blogging by Andrew Wickliffe

Black Panther (1998) #7

Bp7It’s a good but unfortunate issue of Black Panther. Writer Priest is firing on all cylinders, while the art is a Many Hands mishmash of styles—the issue credits Jimmy Palmiotti and Vince Evans (washes for Evans). But there’s also additional help from Alitha Martinez and Nelson DeCastro. So the art never looks consistent for more than a few pages. Some of Evans’s washes appear to be over pencils. Somehow they took the fun out of Joe Jusko pencils.

Good thing Priest’s got a killer story. The stuff with Everett K. Ross is starting to get tired. This issue has him roller-blading away from an enraged Bill Clinton, who’s chasing him through the White House with a hockey stick. This bit started last issue, but we still haven’t found out exactly what’s going on because Priest fractures Ross’s narration for dramatic effect. And comedic. Best for comedic.

But we do find out something about why Ross is in such hot water. For the cliffhanger. Before the cliffhanger, there’s a resolution to the Kraven guest spot—with Kraven doing that whole “cut me, make me bleed” thing, and it’ll be wild if they do it in the movie. It’s not like there’s much else to Kraven’s character. He blathers on to Black Panther during their rematch about how much he always wanted to fight him and so on–Kraven’s exhausting, which Priest fully acknowledges and embraces.

There are a couple weird moments to date the issue: Ross lusting after the teenage girl bodyguards, who change in front of him, and then Ross saying if he were “Black and gay,” he’d be into T’Challa. We’re seven issues in, and there’s still nothing more to Ross, which would be okay if Priest weren’t still relying on him. I’ve got a specious memory he’ll be gone soon, but it might also just be wishful thinking.

Or maybe if they draw him like Michael J. Fox again.

Or if the book could get its act together art-wise. The action scenes should’ve been good, and instead seemed entirely static. High hopes for next time… though I’m definitely not checking the creator credits beforehand.

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