Marvel Super Hero Squad Review: Black Panther & Storm

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Like Rogue and Gambit, this pack includes another famous Marvel couple: Storm and Black Panther! Now king and queen of Wakanda, their wedding occurred in the middle of the Civil War during a time of uneasy truce. In a move to constantly show that Hasbro and Marvel actually talk, the wedding occurred in August of 2007 then Storm and T’Challa joined up with the X-Men for the next year.

At first glance, Black Panther seems like every other black super hero created. I mean, his name even says he’s black. But that’s where Black Panther stops being like everyone else. Instead of being from the streets, T’Challa is the king of Wakanda and plays an important role in the politics of the Marvel Universe.

Like Namor of Atlantis and Doctor Doom of Latveria, Black Panther walks the line between being a costumed super hero and being the leader of his country. That means that he’s sometimes at odds with his own friends in the super hero world.

In many ways, Black Panther is a lot like Batman. He’s absurdly wealthy and is considered one of the eight smartest people in the entire Marvel Universe. So while his costume may look a little plain, there’s a lot more going on with it than meets the eye.

Black Panther is wearing what appears to be your standard super hero costume: skin tight and probably made of unstable molecules. But in T’Challa’s case, his suit is woven with vibranium which is Wakanda’s most valuable resource.

The costume evokes the imagery of Batman in a lot of ways. The yellow belt, the black suit – even his head has little ears! But T’Challa has several special sculpted parts in his costume. All of the yellow details are raised and his toes (he has five for some reason) are sculpted in. His fully covered face looks like there is a face behind it; you see the sunken spots for eyes and the bulge where his nose is. Black Panther moves at the shoulders and waist, but his cape gets in the way.

The paint on Black Panther isn’t very well done. It was clearly ambitious, but the execution is off. A few of the yellow spots bleed out of their lines, while his belt is uneven. Amazingly enough, his cape is painted black while his body is a very dark-almost black, navy blue.

The bottom of Black Panther’s fist and his left shin have weak coverage, allowing some of his white plastic to show through. He also has a spot of brown paint above his left knee that probably came from Storm.

Now the Queen of Wakanda, Ororo Iqadi Munroe T’Challa is best known as being Storm, the goddess of weather and one time leader of the X-Men. One of Xavier’s new recruits in Giant-Sized X-Men #1, Storm is wearing the costume she debuted in.

Storm has three classic looks: the white suit of the 90s, the mohawk and leather phase during the 80s and her classic black costume of the 70s. Being in her classic costume makes me feel a little uncomfortable because that thing is skimpy.

Little more than a bra, panties, thigh-high boots, a tiara and a cape, Storm looks like her classic self. I understand, she’s a mutant that can control the weather so she probably never gets cold but her outfit is somehow more revealing than Colossus’s.

What really sets Storm apart though is her pose. Hasbro clearly tried to make a unique design for her and attempted to make it look like she’s about to fly away or just landed. The only catch is she’s horribly imbalanced – like if you breathe too hard, she’ll fall over. So while her head is the only piece of articulation, it’s pretty useless.  The big culprit is her absolutely massive amount of hair. It’s enough to make Medusa jealous.

The paint on Storm is a mixed bag like her husband’s. From the neck up, Storm looks fantastic. Her tiara is perfectly done with no bleeding onto her white hair. Her face looks stern and her eyes are solid white which means she’s using her powers. It all works well.

The issues come from the skimpiness of her outfit. Paint applications in the Super Hero Squad usually don’t have to be this precise. The yellow trim on her cape is a coat or two too little so the black shows through, while the single lines tying her outfit together have poor coverage. Throw in the completely unnecessary holes at the top of her boots and it’s just a whole bunch of little things that don’t work as well as they should.

While both Storm and Black Panther have issues with their paint, they’re decent figures. It’s weird that they’re fetching such high prices on the secondary market now because they really aren’t worth it. For retail price, sure but this two pack can easily set you back $50 now. But what’s really impressive about this pack is how well the two characters work together.

Super Hero Squad Wave 5
Logan & X-CycleDr. Strange & Ant-ManBlack Panther & Storm
Rogue & GambitLoki & ThorUltimate Captain America & Ultimate Nick Fury
Ultimate Iceman & PyroHuman Torch & Annihilus

Written by jestergoblin

June 6th, 2010 at 12:00 am

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