A blonde sex-worker breaks her rule against kissing clients — only to run into the worst case of identity theft in history, in this clip from Marvel's animated Black Panther, out now on DVD.
And yes, that scene is lifted almost shot-for-shot from the comic book version, as written by Reginald Hudlin, who worked on the DVD as well. In general, the new DVD version of Black Panther is pretty close to the early issues of Hudlin's run on the comic. It's a mixture of snappy dialogue, clever set pieces, and some lectures on colonialism. And yes, Storm, the Panther's future wife, does show up, along with some other X-Men cameos.
For those of us whose definitive Black Panther version is the Christopher Priest run on the comic, this incarnation won't be quite as thrilling. There are a few vestiges of Priest's vision of the character, including a flashback to Captain America's first visit to Wakanda during World War II. And Priest's creation, Everett K. Ross, shows up to help deliver a Wakandan history lesson.
But either way, this is a fun, slick take on one of Marvel's less-exposed characters — it would be a great way to expose your kids to the idea of an African superhero, except that there's a fair amount of violence and scenes where people steal the bodies of sex workers. It's actually a bit puzzling, since a lot of the humor and fun parts of the video seem very kid-friendly, but then it veers into fairly adult territory. Probably a video you'd want to watch with your kids, rather than on your own.
But most important, this animated version of Panther is a proof of concept for a live-action film. Djimon Hounsou does a great job voicing the main character, King T'Challa — and as he told us a while back, he's still determined to star in the live-action version, when it finally happens. Here's hoping!