Episode Number: 3
Season Episode Number: 3
Airdate: January 23, 2010
Writer: Reginald Hudlin
Director: Mark Brooks
Voices: Djimon Hounsou (Black Panther), Kerry Washington (Princess Shuri), Alfre Woodard (Queen Mother), Jonathan Adams (T'Chaka), J.B.Blanc (Batroc, Priest), Carl Lumbly (S'Yan), Peter Lurie (Juggernaut), Vanessa Marshal (Female Cannibal), Phil Morris (W'Kabi), Georgette Perna (Child Panther, Child 2), Stephen Stanton (Klaw, Diplomat), Rick Wasserman (Radioactive Man).
Plot: A young T'Challa travels to Egypt and encounters Storm of the X-Men. While preparing to attack Wakanda, Klaw recalls how he assassinated the previous Black Panther.
Review (Warning! Spoilers!): Klaw is still gathering his group of evil villains, and T'Challa is still planning on finding out who killed his father. The main story still isn't really moving forward, but what makes this episode very interesting are the two flashback stories. It seems that Hudlin is retconning Klaw's origin to make him an assassin, rather than a scientist working on a sound-based weapon who travels to Wakanada to steel some vibranium.
I like how it works with this story since it gives Klaw much more credibility as a villain, but I don't really like how his old origin is forgotten. Usually I am okay with changes made to character for a television show as long as it works within the context of the show, but since this is a direct adaptation of the comics, the change in origin directly contradicts the events in Fantastic Four #53, which rubs me the wrong way. Do some research and write a story that makes sense!
The backstory of a young T'Challa meeting Ororo is not new. We see these events as early as Marvel Team-Up #100 in 1980. But what Hudlin expands on is that T'Challa frees the man who was forcing Ororo to be a petty theif. But wait, wasn't that the Shadow King? And didn't Professor X battle him and free Ororo? This change is a little easier to swallow as this Storm subplot isn't in the original comics. I can see that they are laying the groundwork for a potential Black Panther season two.
A few more villains are introduced to us: Radioactive Man, who is not the Chinese Radioactive Man that has been around since the 60s and was recently part of the Thunderbolts. This is an entirely new Russian Radioactive Man. Could have Hudlin come up with a different name?
We also meet the Black Knight, who is not the same as the previous three Black Knights. It makes sense not to use the Dane Whitman Black Knight considering the time in history this story takes place, and the fact that there were many Black Knights who wielded the Ebony Blade before him.
I'm still trying to figure out what exactly point in history this story takes place. T'Challa became the Black Panther well before the Fantastic Four gain their powers and since T'Challa has met the X-Men in their original line-up, it should mean that it is impossible for Storm to be calling up Black Panther on the phone just after T'Challa is crowned king because she wasn't part of the X-Men yet. And she for sure wouldn't be wearing the costume we saw her in this episode. This also means that we shouldn't have seen Wolverine or Nightcrawler in the last episode, and that Cyclops was wearing the wrong costume. Does anyone agree with me on this?