Monday, February 8, 2010

Black Panther Episode 2

Season: 1
Episode Number: 2
Season Episode Number: 2
Production Number:
Airdate: January 16, 2010

Writer: Reginald Hudlin
Director: Mark Brooks

Voices: Djimon Hounsou (Black Panther), Kerry Washington (Princess Shuri), Jill Scott (Storm), David Busch (Everett Ross, Scientist 1), J.B. Blanc (Batroc, Male Cannibal, Secretary), Carl Lumbly (S'Yan, Councilman 3), Peter Lurie (Juggernaut, Councilman 1), Vanessa Marshall (Madam, Female Cannibal), Phil Morris (W'Kabi, Councilman 2), Nolan North (Cyclops), Kevin Michael Richardson (Wolverine, Historical Panther), Stephen Stanton (Klaw, Confederate General, Scientist 2), Rick Wasserman (Soldier 1, Soldier 2).

Plot: Having been crowned the new Black Panther, T'Challa must contend with jealousy in the royal court while searching for the man who murdered his father. Unbeknownst to him, a deadly assassin named Klaw is assembling a team of super-villains to attack Wakanda.

Review (Warning! Spoilers!): The second episode of Black Panther seems to be a lot of filler. Most of the time is spent introducing us to a group of super-villains who are being collected by the Klaw. We also get a sneak peek at Storm. But other than that, there is not a whole lot of moving forward of the plot. Lucky for us, the introductions to these villains is interesting and, in some cases, quite amusing.

Klaw's all-star group of villains: Batroc the Leaper, who has always been more of a comic relief villain but seems to be getting a more serious role here; Cannibal, a villain with the ability to psychically "eat away" at a person and assume their appearance; Juggernaut, whom we meet as he is beating up the X-Men. Since this isn't an X-Men series the mutants are treated as comic relief, which is quite funny. Nolan North reprises his Wolverine and the X-Men role as Cyclops for this episode.

The original comics had Rhino instead of Juggernaut, however I suspect that they had to put Juggernaut in here because the rights to Rhino's character belonged to Sony at the time this series was made.

And of course there is Klaw, who you may not recognize since he is not in his classic red costume. His 'claw' also gets a major upgrade for this story.

Although he mostly appears fighting the Fantastic Four, the Klaw has a deep history with the Black Panther, one that he mentions in this episode. Waaaaaay back in his first appearance in Fantastic Four #66, 1966, scientist Ulysses Klaw steals vibranium from Wakanda to make his claw, then kills T'Challa's father and current Wakandian king T'Chaka. Klaw and T'Challa have fought a few times throughout the years, but it looks as if Klaw is ready to settle the score once and for all.

Out of all the characters that appear in the opening sequence, only T'Challa and Shuri are in this episode, with Storm making a one line cameo. It would have been nice to see some more of these main characters, maybe to advance the plot a little.

I'm not sure how they managed to stretch everything to 22 minutes. There really isn't a whole lot that happens in this episode. Not even a big fight scene that could potentially take up a lot of time. This reminds me of reading a Brian Michael Bendis storyarc. The first four issues are lead up, lead up and more lead up, finally something major happens in issue five and then a resolution in issue six. Right now we are in the lead up, lead up, lead up stage of the story.

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Carnage89 said...

Reading this makes me want to watch the show. And isnt this Wolverine in one of the screens?

Matthew said...

There is tons of plot, it is character exposition ,filling in the background of the story, creating the arcs that make you/us identify with the characters... Klaw isn't one dimensional, though Juggie is even with extra attention with the Rhino killing and the conversation with the Frenchie. (very funny too!)
- Of all the Americans I have met... You, are the cleverest!

This series is FANTASTIC, I am loving it, and your insight / reviews...

The show is engaging, mature and smart with many layers for hopefully future seasons!