Before Ryan Coogler’s immensely successful film adaptation of Marvel Comics’ Black Panther, a 2010 animated television series explored the universe of the titular superhero and the fictitious African kingdom of Wakanda. Produced by Marvel Knights Television, the six-episode show was released on YouTube for free viewing last week.
The series traces the rich history of Wakanda. It revolves around the newly crowned Wakandan king T’Challa (voiced by Djimon Hounsou) and his quest to find his father’s killer. The series includes fan favourites Princess Shuri (Kerry Washington) and Everett Ross (David Busch), but gives Nakia, Killmonger and Okoye a miss.
The series is starkly different from Coogler’s film, which stars Chadwick Boseman as the superhero, Michael B Jordan as Erik Killmonger, Danai Gurira as Okoye and Lupita Nyong’o as Nakia. Notorious arms dealer Ulysses Klaue is the villain of the series, while Killmonger is Black Panther’s arch nemesis in the movie. However, like in the film, Princess Shuri emerges as a scene-stealer. The episodes explore Shuri’s personality and ambition in depth, giving her more screen space than in the film.
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