Friday, August 19, 2011

The Black Panther Returns

Iron Man: Armored Adventures “Line of Fire” (S02E06)

by Christopher Scott

The episode begins with the return of the Black Panther. He has returned to the United States from his home country of Wakanda to track down lost Vibranium. For those of you who don’t know, the Black Panther is the King of Wakanda, which is a country in Africa that is technologically superior to the rest of the world. It also has the world’s only supply of Vibranium, a metal that absorbs vibration and is very useful for military applications. Anyway, the Black Panther is tracking down shipments housed by Hammer Multinational and returning it to his country. He faces opposition at each site, but repeatedly succeeds.

The scene changes to a quick glimpse of Gene Kahn and Howard Stark in a private jet, tracking the seventh Makluan ring. Gene is impatient in his quest, but Howard is just along for the ride. He tries to convince Gene to turn himself in, but he refuses as you would expect. The part I don’t understand is why Howard doesn’t just beat up this kid? I mean he’s only 17 years old and he weighs like 100 pounds soaking wet. Sure he can become the Madarin, but you’d have to try and escape, right? Oh well.

Another storyline in this episode is the continuing tension between Tony and Pepper. Apparently Tony has a date with Whitney to see a band called Dazzler. Pepper finds out and becomes extremely jealous. In an effort to get back at Tony, she gets a date with Happy Hogan. They both end up pretty jealous of each other and it’s pretty obvious.

Tony finds out via news report that the Black Panther is back, so he goes on patrol to find him as Iron Man. It seems the Black Panther is still hunting down the Vibranium from his country. Iron Man aids him for a short time as they take apart Hammer’s guards, but afterwards, Black Panther is not pleased. He threatens Iron Man to stay out of Wakandan matters, and then disappears. When word travels back to Hammer that more Vibranium has been seized, he is enraged. The Vibranium has been collected to be used in Project Titanium. In an effort to keep more Vibranium from being stolen back, Hammer has brought back the Black Knight (another B-rated villain from season 1).

The following day Iron Man heads to the Wakandan embassy where King T’challa, aka the Black Panther, is giving a speech about the state of his country. One thing I though was interesting was that he is giving the speech in his Black Panther armor. Apparently he has no secret identity and because of diplomatic immunity he can get away with being a vigilante. He credits the quest for peace in his country to its ambassador, a woman standing beside him. The Black Knight interrupts this speech though, and Iron Man is quick to intercept. With the Black Panther’s help, the two heroes dominate their foe and he retreats to fight again. While this battle is going on, Whitney is being stood up by Tony for their date.

The next scene takes place that evening during Pepper’s date with Happy. They seem to get along very well until Pepper sees the Black Panther tailing an employee of Stark International. She makes a quick call to Rhodey (who is incapacitated this episode while entertaining his grandmother) and he relays it to Tony. Meanwhile, Pepper begins to track the Black Panther as he stalks his prey. She follows them into a warehouse and trips an alarm, causing the Panther to save her from harm. Iron Man arrives and begins to question his former ally about why he would be stalking a Stark International employee and how it is connected to Hammer’s freight. The Black Panther explains that Vibranium had been leaked from his home country by a rival faction called the Nagandans. This has sparked a civil war that is being supplied funding from sales of Vibranium to both Hammer Multinational and Stark International. The two form an allegiance to tackle this problem and return the Vibranium to Wakanda and end the erupting war.

They track the GPS of the Stark Int’l vehicle to where a sale of Vibranium is taking place. After taking down a few guards and the Black Knight (who is a pushover for a villain on this show) they find out that the ambassador who had been honored earlier at the embassy is actually the one who has been selling out their country and causing this civil unrest. 

Tony and T’Challa say their goodbyes as partners fighting for the greater good and Tony returns to school. He apologizes to Whitney and scores a lunch date, which causes Pepper to set a second date with Happy which closes out the episode.

Not the best episode, but not too bad. What did you think? Leave your comments below!

Christopher Scott is a contributor for TheTalkingBox. He spends much of his time watching TV intended for 8-year-olds when not spending it with his family in Huntsville, AL.
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