Thursday, February 11, 2010

Black Panther Episode 4

Season: 1
Episode Number: 4
Season Episode Number: 4
Production Number:
Airdate: January 23, 2010

Writer: Reginald Hudlin
Director: Mark Brooks

Voices: Djimon Hounsou (Black Panther), Kerry Washington (Princess Shuri, Baker Woman), Alfre Woodard (Dondi Reese, Miss M'Buve, Dora Milaje), David Busch (Everett Ross, Expert 1), Carl Lumbly (S'Yan, Miner 1 & 4), Phil Morris (W'Kabi, M'Butu, Miner 2 & 3), J.B. Blanc (Batroc, Black Knight), Peter Lurie (Juggernaut, Pilot, Soldier), Vanessa Marshall (Female Cannibal), Stephen Stanton (Klaw, TV Announcer), Rick Wasserman (Radioactive Man, Citizen), Jonathan Adams (M'Butu's Security Officer, Citizen), Georgette Perna (Boy, Girl, Female Medic), Kevin Michael Richardson (White Panther, Warrior, Wakandian Scientist).

Plot: Juggernaut and the Black Knight spearhead the attack on Wakanda, and the Black Panther learns the truth about his father's murder.

Review (Warning! Spoilers!): Anyone who has been upset with the lack of animation in this mini-series should just watch this episode. Now that Klaw's invasion in under way, there is plenty of action! After two episodes of character development and flashbacks, we finally get to see how all of the pieces of Klaw's plan fit together.

The Klaw has never struck me as a tactical or strategical mastermind, but it is obvious that he has chosen his team very carefully, even to the point of recruiting the Black Knight whose mission is not to take down Wakanda, but to bring Catholicism to the 'savages'.

The Black Panther also gets some more screentime in this episode, displaying how well suited he is to be the King. He is the titular character, but I find that this series is actually focusing a bit more on Klaw than on T'Challa.

This is a common scenario in many superhero mediums. The villains are usually more interesting than the hero. Take Batman's rogues gallery for example. Wouldn't you say that the Joker, Mr. Freeze and Ra's al Ghul are a bit more interesting than the Caped Crusader himself?

As I mentioned before, there is more animation in this episode. The characters move more than in a motion comic and they do a good job of animating it too. I prefer the traditional animation myself, but I'm not opposed to seeing more cartoons like this either. I wonder if John Romita, Jr. was asked to draw Juggernaut for all the scenes he replaced Rhino?

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