Panther #6 is now available.

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