With Black Panther coming to theaters in just a matter of days, we thought now would be a good time to talk about his time on the small screen, with Black Panther the series. For those who don’t know, Black Panther had a short-lived animated series (six episodes) on BET in 2010. Is the series worth checking out or is it a complete waste of time? Well, let’s find out!
The story is quite simple, T’Challa (Djimon Hounsou) has to take the throne after his father’s assassination. The royal court is jealous because they were leading Wakanda until T’Challa came of age. Meanwhile, Klaw (Stephen Stanton), the man who killed King T’Chaka is assembling a group of villains to kill the Black Panther. That team consists of Batroc the Leaper (JB Blanc), Juggernaut (Peter Lurie), Black Night (JB Blanc), and Radioactive Man (Rick D. Wasserman). That’s a lot for a new king to face.Yet, T’Challa gives it everything he’s got. That’s what makes this series worth watching. His ambition and determination are what drive the story. All the characters are really good for the most part. Kerry Washington as Shuri and Alfre Woodard as Mother/Queen are two standouts. I just wish there was more for them to do.
The show is far from perfect, and one of the problems is that it doesn’t have enough time. Some things are rushed, like a Storm and T’Challa romance storyline that goes nowhere; while others drag on a bit too long, like the battle with the royal court. This and the stiff animation really hold the series back [technically, it’s a motion comic]. If they were given the time and money to make this a full 20 episode season and up the animation quality, this could’ve been another great superhero animated series. Instead, it’s a solid motion comic. If Marvel, BET, and Disney were going to do this, why didn’t they give it a real chance to succeed? I don’t know, but the end result leaves a lot to be desired.
Overall, Black Panther is fine. It’s boring at times but also entertaining at others. The characters are fun but aren’t given enough to do. Is it worth checking out? I’d say so. It’s a show that is so close to being something great, but it never lives up to its potential.